cPorcupine - C Quick Start


  • Linux (x86_64)
  • macOS (x86_64, arm64)
  • Windows (x86_64)
  • BeagleBone
  • NVIDIA Jetson Nano
  • Raspberry Pi (Zero, 2, 3, 4)


  • C99-compatible compiler
  • CMake (3.4+)
  • For Windows Only: MinGW is required to build the demo

Picovoice Account & AccessKey

  1. Login or signup for a free account on the Picovoice Console.
  2. Go to the AccessKey tab to create one or use an existing AccessKey. Be sure to keep your AccessKey secret.


  1. Clone the repository:
git clone --recurse-submodules https://github.com/Picovoice/porcupine.git


  1. Include the public header files (picovoice.h and pv_porcupine.h).
  2. Link the project to an appropriate precompiled library for the target platform and load it.
  3. Download a language model.
  4. Download a keyword file based on the desired language and the target platform.
  5. Construct the Porcupine object:
static const char* ACCESS_KEY = "${ACCESS_KEY}";
const char *model_file_path = "${MODEL_FILE_PATH}";
const char *keyword_file_path = "${KEYWORD_FILE_PATH}";
const float sensitivity = 0.5f;
pv_porcupine_t *porcupine;
const pv_status_t status = pv_porcupine_init(
if (status != PV_STATUS_SUCCESS) {
// error handling logic
  1. Pass in frames of audio to the pv_porcupine_process function:
extern const int16_t *get_next_audio_frame(void);
while (true) {
const int16_t *pcm = get_next_audio_frame();
int32_t keyword_index;
const pv_status_t status = pv_porcupine_process(porcupine, pcm, &keyword_index);
if (status != PV_STATUS_SUCCESS) {
// error handling logic
if (keyword_index != -1) {
// detection event logic/callback
  1. Release resources explicitly when done with Porcupine:

Custom Keywords

Create custom keywords using the Picovoice Console. Download the custom wake word file (.ppn) and create an instance of Porcupine using the custom keyword model.

Non-English Languages

Use the corresponding model file (.pv) to detect non-English wake words. The model files for all supported languages are available on the Porcupine GitHub repository.


For the Porcupine SDK, we offer demo applications that demonstrate how to use the wake word engine on real-time audio streams (i.e. microphone input) and audio files.


  1. Clone the repository:
git clone --recurse-submodules https://github.com/Picovoice/porcupine.git
  1. Build the microphone demo:
cd porcupine
cmake -S demo/c/. -B demo/c/build && cmake --build demo/c/build --target porcupine_demo_mic


To see the usage options for the demo:


Ensure you have a working microphone connected to your system and run the following command to detect porcupine:

./demo/c/build/porcupine_demo_mic \
-l lib/${PLATFORM}/${ARCH}/libpv_porcupine.so \
-m lib/common/porcupine_params.pv \
-k resources/keyword_files/${PLATFORM}/porcupine_${PLATFORM}.ppn \
-t 0.5 \
-a ${ACCESS_KEY} \

For more information on our Porcupine demos for C, head over to our GitHub repository.





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