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How to use the open-source Almond assistant on Linux

Almond is an open-source, assistant for the web, mobile devices, and Linux. It was created to offer users a smart tool that can assist them with various tasks while still preserving their privacy.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to install and set up Almond on your Linux PC. We’ll also go over how to use the app and all of its functions and features.

Installing the Almond app on Linux

To interact with the Almond assistant on your Linux PC, you must first install the Almond 4 Gnome application. Luckily, this app is very easy to install. The installation is done through Flatpak.

As Almond 4 Gnome is installable through Flatpak, you must have the Flatpak runtime enabled and installed on your Linux PC. To install the Flatpak runtime, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, using the package manager you have on your Linux PC, install the “flatpak” package.

Note: having issues installing the “flatpak” package on your Linux PC? Don’t worry! We can help! Follow our in-depth guide on how to install the Flatpak runtime to get everything going!

Once you’ve gotten the Flatpak runtime up and running on your Linux PC, you must now add support for the Flathub application store, as it has the Almond 4 Gnome app in its software sources.

To add the Flathub application store to your Linux PC, use the flatpak remote-add command below. Keep in mind that this command must be run with sudo; otherwise, your system may reject it!

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

After running the flatpak remote-add command, your Linux PC is subscribed to the Flathub app store. The hard part is over. Now all that is left is to install the Almond 4 Gnome application. To do this, enter the flatpak install command below. Again, be sure to run this command with sudo.

flatpak install flathub edu.stanford.Almond

Once the flatpak install command above finishes, you will have the Almond 4 Gnome app installed.

Almond 4 Gnome source-code

For most Linux users, the Flatpak release of Almond 4 Gnome will work just fine, as the Flatpak protocol is supported by 95% of modern Linux operating systems. However, if you are running an OS that does not support Flatpak, you will need to build the program from source.

In this guide, we will not go into detail on how to build the app. However, if you want to build it, instructions are on GitHub.

How to use the open-source Almond assistant

The Almond assistant works a little differently from other assistants you may be familiar with. Instead of talking to it with your voice like Siri, Alexa, or Google, the primary way Almond is communicated with is via text.

To use the Almond assistant, start by opening up Almond 4 Gnome on the desktop. To open up the app, search your desktop’s application menu for it. Alternatively, run the following Flatpak command in a terminal window.

flatpak run edu.stanford.Almond

With Almond 4 Gnome open, let’s go over how to use the assistant. To start, locate the text box in Almond 4 Gnome, and click on it with the mouse. Then, type “what can you do” into the text box and press the Enter key.

Upon asking Almond, “what can you do,” it will display a list of categories. These categories are Media, Social Networks, Home, Communication, Services, and Data Management.

Select one of the categories available with the mouse. Then, look through the sub-categories that Almond gives you to choose from. For example, if you select “Media,” you can select “CNN News” to get top stories on the CNN website.

After executing a command through “what can you do,” you can ask Almond the same question to view the categories once more.

Almond operations

Asking Almond “what can you do” is pretty useful as it gives you a list of common things to do with it. However, Almond operates with a command syntax, so it’s important we go over what those commands are. In the list below are all of the commands you can use with the Almond assistant in Almond 4 Gnome.

  • GET: a screenshot of my laptop
  • GET: take a screenshot of my laptop
  • GET: save a screenshot of my laptop
  • DO: open ____ (app id)
  • DO: open ____ (app id) on my laptop
  • DO: open ____ (app id) on my pc
  • DO: start ____ (app id)
  • DO: open ____ (url) with ____ (app id)
  • DO: open ____ (url) with ____ (app id) on my laptop
  • DO: use ____ (app id) to open ____ (url)
  • DO: lock my pc
  • DO: lock my laptop
  • DO: activate the lock screen on my laptop
  • DO: turn ____ (power) my pc
  • DO: turn ____ (power) my laptop
  • DO: create a file named ____ (file name) on my laptop
  • DO: create a file named ____ (file name) on my laptop containing ____ (contents)
  • DO: delete ____ (file name) from my laptop
  • DO: delete the file named ____ (file name) from my laptop
  • DO: change the background on my laptop
  • DO: set the background of my laptop to ____ (picture url)
  • DO: use ____ (picture url) as the background of my laptop
  • DO: delete a file from my laptop

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