Google2Ubuntu: Ubuntu speech recognition via Google API

Today I want to talk about a tool for Ubuntu that thanks to the Google API, recognizes our voice and allows us to perform some operations. It is about Google2Ubuntu, a project born a few years ago, but which has also recently introduced some new features, including support for the Italian language and dictation.

Through voice recognition, we can know the time, battery status, have a highlighted text read, launch browser, music, close / change windows, open folders and much more. These operations are preset but configurable, and new ones can also be created. Finally these are divided into modules, external controls and internal controls.



We open our terminal, then add the packages, update and install Google2Ubuntu

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa: benoitfra / google2ubuntu
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install google2ubuntu

at the end we can proceed to the configuration of the program



We make sure that the voice recognition starts with a combination of keys, so we set a keyboard shortcut:

  • Unity: from the Dash, we open the System settings then we choose Tastiera and open the card Shortcuts, finally Customized shortcuts. At this point we can add our shortcut, so we press the button + and we set Google2Ubuntu as name and /usr/share/google2ubuntu/ as a command, we apply and press on disabled (at the end of the line) and then press the key, or combination, that we prefer to start the voice recognition application, making sure that it is not already in use.

  • Xfce: the procedure is similar to that of Unity. Access to Settings, Keyboard e Application shortcuts and add the same command /usr/share/google2ubuntu/ then set a shortcut.

Restart the session. Then open Google2Ubuntu-Manager to see all the available commands, to modify them or create new ones.

Tip: to launch the folders, you must change the path which is set by default in English. For example, to launch the "Music" folder you need to change the path from xdg-open ~ / Music a xdg-open ~ / Music.

To create / modify commands and modules, I send you to project page, where he explains (in English) the procedure. For any problems, you can ask in a comment.


After configuring Google2Ubuntu and restarting the session, let's try if the application works. We press our key combination (in my case F8) and a registration notification will appear

Vocal recognition

We say the word, for example "time" to know the time. An icon will notify us of the registration and an entry will tell us the current time



This is a trivial example, but configuring the application can create ad hoc commands, but my judgment is not entirely positive. The application sometimes works sometimes not, and some commands, despite having been recognized, are not executed, for example opening folders.
I didn't spend a lot of time for the configuration, maybe it's a bit of a review, but with the initial settings it's not optimized for a correct functioning


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