Introduction to FreeTTS

The FreeTTS package contains a speech synthesis system written entirely in the Java programming language. It is based upon Flite: a small run-time speech synthesis engine developed at Carnegie Mellon University. Flite is derived from the Festival Speech Synthesis System from the University of Edinburgh and the FestVox project from Carnegie Mellon University. The FreeTTS package is used to convert text to audible speech through the system audio hardware.

Package Information

Additional Downloads

FreeTTS Dependencies


Apache Ant-1.6.2 (and JUnit to run the test suite), UnZip-5.52 and working audio hardware/software.

Installation of FreeTTS

The FreeTTS package is distributed in ZIP format and the unzip command will default to creating an unused source directory. Additionally, unzipping the test suite file will prompt for questions about overwriting existing files. Use the following commands to unzip the source files:

unzip -q -x META-INF/* &&
unzip -q \
    -x {META-INF/*,freetts-1.2.1/{acknowledgments.txt,license.terms}}

Install FreeTTS by running the following commands:

cd lib &&
yes | sh &&
cd .. &&

To test the results, issue:

ant junit &&

Now, as the root user:

install -v -m755 -d /opt/freetts-1.2.1/{lib,docs/{audio,images}} &&
install -v -m644 lib/*.jar /opt/freetts-1.2.1/lib &&
install -v -m644 *.txt RELEASE_NOTES license.terms \
                 docs/*.{pdf,html,txt,sx{w,d}} \
    /opt/freetts-1.2.1/docs &&
install -v -m644 docs/audio/* /opt/freetts-1.2.1/docs/audio &&
install -v -m644 docs/images/* /opt/freetts-1.2.1/docs/images &&
cp -v -R javadoc /opt/freetts-1.2.1 &&
ln -v -s freetts-1.2.1 /opt/freetts

Optionally, install any or all of the additional FreeTTS components using the following commands as the root user (see the Command Explanations section for details):

cp -v -R bin /opt/freetts-1.2.1 &&
install -v -m644 /opt/jdk/jdk/jre/lib &&
cp -v -R tools /opt/freetts-1.2.1 &&
cp -v -R mbrola /opt/freetts-1.2.1 &&
cp -v -R demo /opt/freetts-1.2.1

Command Explanations

yes | sh This command installs the Java Speech API into the FreeTTS source tree. yes is piped so that this command can be scripted and will automatically agree to the JSAPI license terms. You can view the license you are agreeing to at

ant: FreeTTS uses the Apache Ant build system instead of the GNU autotools. This commands builds everything, including the class libraries, tools and demos.

cp -v -R bin ...; install -v -m644 These two commands install the demonstration programs. Optionally copy the file to ~/ if you don't want to make it available system-wide.

cp -v -R tools ...: This installs the voice data import utilities. See the README.html files in the tools/ subdirectories for information and instructions about using the tools.

cp -v -R mbrola ...: This installs the mbrola.jar file, required if you use the MBROLA voices.

cp -v -R demo ...: This installs the sources and documentation for the demonstration programs.

For additional information and documentation about the FreeTTS project, visit the main web page at

Testing the Installation

Test the installation using the following command:

java -jar /opt/freetts/lib/freetts.jar \
    -text "This is a test of the FreeTTS speech synthesis system"

Depending on the setup of your audio drivers and software, you may have to add the -streaming switch to the command as shown below:

java -jar /opt/freetts/lib/freetts.jar -streaming \
    -text "This is a test of the FreeTTS speech synthesis system"


Installed Programs: None
Installed Libraries: /opt/freetts-1.2.1/lib/*.jar
Installed Directory: /opt/freetts-1.2.1

Short Descriptions


contains the class libraries which make up the FreeTTS speech synthesis system.

Last updated on 2005-08-01 13:29:19 -0600