I'm having trouble getting sound out of Ubuntu. Some article advised to enable the "speech dispatcher" from /etc/default/speech-dispatcher. What is it? What does it do? Any ideas?

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    What sounds are you having trouble with: alerts, music, etc.? text to speech certainly wont work without any sound, but if that's not what you are trying, it really shouldn't be needed. – ubfan1 Feb 23 '15 at 22:24
  • If it did that would be a circular dependency, right? Maybe the person who told you just missed the words 'required by' and thought it was the other way around. I guess we can't rule out the possibility that the speech dispatcher is in one hell of a cover band... – John P Jan 22 '18 at 3:00

It's a daemon that programs can use to output speech, without caring about the actual speech synthesis software required for the language.

Project homepage is http://devel.freebsoft.org/speechd

You can use it with spd-say:

$ spd-say Hello!
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    Note: Chromium and orca requires espeak, which uses this dispatcher. This was the reason why I had it running. – Tamás Barta Jun 23 '16 at 10:08
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    To get the spd-say tool associated with speech-dispatcher, you may need to install a subpackage like speech-dispatcher-utils (Fedora 24). – dfarrell07 Dec 13 '16 at 18:23
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    Can I remove it? – TiTAN Mar 5 '20 at 16:35

From the speech-dispatcher man pages:

       speech-dispatcher  is  a  server process that is responsible for trans‐
       forming requests for text-to-speech output into actual speech  hearable
       in the speakers. It arbitrates concurrent speech requests based on mes‐
       sage priorities, and abstracts different  speech  synthesizers.  Client
       programs,  like  screen  readers  or  navigation  software, send speech
       requests to speech-dispatcher using TCP  protocol  (with  the  help  of
       client  libraries).  speech-dispatcher is usually started automatically
       by client libraries (i.e. autospawn), so you only need to run it  manu‐
       ally if testing/debugging, or when in other explicit need for a special

Unless you already modified your system settings, the spd should already be started automatically.

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