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Mirror Voice Commands with Google Assistant


Activating and configuring the MMM-GoogleAssistant and MMM-Detector modules on a MagicMirror can enable the use of recipes to control MagicMirror with voice commands using Google Assistant.

Google Assistant voice control of MagicMirror utilizes a command line interface that issues commands to the MagicMirror system. The shell command is executed by a MagicMirror module without the need for SSH.

To utilize this method of MagicMirror voice control it is necessary to get a voice assistant working then create voice triggers in that assistant that activate a corresponding action which executes a MirrorCommand command.

I will describe in detail this method for voice control of MagicMirror using Google Assistant and the setup precedure required.

Table of Contents

  1. Google Assistant Requirements
  2. Google Assistant Setup
  3. Google Assistant MagicMirror Control Setup
  4. MirrorCommand Setup
  5. MirrorCommand Installation
    1. Pre Installation
    2. Debian Package installation
    3. RPM Package installation
    4. ALSA audio input and output devices configuration
  6. Post installation configuration
  7. MagicMirror Configuration
  8. Activate MagicMirror Voice Control
  9. References

Google Assistant Requirements

This method for voice control of MagicMirror requires a MagicMirror with the MMM-GoogleAssistant and MMM-Detector modules activated and configured properly. Setup for this method is considerably more difficult but once accomplished results in a superior quality setup with far more ease and flexibility of use. The Siri setup requires SSH and the Apple Shortcuts are more difficult to setup and maintain than the Google Assistant voice recipes. However, Apple Shortcuts do offer advantages over Google Assistant, especially in a noisy environment where voice commands may be unreliable. I use both.

To get started with a MagicMirror installation, see the MagicMirror Documentation. Alternately, and preferably, install the MirrorCommand package which performs an automated installation and configuration of MagicMirror along with required modules.

Google Assistant Setup

If you have a MagicMirror with a microphone then you can setup Google Assistant by following the instructions at the MMM-GoogleAssistant wiki. This setup is not simple as it requires a Google Project with Actions and OAuth credentials. However, I found this 12 year old girl on YouTube who did it and so I figured I could too. It turns out I could so you probably can too.

MMM-GoogleAssistant requires MMM-Detector which can also be setup and configured following the instructins at the MMM-Detector wiki.

Google Assistant MagicMirror Control Setup

After activating and configuring MMM-GoogleAssistant and MMM-Detector it is now time to tackle setting up MagicMirror control with Google Assistant. Test the initial MMM-GoogleAssistant setup by saying something like “Hey Google” or “OK Google” or “Computer” or whatever your MMM-Detector “Model” setting is. MMM-Detector should wake up and listen. Then say something like “What time is it” and verify that you get a response from Google Assistant. It it’s working we can proceed.

MirrorCommand Setup

Voice control of MagicMirror as described in this document requires the use of a command line interface to issue the MagicMirror commands. This is accomplished with the MirrorCommand package which contains a shell command that acts as a frontend to various MagicMirror and system functions.

See the MirrorCommand README for an overview of this package and documentation on its installation, configuration, and use.

Many Google Assistant voice triggers are preconfigured as MMM-GoogleAssistant recipes in the MirrorCommand package.

NOTE: The MirrorCommand installation will install MagicMirror and required modules if you have not already installed MagicMirror. This automated installation and configuration of MagicMirror and modules is the preferred installation procedure.

MirrorCommand Installation

MirrorCommand v2.0.0 and later can be installed on Linux and Raspberry Pi systems using either the Debian packaging format or the Red Hat Package Manager (RPM).

Pre Installation

XHOST: The automated configuration requires access to some X11 graphical utilities. Depending upon your system’s X11 configuration, it may be necessary to grant the root user access to the display. To do so, prior to installation issue the command:

xhost +si:localuser:root

or grant everyone access with

xhost +

Debian Package installation

Many Linux and Raspberry Pi distributions, most notably Ubuntu and its derivatives, use the Debian packaging system.

To tell if a system is Debian based it is usually sufficient to check for the existence of the file /etc/debian_version and/or examine the contents of the file /etc/os-release.

To install on a Debian based system, download the latest Debian format package from the MirrorCommand Releases.

Install the MirrorCommand package by executing the command

sudo apt install ./MirrorCommand_<version>-<release>.deb


sudo dpkg -i ./MirrorCommand_<version>-<release>.deb

RPM Package installation

Red Hat Linux, SUSE Linux, and their derivatives use the RPM packaging format. RPM based Linux distributions include Fedora, AlmaLinux, CentOS, openSUSE, OpenMandriva, Mandrake Linux, Red Hat Linux, and Oracle Linux.

To install on an RPM based Linux system, download the latest RPM format package from the MirrorCommand Releases.

Install the MirrorCommand package by executing the command

sudo yum localinstall ./MirrorCommand_<version>-<release>.rpm


sudo rpm -i ./MirrorCommand_<version>-<release>.rpm

ALSA audio input and output devices configuration

The MirrorCommand installation attempts to detect and configure ALSA audio input and output devices such as a microphone, webcam, or DAC.

The installation process will modify /etc/asound.conf if it detects audio devices incorrectly configured. No changes are made to individual users’ .asoundrc in their home directories. If you wish to override the settings configured by the set_asound_conf command, you can do so by creating an .asoundrc file in your home directory and managing the ALSA audio device settings there.

To reconfigure the /etc/asound.conf ALSA audio configuration file, issue the command:

sudo /usr/local/bin/set_asound_conf

Post installation configuration

The MirrorCommand installation process cannot automatically configure your private keys which are used to access various services the MagicMirror utilizes. For example, you may have private keys to access a weather service, Telegram, Google services, or the MMM-Remote-Control module.

Before you can use the MirrorCommand utilites and config files you will need to add any keys you wish to use to the appropriate config files and utilities.

Add keys to mirrorkeys

Don’t Panic! The MirrorCommand package includes utilities to add and remove private keys. To do so:

Edit the file /usr/local/MirrorCommand/etc/mirrorkeys adding the keys you have previously generated/retrieved to each of the ‘keys[FOO]’ settings with corresponding ‘dumb[FOO]’ setting, leaving the ‘dumb[FOO]’ setting as-is

Add the keys you wish to set and leave those you do not wish to set empty

After adding your keys, execute the command


The showkeys command will read the mirrorkeys file and edit the appropriate configuration files in /usr/local/MirrorCommand containing the placeholder dummy settings.

For more info on the showkeys command and the /usr/local/MirrorCommand/etc/mirrorkeys configuration file, see the man pages [showkeys.1](https://gitlab.com/doctorfree/MirrorCommand/-/wikis/showkeys.1){:target="_blank"}{:rel="noopener noreferrer"} and [mirrorkeys.5](https://gitlab.com/doctorfree/MirrorCommand/-/wikis/mirrorkeys.5){:target="_blank"}{:rel="noopener noreferrer"} by executing the man command:

man showkeys

man 5 mirrorkeys

Unfortunately, it is not possible to automate this process any further than is done here with the showkeys command and mirrorkeys configuration file. There are nearly 40 preconfigured dummy key values and corresponding empty keys settings in the distributed /usr/local/MirrorCommand/etc/mirrorkeys file. It is a tedious task to acquire all these keys but that is the state of the art in 21st Century Internet services at this time. On the plus side, all of these services can be obtained without charge. Perhaps in the future some enterprising young entrepreneur will create a meta-service that can generate keys for the myriad of services available via the web.

It is strongly recommended that you take the time to acquire those keys you will need to access the services your MagicMirror will be activating prior to or immediate following installation of the MirrorCommand package. It is not necessary to obtain keys for all of the services, only those you may use. For example, you may intend to deploy a MagicMirror as a News, Weather, and Stock tracking display. In that case, the only keys you may need to acquire might be an OpenWeather API key, Dark Sky API key, IEX Cloud API key, and CoinMarketCap API key. Leaving all other key settings blank in the mirrorkeys file will not effect display of activated and configured services - it simply does not enable access to those services you do not use.

Configure mirror script

Edit the main MagicMirror management script, /usr/local/MirrorCommand/bin/mirror, setting:

  • Location of your MagicMirror installation
  • IP address of your MagicMirror
  • Port for your MMM-Remote-Control module
  • MMM-Remote-Control API Key (this is configured by showkeys above)
  • Configuration subdirectories

Defaults for these are:

  • MM=”${HOME}/MagicMirror”
  • IP=”MM.M.M.MM”
  • PORT=”8080”
  • apikey=”xxx_Remote-Control-API-Key_xxxxx”
  • CONF_SUBDIRS=”Artists JAV Models Photographers”

In most cases you will only need to set the MMM-Remote-Control API key. The IP setting should have been configured properly during installation and the MMM-Remote-Control API key is set by the showkeys command after the mirrorkeys file has been configured with the API key.

If you have not configured an API key for MagicMirror remote control then set the apikey to blank ( apikey= ).

Rerun initialization scripts

The MirrorCommand installation process attempts to configure the audio and video display settings of the system. These configuration scripts can be rerun post-installation if reconfiguration is desired. For example, if the installation was performed in the absence of a running X server then the video display settings may be incorrect. Or, if the audio settings changed due to the addition of a USB audio device after installation then the audio settings may need to be re-initialized.

To perform these adjustments post-installation rerun the initialization scripts.

To adjust the video display settings, execute the command:


The set_mirror_screens command will prompt for the display mode, Portrait or Landscape, and configure the file /usr/local/MirrorCommand/etc/mirrorscreen. This command should be run when the display setup changes. For example, if an additional monitor is added to the system or the existing monitor is upgraded with a higher resolution or display mode.

To adjust the audio input/output settings, execute the command:

sudo /usr/local/bin/set_asound_conf -e

The set_asound_conf command will provide a dialog to select the desired audio output and input devices and configure the file /etc/asound.conf. This command should be run when the audio setup changes. For example, if an audio USB device is added to the system or you wish to change configured audio input/output devices. This command can also be used to check the current configuration with sudo set_asound_conf -c, restore the original configuration with sudo set_asound_conf -r, and select a configuration for you with sudo set_asound_conf -e -n. See set_asound_conf -u for a full usage message.

MagicMirror Configuration

MagicMirror with the MirrorCommand package uses config files in /usr/local/MagicMirror/config/ to control the behavior of the MagicMirror. The MirrorCommand package installs many preconfigured MagicMirror config files, many of which already have MMM-GoogleAssistant and MMM-Detector preconfigured. One of these, /usr/local/MagicMirror/config/config-default.js can be used as a guide and example of how to setup a MagicMirror config file for use with Google Assistant voice control.

In config-default.js see the recipes: section and note the inclusion of the MirrorCommand.js recipe. Include this Google Assistant recipe in your MagicMirror config file to enable the preconfigured MagicMirror voice commands.

Activate MagicMirror Voice Control

Once a MagicMirror config file has been created with the MirrorCommand.js Google Assistant recipe included in the recipes: section of the MMM-GoogleAssistant module, activate MagicMirror voice control via the command line. Assuming the MagicMirror config file you wish to activate is /usr/local/MagicMirror/config/config-default.js, execute the command:

mirror default

This should copy the config-default.js file into config.js and start MagicMirror using this config file. If startup is successful the preconfigured MagicMirror voice commands should be available. These voice commands include:

  • “mirror restart”
  • “mirror rotate inverted”
  • “mirror rotate normal”
  • “mirror rotate right”
  • “mirror rotate left”
  • “mirror screen off”
  • “mirror screen on”
  • “screen onescreen 1mirror screen onemirror screen 1”
  • “screen twoscreen 2mirror screen twomirror screen 2”
  • “screen switchswitch screensmirror screen switchswitch screen”
  • “mirror stop”
  • “mirror sound off”
  • “mirror mute”
  • “mirror sound on”
  • “mirror unmute”
  • “mirror art”
  • “mirror cal”
  • “mirror candy”
  • “mirror crypto”
  • “mirror default”
  • “mirror fractals”
  • “mirror gif”
  • “mirror frame”
  • “mirror nature”
  • “mirror network”
  • “mirror news”
  • “mirror owls”
  • “mirror portal”
  • “mirror radar”
  • “mirror rune”
  • “mirror scenes”
  • “mirror santa cruz”
  • “mirror scores”
  • “mirror smoke”
  • “mirror snow crash”
  • “mirror stocks”
  • “mirror traffic”
  • “mirror waterfalls”
  • “mirror weather”
  • “mirror youtube”

The MMM-Detector module is used to detect Google Assistant voice activation. In the MMM-Detector configuration section of the MagicMirror config.js a keyword or key phrase is defined. See the Model: setting(s) in the MMM-Detector config. When this “Model” phrase is spoken it wakes up MMM-Detector and the module listens for a command or query. For example, the default config-default.js uses the Model keyword “computer” to instruct MMM-Detector to listen for a command. Other “Model” settings use “ok google” or “hey google” to wakeup MMM-Detector.

Test the MagicMirror Google Assistant by saying something like “computer, what time is it” or “hey google, what is the weather”. Pause briefly between the keyword/keyphrase and the query/command. If this is not working, a common problem is misconfiguratioin of the MagicMirror audio input and output devices. ALSA audio input/ouput configuration can be performed by executing the command sudo /usr/local/bin/set_asound_conf -e. After reconfiguring ALSA, try the simple Google Assistant commands again.

Test voice control of MagicMirror with a simple command like “computer, mirror default”. Stop MagicMirror by saying “computer, mirror stop”. If this is working try something a little more difficult like “computer, mirror screen off” and “computer, mirror screen on”.


This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.

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