Control your Linux laptop/desktop via Google Assistant
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pywakeonlan @ c2f92a7


Allows you to setup a server on a computer (e.g. Raspberry Pi) that your Linux desktop and laptop computers will connect to and then allow some remote commands to be run via Google Assistant, e.g. power on via Wake-on-LAN, lock or unlock the screen, put to sleep, open or close a program, etc.

See the demo video on Youtube.

Summary / Why this isn't simple

Before you start, you need to know how much work this entails:

  • Create Google Actions project ("Google Action Project" section)
  • Setup port forwarding on your router to some internal server
  • Setup Linux Control server on that internal server ("Setup Server" section), HTTPS is required
  • On your laptop and/or desktop, setup the Linux Control client ("Setup Client" section)

Google Actions aren't designed for each individual user of the action to have their own server to process the request. Normally if you create the app (e.g. me) you'd have a server somewhere to handle all of your users. However, in this case:

  • Nobody would really want to trust somebody else's server that could lock, unlock, turn on, power off, etc. all of your computers. If you use my server, I could modify it to command your computer whenever I wanted.
  • I don't have the Internet bandwidth anyway nor the power on my Raspberry Pi to support that many users.
  • Wake-on-LAN requires that your server be on the same LAN as the computers you want to wake.

Thus, at the moment, the only way I'm aware of doing this is each person creates their own Google Action project. Feel free to alert me to better ways of doing it.

Currently supported commands

Each of these works for "laptop" or "desktop", but I'll use "laptop" for these examples. You first would say "Okay Google, talk to Linux Control" or prepend these with "Ask Linux Control," e.g. "Ask Linux Control turn on my laptop." Note the exact wording here is not required, but these will give the general idea.

  • Commands
    • Turn on my laptop. (via Wake-on-LAN, i.e. only works if your laptop/desktop is on the same LAN as the server, and you need to set the MAC address via the website)
    • Power off / suspend / reboot my laptop. (via Systemd)
    • Lock/unlock my laptop. (for Gnome)
    • Open Firefox on my laptop. (looks up .desktop files in Gnome Tracker database)
    • Locate filename on my laptop. (looks up file in Gnome Tracker database)
    • Fetch 3 (fetch item 3 from locate results, symlink into Dropbox)
    • Set volume to 50% on my laptop. (via Pulseaudio)
    • Take a picture on my laptop. (adds to Dropbox)
    • Take a screenshot on my laptop. (adds to Dropbox)
  • Queries
    • Where is my laptop? (either "at home" if on same network as server or does GeoIP lookup from IP it's connected to server from)
    • What is the memory usage of my laptop?
    • What is the disk usage of my laptop?
    • What is the battery on my laptop?
    • What is the CPU usage of my laptop?
    • Is Firefox open on my laptop?
  • Exit with "quit"

Note: this is more proof-of-concept and won't necessarily work with all system setups. For example, the locking/unlocking is for Gnome at the moment and opening app code searches Gnome Tracker database to find .desktop files.

Google Action Project

Create a new Google Actions project.

Setup Dialogflow:

  • After naming your Actions project, click on "BUILD" under Dialogflow.
  • Click "Dialogflow V2 API" when Dialogflow opens. Click "CREATE" at the top.
  • Then, click the settings button, the gear icon at the top left.
  • Select the "Export and Import" tab.
  • "Restore from Zip" the dialogflow/ included in this repo.
  • Click "Fullfillment" tab on the left. Change "" to whatever your domain and port are.
  • Fill out the BASIC AUTH password to whatever you wish. Then fill in the server/config.yaml that you'll create in the Server Setup section with this same password.

Setup Oauth2 for Assistant to log into your server:

Setup Oauth2 for users to login to website via Google:

Fill out app information:

  • On your Google Actions project, select Deploy --> "Directory information."
  • Fill out name, pronunciation, description, etc.
  • Fill out the invocations, e.g. "Talk to Linux Control", "Linux Control", and "Ask Linux Control".

When you are ready to test it (i.e., after you follow the Setup Server section):

  • On Dialogflow, click "Integrations" tab on the left.
  • Click big "Google Assistant".
  • Explicit invocation: Default Welcome Intent.
  • Implicit invocation: Computer Command and Computer Query.
  • Check "Sign in required" on all.
  • Click "TEST".
  • Pull out your phone, linked to your account. Say "Talk to Linux Control."
  • If you've set up the server and everything, it should say that it's not linked to your account and give a button to click that'll take you to your login page. Click on that. Click "login" when it says to login and then reload the page. Link to your Google account. Then click the back button to get you back to the login then reload page. Click "reload." Then it should be linked to your account.
  • Say something like, "Ask Linux Control where is my laptop"

For longer-term testing:

  • Go to your Actions on Google project. Click "Release" under "Deploy".
  • Under Alpha Release select "Submit for Alpha Release." Then whitelist the emails of up to 20 users who you want to use this release. Share the "Opt-in link" (under whitelisting users) with whoever you want to use it.
  • Wait a few hours for it to deploy.
  • If you make changes to DialogFlow, then you'll want to submit another alpha release to update it.
  • Open the opt-in link on your phone, e.g. in Firefox. However, if you just click "Send to device" it'll probably ask you to try it but will then say "Sorry, I couldn't find that." You need to first open it in Google Assistant, which in Firefox can be done by clicking the little android icon in the address bar. Then scroll down to the alpha test message and click "I'm in." At that point you should be able to use the alpha release, e.g. by saying "talk to linux control" in the Google Assistant.

Raspberry Pi Setup

For this example, I'll be showing how to set it up on a Raspberry Pi running Arch Linux. If you already have a computer to use as the server, skip to the Server Setup section.

Installing Arch

Follow Arch Linux ARM instructions for the Raspberry Pi version you have. I recommend setting up Google Authenticator on the RPi as well if you plan on allowing password logins from the outside world.

ssh alarm@alarmpi
su #default password: root
pacman -S sudo
groupadd sudo
useradd -ms /bin/bash -g users -G sudo YOURUSERNAME
echo '%sudo ALL=(ALL) ALL' >> /etc/sudoers
rm /etc/localtime
ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/US/Pacific /etc/localtime
systemctl enable systemd-resolved
systemctl start systemd-resolved
pacman -Syu htop tmux vim libpam-google-authenticator qrencode wol sshguard

Transfer your SSH public key to allow login without password:

ssh alarmpi 'mkdir -p .ssh; cat >> .ssh/authorized_keys' < .ssh/

Interestingly, SSH Guard appears to only work with IPv4, so if you SSH in via IPv6, then it won't care. Really, doesn't matter since coming in from the Internet will be IPv4, but you can enable systemd-resolve to get sshing locally to use IPv4 and then if you want require SSH via only IPv4 with AddressFamily inet.

Allow installing from the AUR:

sudo pacman --needed -S base-devel vifm parallel expac devtools aria2 repose


CacheDir = /var/cache/pacman/pkg
CacheDir = /var/cache/pacman/custom
CleanMethod = KeepCurrent

SigLevel = Optional TrustAll
Server = file:///var/cache/pacman/custom

Then finish setup, something like this:

echo "Include = /etc/pacman.d/custom" | sudo tee -a /etc/pacman.conf
sudo install -d /var/cache/pacman/custom -o $USER
repo-add /var/cache/pacman/custom/custom.db.tar
sudo pacman -Syu

echo "PKGDEST=/var/cache/pacman/custom" | sudo tee -a /etc/makepkg.conf

mkdir build
cd build
curl -o aurutils.tar.gz
tar xzf aurutils.tar.gz
cd aurutils
makepkg -s
gpg --recv-keys <KEY IT GIVES ERROR FOR>

sudo pacman -Syu aurutils

Server Setup

I'll show how to use Nginx with the Linux Control program using Tornado:


Install nginx:

sudo pacman -S python nginx 
sudo systemctl enable nginx
sudo systemctl start nginx

Setup HTTPS using Let's Encrypt. In my case, my ISP blocks ports 80 and 443, so I have to use DNS verification. If this is the case for you too, you might try Lego. I used the Zero SSL website since Namecheap hasn't approved my API access even though I requested it ages ago and they say give it a few business days.

First time:

  • Enter email
  • Enter domains:
  • Check DNS verification

Note, if you use Namecheap, make sure you don't put the "domain.tld" part of the string. That's implied in the "Host" column of the Advanced DNS entries.


  • Enter email
  • Put in previous key
  • Put in previous CSR

Install certificate:

sudo mkdir /etc/lets-encrypt

Put the domain-crt.txt in fullchain.pem and the domain-key.txt in /etc/lets-encryptprivkey.pem.

sudo chmod 0600 /etc/lets-encrypt
sudo chown -R root:root /etc/lets-encrypt/

Setup the nginx.conf similar to Tornado's example. Or, look at the one below similar to what I used, making sure to replace your domain names and port 9999 with whatever external port you use. I also have a separate website on the root / and put Linux Control under /linux-control. If you change this, then in your config.yaml files set root to this directory, making sure to prepend with a / if it's not blank. Note that the /linux-control/con is for the Websocket that the clients will connect to.

worker_processes 1;

events {
    worker_connections 1024;
    use epoll;

http {
    # Enumerate all the Tornado servers here
    upstream frontends {

    include /etc/nginx/mime.types;
    default_type application/octet-stream;

    keepalive_timeout 65;
    proxy_read_timeout 200;
    sendfile on;
    tcp_nopush on;
    tcp_nodelay on;
    gzip on;
    gzip_min_length 1000;
    gzip_proxied any;
    gzip_types text/plain text/html text/css text/xml
               application/x-javascript application/xml
               application/atom+xml text/javascript;

    # Only retry if there was a communication error, not a timeout
    # on the Tornado server (to avoid propagating "queries of death"
    # to all frontends)
    proxy_next_upstream error;

    server {
        listen 443 ssl default_server;
        listen 9999 ssl default_server;
        server_name domain.tld www.domain.tld;
        ssl_certificate /etc/lets-encrypt/fullchain.pem;
        ssl_certificate_key /etc/lets-encrypt/privkey.pem;

        location / {
            root   /srv/http/www;
            index  index.html index.htm;

        location /linux-control {
            proxy_pass_header Server;
            proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
            proxy_redirect off;
            proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
            proxy_set_header X-Scheme $scheme;
            proxy_pass http://frontends;

        location /linux-control/con {
            proxy_pass_header Server;
            proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
            proxy_redirect off;
            proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
            proxy_set_header X-Scheme $scheme;
            proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
            proxy_pass http://frontends;

            proxy_http_version 1.1;
            proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
            proxy_set_header Connection "upgrade";
            proxy_read_timeout 600;

        error_page  404              /404.html;
        error_page  500 502 503 504  /50x.html;
        location = /50x.html {
            root   /usr/share/nginx/html;

    # If internal, then port 443 works
    server {
        listen 80;
        server_name localhost;
        return 301 https://$host$request_uri;

    # If connecting from external port 8080, then we're probably not on
    # the local network, so we need to access from external HTTPS port
    server {
        listen 8080; # External HTTP port, if you have it
        server_name localhost;
        return 301 https://$host:9999$request_uri;

Finally, restart nginx:

sudo systemctl restart nginx


Install Tornado and other dependencies of the Linux Control server:

sudo pacman -S python-tornado python-pip python-redis python-yaml \
    geoip-database-extra python-geoip
pip install --user tornado-http-auth python-oauth2

sudo systemctl enable redis
sudo systemctl start redis

Create a place to put the Linux Control files, e.g. in /srv/http:

sudo mkdir /srv/http/linux-control
sudo chown USER:GROUP /srv/http/linux-control

Copy the server run script and modify the path to the directory:

cp /srv/http/linux-control/ /srv/http/linux-control/

Service file to start Tornado Linux Control server /etc/systemd/system/tornado.service, making sure to adjust the user and group to run as:


Last of all, copy the example config, edit it, then start tornado:

cp /srv/http/linux-control/server/config.yaml{.example,}
# edit /srv/http/linux-control/server/config.yaml
sudo systemctl start tornado

Client Setup

Install appropriate dependencies:

sudo pacman -S python-psutil dex python-yaml
aursync python-pulse-control-git
pip install --user plocate python-libxdo

Then, copy the example config and edit it:

cp client/config.yaml{.example,}
# edit client/config.yaml

Make sure you set the server, root, and cookie secret. Get the OAuth2 client id/secret from Google. Set the OAuth2 provider id/secret to what you gave to Google in the Google Actions Project instructions earlier. Make sure you set the URI to point to your project id (see Project ID under the settings of your Google Actions Project, gear at top left). Set the HTTP BASIC AUTH user/pass to what you gave Dialogflow earlier.

You'll have to visit your Linux Control website to get the ID and TOKEN that you'll need for the client. It'll show you your user ID and then a token to identify your laptop and one to identify your desktop (so it can differentiate which computer connection is which).

Client using Graphical Environment

If you're using a graphical environment and want Linux Control to work when you log in, then, first:

mkdir -p ~/.config/systemd/user/

Then edit the path in and create the Systemd service ~/.config/systemd/user/linux-control.service:

Description=Linux Control

Make it auto start:

systemctl --user enable linux-control.service
systemctl --user start linux-control.service

Client not using Graphical Environment

At times you may not be using a graphical environment or want Linux Control to work on boot without having to have the user log in. Then, use this service file in /etc/systemd/system/linux-control.service making sure to fill in the user/group you want to run as:

Description=Linux Control

However, then it won't have permission to reboot, shutdown, etc. unless you allow it via polkit /etc/polkit-1/rules.d/00-allow-poweroff.rules (src):

polkit.addRule(function(action, subject) {
    if ("org.freedesktop.login1.") && subject.isInGroup("power")) {
        return polkit.Result.YES;

Then make sure you're in the power group and enable with:

sudo systemctl restart polkit
sudo systemctl enable linux-control
sudo systemctl restart linux-control