Linux Desktop and Phone Integration

We’ve run forward full force in our work to integrate Mycroft with Linux Desktop (and phone) projects. You can check out a short post on the progress we’ve made over on our blog.

Let us know what you think! (Screenshot of the UI creation on Ubuntu phone below).


For those who do not have Linux, there is a cool app called Remote Phone Call. The app is installed on Android phone and once you plug it into computer you can install the PC software thru the smartphone app. Works pretty good.

I don’t know if it works for Mac.

Also, if you are a Tasker user, AutoRemote can also accomplish this if you also do not have Linux.

I wonder who at Canonical, Inc. or Ubuntu volunteers is crazy enough to say that Python3 is too heavy for ARM. I’m running the entire firmware except for audio buffer playback for a powerful music synthesizer keyboard in Python3 on a RasPi 2. I’ve interviewed at Canonical with smart people, so I’m wondering what their excuse is. You could always install it as a dependency from Universe, couldn’t you. While I’m yakking, I don’t see the value of Unity integration, unless it is outright poor using standards-based Open Desktop protocols. I just stay away from Unity. I moved to Mint because I don’t like people hijacking my screen pixels for their branding efforts and unwilling-user-friendliness desires. I’m a major Python guy. Did you see that PyPy put out a new release? I should benchmark it on the Pi.


[quote=“Eirikur, post:3, topic:260, full:true”]
I wonder who at Canonical, Inc. or Ubuntu volunteers is crazy enough to say that Python3 is too heavy for ARM. [/quote]

I work for Canonical, but have no dealings with the desktop or phone development, and wondered about this myself. Well, I maybe not the “crazy” part.

I’m a Python dev too, and I’ve often wondered why Python was not chosen when it is used so heavily throughout the company. They obviously have their reasons - these are some of the smartest people I’ve ever met - it probably comes down to speed on devices (so not necessarily the Pi2, but using it on the phone may be problematic?). They seem to like Go, but I imagine that much work on Mycroft and Adapt has already been done in Python. (I wouldn’t want them to move away from Python anyway).

I see the value of integrating it in every user interface. Unity integration should be first though, what with that being the stretch goal and all.

Personally I find Unity great. I didn’t when it first came out, I must confess, but after their initial convergence announcement, and a few improvements, it all clicked into place (even the name!) and I returned to have another look. Since then, I’ve grown to love it. This was all way before I started working for Canonical.

I really don’t understand this mentality. It’s been made by a team of professional designers and programmers. It looks good, works well, and is free, in all senses of the word. I find it very user-friendly, personally. I don’t think there’s any hijacking going on.

But if you disagree, then that’s fine too.

Think about it, if everyone does the same thing, then there’ll be no variety, no experimentation, no choice. This is all open source. Pick and choose what you like best. Allow others to do the same. You use Mint. Okay, good for you. That benefits or has benefited from the work done on Ubuntu, as Ubuntu benefits from the work done on Debian.

There seem to be a few people who are very vocal in forums - I’m not referring to yourself here - that seem to want to bash Ubuntu just because it’s popular. The more options we have the better. The decent ones survive, the less good ones die off. However, all good ideas from whatever source bleed into the others. Diverse ecosystems tend to be more resilient.

I always meant to ask if they tried using PyPy and if that would be any quicker…?

Still, no matter what, we’re aiming for convergence, so maybe a Python3 SDK will come in time? Maybe there’s enough demand in the community that one will ‘magically’ appear? The only reason for the current ‘restriction’ is due focussing of efforts on providing the best experience out of the gate (Canonical is a small company). If Python is slow on devices for whatever reason, then that would give a bad impression to the end user who won’t buy another one if it’s slow. So they’re focussing their efforts on QML, HTML5, Go… and… I can’t remember now, was there a C++ in there as well? I might have just made that last one up.


Apologies for being arrogant-ish and combative. I know better. It was the rigidity of not being able to hide the panel that caused me to dislike Unity. I can more or less see why Canonical went in that direction what with the focus on phones and tablet.
Personally, I don’t need to be reminded of commands and menu locations so I hide everything and save the screen space. Old Emacs-user mentality.
I want to be a contributing member of this community.

No, no, not at all. Criticism is good - I just don’t like seeing it unrepresented in the forums.

Back to the topic at hand though, I’ll be very interested to find out how @ryanleesipes, et al. do go about integrating it into the phone thoguh. Exciting times…

I know you guys have a relationship with Ubuntu, however I have to wonder if going with Android would have been a better solution. I believe it would have been easier to integrate with more services/platforms.

Ideally, we want to be able to have MyCroft running our home. However we will also want to take MyCroft with us via our phone. I believe having it android and having a Tasker integration would have been an excellent way to go.


1 Like

Or even a Windows platform. After all, it is the worlds most popular computer based platform.

Both would be fantastic to have, but both already have existing Mycroft-a-likes.

I reckon that the best approach would be to get it working with linux, then going back to crowd funding to say “Look at how good this is on Linux - now we want to bring a true free software voice assistant to your platform too. Give us your money” (or words to that effect), but then, I’m biased.


This is the answer I provided for @danjones.

There is no reason for us not to target the Windows platform, and it
will surely get a port of Mycroft. But currently there are over
60,000,000 Linux users with no options in this space. (No Cortana or
Google Now baked into the OS). It allows us to corner an untapped

Also, since the Mycroft device is built on Linux, supporting the
Linux desktop is trivial (when it comes to development time). But I am
interested in supporting Android, iOS and Windows - resources

1 Like

60,000,000 users? I can see your standpoint. You’re right, Linux does not have a dedicated assistant for the platform so yeah, it is smart to go after that.

1 Like

Yeah, it’s not one of those things that is immediately apparent. Also, I think I’m going to try and Email Valve to offer to do their voice control. :smile:

1 Like

Getting steam integration would be amazing. Valve are notoriously aloof though, so whether or not they reply would be another matter.

I wonder if it’s worth suggesting making Mycroft the platform on which to build something like VoiceAttack? I’ve never used it myself, but I’ve been watching loads of Elite Dangerous videos in the hope that someone might one day mention a linux port and I keep coming across references to it. If Steam had it’s own (cross-platform) version of that, I think a lot of people would like it - and now that Valve have begun to embrace FOSS, they might want to use an existing solution. That’d be a great way to get more developers involved.

1 Like

Very cool, I’d not seen VoiceAttack. Cool, yeah, I doubt I’ll hear back from Valve, but it would be awesome.

We’ve got SteamVR and Mycroft… all we need now is an Exoskeleton and we’ll have our very own open source Iron Man - what that? Too geeky, you say? Oh, um, never mind then…


:slight_smile: This has been at the forefront of my mind. I will be Iron Man.


Well, more like Raspberry Pi Man :smiley:


A slightly more obtainable goal might be to get the Kodi (formally XBMC) devs interested in integrating Mycroft? (They’ve even called their latest version Jarvis)

1 Like

Kodi is quite modular by itself and has whole repository of addons/programs, so there is no need to wait for their approval of integration.
Mycroft addon could be made as proof of concept and demonstrated to Kodi devs in working state. Would probably quite increase chances of them being impressed and willing to integrate Mycroft into Kodi.

I think Mycroft could be useful on SteamOS as well. I always found big picture mode a bit clunky, so being able to do things like search for games in the store/library and launching them with just your voice would be great.