WeSay is available for older versions of the Linux Ubuntu distribution, Lucid being the most recent. There are two releases available, wesay-stable and wesay. The wesay release is our development release that has our latest features, but may have more issues as we are actively working on it. wesay-stable will have less features, but may be more reliable.

Before you use it, you need to know that there are some features in the Windows version that are not present in the Linux version! So be sure to check out our WeSay Known Issues below before you start.

WeSay Linux Install


We are currently preparing WeSay 1.1 packages for Ubuntu. Until then there are no packages available for that version.

Installing WeSay on Ubuntu Linux (Lucid) – Long Term Stable Release

1 . Add the following lines to /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb http://packages.sil.org/ubuntu lucid main
deb http://packages.palaso.org/ubuntu lucid main
deb-src http://packages.palaso.org/ubuntu lucid main

2 . Add the repository security key:

wget http://packages.palaso.org/ubuntu/palaso_pub.key -O- | sudo apt-key add –

3 . Update your package list:

sudo apt-get update

4 . Install WeSay:

sudo apt-get install wesay

This will install menu items under Application | Office.

WeSay Linux Known Issues

There are some issues with WeSay on Linux. You can see a full list of known issues here.

Major Features Not Working

The following major features present in the Windows version of WeSay are not yet working on WeSay for Linux.

  • Display of Non-Roman scripts.
  • Audio recording.
  • Dictionary preview direct to PDF (though print direct to OpenOffice is available).
  • There are issues with copy and paste for characters outside the ASCII range.

Current Linux progress

You can see the latest progress on our Trello board.

WeSay Linux Short-Term Plan

  • Release beta packages for WeSay 1.1
  • Fix some of the Linux specific bugs listed in the WeSay bug tracker.

WeSay Linux Medium-Term Plan

  • Add audio support
  • Add support for non roman scripts via Pango / Graphite

Contributing to WeSay

We welcome patches and contributions from the community.
If you are a developer and would like to get started with WeSay on Linux, you may find our Developer Notes useful.

Linux Email Setup for bug reporting

WeSay uses the default email client setup on your system. This allows you to send email however you choose, using whatever email client you choose. Further, it allows WeSay to queue an email in your ‘outbox’ so that it can be sent later if you are not currently connected to the internet.


Ubuntu comes with the email program ‘Evolution’ as a standard feature. It is setup as the default email client automatically. You should not need to change any settings if you are using Evolution for email.


Thunderbird is another popular email client for Ubuntu. After installation however, it is not automatically set to be the default email client. You will need to change it in your preferences as described below.

How to Change the Default Email Client

  1. Select System | Preferences | Preferred Applications.
  2. Choose your preferred mail reader from the Mail Reader section of the Internet tab.

If you are a tester, you can check out Testers Notes on the latest WeSay builds.