Skip to main content

Learn how to build your own Amazon Echo

alexa on raspberry pi best home product 2015 amazon echo
Love Alexa, but don’t love the aesthetics of the Amazon Echo? You’re in luck. Thanks to the genius of collaborative thinking over at GitHub, there’s now a full set of instructions on how to get Alexa to work on naught more than a Raspberry Pi. Sure, one of these miniature computers isn’t quite as sleek (to most people) as Alexa’s original body, but to each their own.

Surprisingly enough, the tools required to bring Alexa to life don’t seem to be all that complicated — you’ll need a Raspberry Pi 2 and a USB microphone for starters, but otherwise, the equipment is relatively basic. Got an Ethernet cable? Great. A micro-SD card? Even better. And if not, don’t worry. The instructions link out to the Amazon page where you can purchase these items.

While other DIY hacks for building an Amazon Echo have floated around the Web before, this may be the most comprehensive and detailed guide to date (probably because it comes from the horse’s mouth — Amazon itself). With a full list of hardware and extensive directions on everything from getting started, to installing the VLC media player, to registering for an Amazon developer account, you can rest assured that your hand will be held throughout this entire, very cool process.

Of course, we should note that this homegrown version of the Echo won’t be triggered by any of the classic cue words — rather, you’ll have to press a button to tell Alexa you’re talking to her. But hey, if someone wants to figure out how to get around that and open source it as well, that would be great.

So if you’re looking for a project over this Easter weekend, consider building your own Amazon Echo. At the very least, it’ll be like creating another friend to talk to.

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
Amazon brings Matter support to 17 Echo devices
Echo Show 15 with base.

Amazon has officially rolled out Matter support to a wide variety of devices, including 17 Echo products, as well as smart plugs, light bulbs, and switches. The company says that this is only “phase one” of the rollout, with Matter heading to even more smart home gadgets in 2023.

According to Amazon, this phased rollout will allow the team to bring Matter support to the most popular devices on the market while ensuring the platform remains stable. The list of products included in phase one is quite extensive and encapsulates some of the most popular products on the market. Echo devices were the primary target of the rollout. Here’s a look at every Echo device that now supports Matter:

Read more
The best Amazon Echo tips and tricks
Echo 4th Gen on table.

Amazon Echo devices are some of the most popular smart home hubs on the market. These feature-rich, Alexa-powered smart speakers can do it all -- from playing music and dimming your lights to controlling your home security system and checking your calendar, Alexa makes it easy to automate your daily tasks.

While most Echo users know the basics, there are a lot of incredible features that are hidden below the surface. That’s why we’ve put together this guide. Read on to uncover some impressive features across the Echo lineup and make full use of its versatility.
Change Alexa's name or create a nickname for her to call you
Once you've got your Alexa device up and running on your Wi-Fi network, there are still a few more things you might want to do before diving in, so be sure to head over to or download the accompanying smartphone app.

Read more
Which Amazon Echo should you buy?
The Echo Dot Kids Owl and Dragon designs on a table.

If you’re a fan of Alexa’s gentle tones and like using voice commands around your home -- including setting up smart routines or enabling Alexa Guard for some extra safety while you’re away -- then you may be thinking about getting an Amazon Echo smart speaker. Or maybe you want to give an Amazon Show to a family member or friend to make it easier to communicate with them. But what should you get?

There are quite a few Amazon Echo models available, with more arriving all the time, so we know it can be confusing to figure out the latest models and which may be the right pick. Don’t worry, our guide is here to help with the best and newest Echos available, along with who they’re suited for.
Echo 4th-generation

Read more