Since I have a Skype account and a new install of Ubuntu 9.04 I thought it would make sense to get Skype going.
In order to install Skype, it is not in the repository, you must go to the Skype web site. Quite frankly, I am not sure they give a rip about Linux users as the state of their programs for install is way behind. But you can get it to work.
Download Old Programs
You will need to download the programs that are out of date for Ubuntu.
Right Click on the Package
Open with GDebi package Installer, you will see the option with a right click.
This will open the Package Installer. Just click install.
While it is installing check your audio, headset what ever you are going to use so that you know they work. In the upper right hand corner of the Desktop you will see the audio icon, be sure to test and verify you can hear sound.
The Package Installer will install the necessary 20 programs to get Skype going. You will need access to the root account to install.
Edit Sound Devices. At the least you must edit the sound devices for Skype.
I found Skype a little tricky with my audio on the laptop. I am using a Logitech USB headphone but for some reason the audio initially only came from the laptop speakers. I fixed it with these settings which tested and worked fine.
Do your self a favor a set up a few security settings. If you want to add some security only allow calls from people that you have specifically allowed.
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Skype or Ekiga
Which is better? Well I tested both and here are my impressions of using each. The first thing you need to do is try it yourself as that will be an important aspect. Here are links to 2 easy tutorials to get you going.
The biggest thing I like about Ekiga was that it was the default and I assumed as a result that it would be the easiest to get going. Well…it wasn’t. The software install with about 12 steps instead of the 3 steps with Skype. That was one thing I didn’t like as it provided more opportunity for error and then trying to find the error was even more complex. However, the biggest problem I had was trying to get my hardware to be consistent. Yep, I would turn it off and find it did not work when I wanted to use it again. I kept getting error messages about my sound system had a conflict. I experimented a lot trying to find the issue, for me it was setting my sound to ALSA not PulseAudio, the standard on Ubuntu 8.04. So my frustration with Ekiga as that while it was the default, it was problematic and while PulseAudio was the default it did not work. I thought this was the LTS version, I must have missed something.
My biggest complaint about Skype was that the website seemed to indicate that there was not current version for Ubuntu 8.04. That always makes me nervous as I like to keep version matching not having to go back to the Ubuntu 7.10 version. It almost looks on the Skype site that it is not kept up well, again an indication that there business model is not working as well as they liked. However, despite these issues Skype was dead easy to set up and get going. And I had no problems with my hardware acting up.
You can get both to work with a little work. I did notice that a typical problem is a low volume microphone so get the best you can to help in that area.