05 January 2013

303. Compiling Simon on Debian Testing (Simon 0.4)

Here's how to get Simon 0.4.0 compiled. Simon does speech recognition which allows you do voice-control your computer. It does NOT do transcription, e.g. like Dragon Naturally Speaking.

See e.g. here, here and here for more information about Simon.

Simon uses cmake. I hate cmake since it makes life a lot more difficult than it needs to be.

Also, note that Simon relies heavily on KDE, so you need a number of KDE related files -- if not the whole desktop -- installed. Obviously, it runs fine under GNOME, which is where I'm using it.

This post is limited to describing how to compile it, not how to use it -- that may come later.

First get the deendencies. The list of deps is taken from http://userbase.kde.org/Simon/Development_Environment#Requirements, and expanded (e.g. libboost).

sudo apt-get install qt4-qtconfig kdelibs5-dev libxtst-dev libsamplerate-dev kdepimlibs5-dev libboost-dev
sudo apt-get install build-essential cmake gettext kdeartwork libqwt-dev libqt4-sql-sqlite libphonon-dev libattica0 libattica-dev zlib1g-dev libasound2-dev 

Next sort out Julius
I think it used to be in the repos, but it's not there anymore from what I can see).

mkdir ~/tmp/simon -p
cd ~/tmp/simon
wget http://jaist.dl.sourceforge.jp/julius/56549/julius-4.2.2.tar.gz
tar xvf julius-4.2.2.tar.gz
cd julius-4.2.2/
./configure --prefix=~/.simon/julius
**************************************************************** Julius/Julian libsent library rev.4.2.2: - Audio I/O primary mic device API : alsa (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) available mic device API : alsa oss supported audio format : RAW and WAV only NetAudio support : no - Language Modeling class N-gram support : yes - Libraries file decompression by : zlib library - Process management fork on adinnet input : no Note: compilation time flags are now stored in "libsent-config". If you link this library, please add output of "libsent-config --cflags" to CFLAGS and "libsent-config --libs" to LIBS. ****************************************************************
make make install cd ../

You'll need HTK to use adaptive models with the Voxforge base. It's not necessary otherwise.
To get HTK, register here: http://htk.eng.cam.ac.uk/register.shtml

You should receive a password immediately afterwards. Then go to http://htk.eng.cam.ac.uk/download.shtml and download the Linux sources.Put the HTK-3.4.1.tar.gz file in ~/tmp/simon.
cd ~/tmp/simon
tar xvf HTK-3.4.1.tar.gz
cd htk/
./configure --prefix=$HOME/.simon/htk --disable-hslab
make all
mkdir ~/.simon/htk
make install

For some reason it's built as 32 bit, not 64. Also, it wants the parent install directory to exist before running make install.

Next, sphinx:

wget http://sourceforge.net/projects/cmusphinx/files/sphinxbase/0.8/sphinxbase-0.8.tar.gz
tar xvf sphinxbase-0.8.tar.gz 
cd sphinxbase-0.8/
./configure --prefix=$HOME/.simon/sphinxbase
make install
cd ../

wget http://sourceforge.net/projects/cmusphinx/files/pocketsphinx/0.8/pocketsphinx-0.8.tar.gz
tar xvf pocketsphinx-0.8.tar.gz
cd pocketsphinx-0.8/
./configure --prefix=$HOME/.simon/pocketsphinx SphinxBase_CFLAGS=-I$HOME/.simon/sphinxbase/include/sphinxbase SphinxBase_LIBS=-L$HOME/.simon/sphinxbase/lib
make install
cd ../

wget http://sourceforge.net/projects/cmusphinx/files/sphinxtrain/1.0.8/sphinxtrain-1.0.8.tar.gz
tar xvf sphinxtrain-1.0.8.tar.gz
cd sphinxtrain-1.0.8/
./configure --prefix=$HOME/.simon/sphinxtrain SphinxBase_CFLAGS=-I$HOME/.simon/sphinxbase/include/sphinxbase SphinxBase_LIBS=-L$HOME/.simon/sphinxbase/lib
make install

I couldn't sort out OpenCV, so this Simon won't be watching you.

Finally, Simon.
wget http://mirrors.mit.edu/kde/stable/simon/0.4.0/src/simon-0.4.0.tar.bz2
tar xvf simon-0.4.0.tar.bz2
mkdir build/
cd build/
cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=~/.simon -DPOCKETSPHINX_LIBRARIES=$HOME/.simon/pocketsphinx/lib/libpocketsphinx.so -DPOCKETSPHINX_INCLUDE_DIR=$HOME/.simon/pocketsphinx/include/ -DSphinxBase_INCLUDE_DIR=$HOME/.simon/sphinxbase/include/ -DSphinxBase_LIBRARY=$HOME/.simon/sphinxbase/lib/libsphinxbase.so -DPJULIUS=$HOME/.simon/julius -DPSPHINX=$HOME/.simon/sphinxbase ../simon-0.4.0/

at which points you should see:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- The following external packages were located on your system. -- This installation will have the extra features provided by these packages. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- * LibSampleRate - Resampling library * KDE PIM Libs - KDE Libraries for PIM * Sphinxbase - Open source toolkit for speech recognition * PocketSphinx - PocketSphinx is a small-footprint continuous speech recognition system ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- The following OPTIONAL packages could NOT be located on your system. -- Consider installing them to enable more features from this software. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- * qaccessibilityclient KDE client-side accessibility library Required to enable ATSPI plugin. * OpenCV OpenCV (Open Source Computer Vision) is a library of programming functions for real time computer vision Required for Simon Vision -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

And now a bit of a hackjob -- we give the sphinx include dirs above, and while it works fine for most include files (they use e.g. sphinxbase/includeme.h), a number of files (prim_type, sphnx_config.h etc.) point towards the wrong directory (e.g. #include ). Two solutions -- either edit the files or put symmlinks where the files are looking. Symmlinks work well for me.

ln -s ~/.simon/sphinxbase/include/sphinxbase/sphinx_config.h ~/.simon/sphinxbase/include/sphinx_config.h
ln -s ~/.simon/pocketsphinx/include/pocketsphinx/pocketsphinx_export.h ~/.simon/pocketsphinx/include/pocketsphinx_export.h
ln -s ~/.simon/pocketsphinx/include/pocketsphinx/cmdln_macro.h ~/.simon/pocketsphinx/include/cmdln_macro.h
ln -s ~/.simon/pocketsphinx/include/pocketsphinx/ps_lattice.h ~/.simon/pocketsphinx/include/ps_lattice.h
ln -s ~/.simon/pocketsphinx/include/pocketsphinx/ps_mllr.h ~/.simon/pocketsphinx/include/ps_mllr.h
ln -s ~/.simon/pocketsphinx/include/pocketsphinx/fsg_set.h ~/.simon/pocketsphinx/include/fsg_set.h

make install
cd ~/.simon/bin
export PATH=$PATH:/$HOME/.simon/julius/bin:$HOME/.simon/sphinxtrain/bin:$HOME/.simon/htk/bin:$HOME/.simon/bin
simond &

I haven't really explored it yet, but here are the first few dialogues:

There's an official video which you may want to watch before you get started:

Stuff that doesn't work: Configure Audio from within simon, Configure Acoustic Model from within Simon
Stuff that does work: speech recognition.

If you set it up 'wrong' the first time around (or it crashed coding samples as above)) and want the wizard to run again, delete all the configuration files:
rm ~/.kde/share/apps/simon* -rf
rm ~/.kde/share/config/simon*

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  1. Thanx very much for describing this, i will just add:

    if you have:
    fatal error: bits/predefs.h
    while compiling HTK install:
    sudo apt-get install libc6-dev-i386


    1. Cheers for pointing that out.

      I've moved the dependencies to the top now -- libc6-dev is pulled in via build-essential, but for some reason I didn't list the dependencies until right before the simon install.

  2. # ./simon
    QDBusConnection: session D-Bus connection created before QCoreApplication. Application may misbehave.
    simon(18537): KUniqueApplication: Cannot find the D-Bus session server: "Did not receive a reply. Possible causes include: the remote application did not send a reply, the message bus security policy blocked the reply, the reply timeout expired, or the network connection was broken."

    simon(18536): KUniqueApplication: Pipe closed unexpectedly.

    1. No idea based on the supplied message. Distro? Release? Desktop?


  3. Excuse my English -> google translator.
    debian-7.1.0-i386-kde-CD-1 install + apt-get upgrade

    Desktop - base KDE-not working , gnome - problem working

    # uname -a
    Linux debian 3.2.0-4-686-pae #1 SMP Debian 3.2.46-1 i686 GNU/Linux

    About d-bus know if you meant this
    # dbus-launch --auto-syntax

    After the installations mentioned Debian I proceeded Anybody step of your manual and after running the command. / Simon I did not start an App of the above message.

    After the command "apt-get install kde-full" mi. / Simon also did not start, and after installing apt-get install gnome mi. / Simon launched but I got only the setting of the error:

    error message is on this page

    1. Not sure why it isn't working -- I've only ever tried under gnome. You might want to post a question on forums.debian.net