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mbrola is a non-free phonemes-to-audio[dead link 2017-08-28] program to use with text-to-speech applications. It is free to use for non-commercial, non-military applications.


Install the mbrolaAUR package.

Add voices

Packages named mbrola-voices-xxx are available in the AUR

Note: these packages have been built by a script so if something is wrong, please leave a comment for the package maintainer.


Once you have installed the wanted voice(s) go to the directory of the installed language:

$ cd /usr/share/mbrola/us1/

then list the test files:

$ ls TEST/

If there are no test files for this language, try with another language or skip to #Install a text-to-phonemes program.

Else choose a test file (files with .pho extension) and try:

$ mbrola ./us1 ./TEST/mbrola.pho ~/test.wav; aplay ~/test.wav; rm ~/test.wav

If the installation worked ok, you should hear the voice now.

Note that we this test did not give a text file to mbrola but a phoneme file. To make it a text-to-speech system, see below.

Install a text-to-phonemes program

To obtain a full TTS system we need a text-to-phonemes program compatible with mbrola: List of TTS programs compatible with mbrola.


LLiaPhon is a TTS program which uses mbrola.

Install lliaphonAUR[broken link: archived in aur-mirror].

Once you installed both, try this command:

$ export MBROLA_VOICE=/usr/share/mbrola/us1/us1;echo "That is a test."|lliaphon|play_ola