Installing OVOS

The OVOS ecosystem is very modular, depending on where you are running ovos-core you may want to run only a subset of the services.

By default ovos-core only installs the minimum components common to all services, for the purposes of this document we will assume you want a full install with a GUI.

NOTE The GUI requires separate packages in addition to what is required by ovos-core. The GUI installation is covered in its own section.

Host system

OVOS requires some system dependencies, how to do this will depend on your distro.

Ubuntu/Debian based images.

sudo apt install build-essential python3-dev python3-pip swig libssl-dev libfann-dev portaudio19-dev libpulse-dev

A few packages are not necessary, but are needed to install from source and may be required for some plugins. To add these packages run this command.

sudo apt install git libpulse-dev cmake libncurses-dev pulseaudio-utils pulseaudio

NOTE: MycroftAI's does not exist in OVOS-core. See the community provided, WIP, manual_user_install for a minimal, almost, replacement.

Get started

We suggest you do this in a virtualenv.

Create and activate the virtual environment.

python -m venv .venv
. .venv/bin/activate

Update pip and install wheel

pip install -U pip wheel

From PyPi


To install a full OVOS software stack with enough skills and plugins to have a working system, the OVOS team includes a subset of packages that can be installed automatically with pip.

It is recommended to use the latest alpha versions until the 0.1.0 release as it contains all of the latest bug fixes and improvements.

latest stable

ovos-core 0.0.7 does not include the new extras [mycroft] so we use [all].

pip install ovos-core[all]

alpha version

pip install --pre ovos-core[mycroft]

This should install everything needed for a basic OVOS software stack.

There are additional extras options available other than [mycroft] and can be found in the ovos-core file.

Starting OVOS

Individual Modules

Each module can be installed independently to only include the parts needed or wanted for a specific system.


pip install --pre ovos-core

Starting Modules - core


pip install --pre ovos-messagebus

Starting Modules - messagebus


pip install --pre ovos-audio

Starting Modules - audio


pip install --pre ovos-dinkum-listener

Starting Modules - listener


pip install --pre ovos-phal

Starting Modules - phal

From Source

We will use git to clone the repositories to a local directory. While not specifically necessary, we are assuming this to be the users HOME directory.


Install ovos-core from github source files.

git clone

The ovos-core repository provides extra requirements files. For the complete stack, we will use the mycroft.txt file.

pip install ~/ovos-core[mycroft]

This should install everything needed to use the basic OVOS software stack.

NOTE this also installs lgpl licenced software.

Starting OVOS

Install individual modules

Some systems may not require a full install of OVOS. Luckily, it can be installed as individual modules.

core library

git clone

pip install ~/ovos-core

This is the minimal library needed as the brain of the system. There are no skills, no messagebus, and no plugins installed yet.

Starting Core


git clone

pip install ~/ovos-messagebus

This is the nervous system of OVOS needed for modules to talk to each other.

Starting the Messagebus


OVOS has updated their listener to use ovos-dinkum-listener instead of ovos-listener. It is code from mycroft-dinkum adopted for use with the OVOS ecosystem. Previous listeners are still available, but not recommended.

git clone

pip install ~/ovos-dinkum-listener

You now have what is needed for OVOS to use a microphone and its associated services, WakeWords, HotWords, and STT

Starting the listener


The OVOS Plugin based Hardware Abstraction Layer is what is used to allow the OVOS software to communicate with hardware devices such as the operating system or interacting with the Mycroft Mark 1 device.

The PHAL system consists of two interfaces.

ovos-phal is the basic interface that normal plugins would use.

ovos-admin-phal is used where superuser privileges are needed.

Be extremely careful when installing admin-phal plugins as they provide full control over the host system.

git clone

pip install ~/ovos-PHAL

This just installs the basic system that allows the plugins to work.

Starting PHAL


This is the service that is used by OVOS to play all of the audio. It can be a voice response, or a stream from somewhere such as music, or a podcast.

It also installs OVOS Common Play which can be used as a standalone media player and is required for OVOS audio playback.

git clone

pip install ~/ovos-audio

This will enable the default TTS (Text To Speech) engine for voice feedback from your OVOS device. However, plenty of alternative TTS engines are available.

Starting Audio

You now should have all of the separate components needed to run a full OVOS software stack.

Starting the OVOS software stack