Dragon Naturally Speaking

Application Details:

Version: 10
License: Retail
Votes: Marked as obsolete
Latest Rating: Bronze
Latest Wine Version Tested: 1.8.2

Maintainers: About Maintainership

Test Results

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Selected Test Results

What works

Installs from CD

Runs with compiled release version of wine 1.1.30.

Works using "alsa" sound in winecfg, (provided alsa-plugins-pulseaudio.i686 is installed)

Accuracy training now works!

Menus now work and no longer collapse with errors.

What does not

Dostro package wine-1.1.31 for x86_64 failed with a stack overflow. I downloaded wine version 1.1-35 from the git repository and compiled it as a distro package. It also failed. It turns out that the distro installs both x86_64 and i586 versions and the Dragon installer gets confused and tries to run the 64 bit installer. After removing the x86_64 version rpms with yum, it worked fine.

OSS did not work for me. Fedora 11+ disables OSS in /etc/modprobe.d/dist-oss.conf

It can be enabled, but then the Fedora desktop sounds quit working and you can't do other things like play music while you dictate. (wine takes exclusive control of the OSS sound)

I am not sure if this helped anything, but during the process of getting this to work Fedora 11 barked out a lot of SELinux errors relating to mmap(0), see fix at

Even after these changes, the first time installing failed to move the temporary directories and complete the install. A repair install of Dragon Naturally Speaking fixed it. Make sure to un-check the box that says, well I forget what it says, but it's the only box that can be checked during the install.

Complains about missing REGAPI.dll, WINSTA.dll (needed by wfapi.dll)

"Spell that" returns a COM error code: RPC_S_INTERNAL_ERROR, 1766 and the Spell window comes up with blank controls, refuses to close afterwards.


What was not tested

Everything else seems to work good. I did not install the tutorial, so I'm not sure if it works or not.

Hardware tested


  • GPU:
  • Driver:

Additional Comments

selected in Test Results table below
Operating systemTest dateWine versionInstalls?Runs?Used
ShowUbuntu 13.10 "Saucy" i386 (+ variants like Kubuntu)Apr 14 20161.8.2Yes Yes BronzeOlivier Ernst 
ShowUbuntu 14.04 "Trusty" amd64 (+ variants like Kubuntu)Apr 19 20141.6.2No, but has workaround Yes Bronzean anonymous user 
ShowUbuntu 12.04 "Precise" amd64 (+ variants like Kubuntu)Jul 05 20121.5.7No Not installable GarbageNarcis Garcia 
ShowUbuntu 11.04 "Natty" i386 (+ variants like Kubuntu)Jul 04 20121.5.7Yes Yes GoldNarcis Garcia 
ShowUbuntu 13.10 "Saucy" amd64 (+ variants like Kubuntu)Apr 04 20141.4.1Yes Yes Goldan anonymous user 

Known Bugs

Bug # Description Status Resolution Other apps affected

Show all bugs

HowTo / Notes

Mike setup

There are more complete installation and setup notes on the version 7 entry, many of which will also apply to v10 though expect some differences due to changes in WINE as well as DNS. 

 This should however be a useful reference.

How to install Wine with pulse audio

 The following notes were contributed by Gurdil to set up DNS 10 and Wine to work with Pulse Audio on *buntu . Not tested elsewhere but may well have broader application.

padsp command is the key and is pulse audio specific.

1. wget

sh winetricks fontfix fontsmooth-gray gecko sound=oss gdiplus

2. Insert the installation CD then copy contents to the hard disk, ~/DNS for example

3. cd ~/DNS/issetupprerequisites, run "wine vcruntime.exe"

4. cd ~/DNS and run "wine setup". Proceed with the installation. At the end choose to register with printing something

5. run "padsp winecfg". Go to audio and choose alsa.

6. run DNS with: "padsp wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Nuance/NaturallySpeaking10/Program/natspeak.exe" If it crashes, run it again.

7. Now it should work. If it does not detect your microphome (or explains that sound is too low), try to configure your input device (menu>sound and video>pulse audio control)

as of wine-1.3.19, stability has improved

Some editing commands work in notepad, and the recognition is still almost as fast as in DictationBox. For right now, I recommend dictating directly into Notepad.

The program no longer freezes when using Notepad. It sometimes still does after using DictationBox extensively. For instance, I dictate 4-6 paragraphs at a time, and after about the third session of that, the program sometimes behaves strangely. Usually what happens first is that the command "Transfer" does not drop text automatically into the other program.

Solution, just go to the other application -- be it wine or Linux -- and hit CTL-V and the text will drop.

Interesting note, unrelated to Wine... Dictation accuracy changes when switching from Notepad to DictationBox. Usually drops a bit at first.


These instructions are primarily for Ubuntu / Debian but should be helpful to other distros. 

In terminal:


sh winetricks fontfix fontsmooth-gray gecko sound=oss

(also add gdiplus if you want a prettier DragonBar.)


(in winecfg, go to audio tab and check oss driver only, then bump the default sample rate to 48000)

navigate to CD rom and type

wine setup

When evaluating install-menu options, remember that the program will need to run simply. Disable options that require searching your hard drive, automatic updating, sending data to Nuance, etc. Don't install or enable training.

The way to get fast, accurate dictation is to use Notepad or DictationBox. DragonPad works and has some extra commands but it is not as fast. It also has some quirks. Default font cannot be changed, for instance.

Once you have the program up and running, you should be able to use Dictation Box, say "Transfer that" and then use CTL-V to paste into any running Linux application. To enable this feature, open Dictation Box / Settings, and check the box to keep transferred text on the clipboard.

Note: I compiled wine from git using ./configure --enable-win64 and NatSpeak ran just fine. (However, check your Natspeak version. Only 10.1 is 64-bit enabled.)

Additional Instructions:

As of 10.10 Ubuntu, pulseaudio is enabled by default. I have not had luck getting wine programs running with pulse. To disable it, edit /etc/pulse/client.conf to change # autospawn = yes to autospawn = no.

Then System/preferences/startup applications, uncheck everything that says pulse. Then reboot.

If you want to use a USB device, this must be set as the default device. So add to your home directory a file called .asoundrc that contains the following text. (This assumes that you have only two devices, that card 0 is your on-board and card 1 is your usb.)

pcm.!default {
    type hw
    card 1
ctl.!default {
    type hw
    card 1

WARNING -- As of 22 December 2009

It is my experience that the Nuance licensing daemon now counts each new version of wine as a "new operating system." Upgrades between, say Ubuntu Karmic and Ubuntu Lucid, also use up a license. And you also lose a license when you have NatSpeak installed twice on the same computer.

I had been installing test versions daily, always on the same machine, always using the latest wine git, and now can no longer do so. So new users may not want to install or test casually. 

Note: Changing the Windows Version in winecfg counts as an operating system upgrade. For this reason, it is recommended to install DNS10 under an alternate $WINEPREFIX and leave it alone. Nuance recommends un-installing the software with an active internet connection before upgrading. This is supposed to prevent the activation count from incrementing. The "active internet connection" seems to require the optional winbind (samba-winbind) package available through your distro. If the license loss continues after un-installation, bug report it.