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Does anybody know a good option for a Skype based solution that works on Linux? I have a real problem with the current Linux version as it is a crappy, buggy and downgraded version of the Windows equivalent. Help?

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There seems to be some success with running Windows Skype under Linux using Wine: appdb.winehq.org/… (untested, and I will not try...) –  Marcel Korpel Apr 21 '10 at 23:01
    
I agree Skype for Linux is not ideal. It's a CPU hog. It appears to be a Wine port, not native. And I especially miss the ability to share my screen. But short of that, what problems are you having with Skype? Many of the common complaints can be addressed by tweaking your PulseAudio config, if Skype is using that. I've managed to dramatically improve my Skype experience on an underpowered netbook that way. –  user69173 Feb 25 '11 at 16:23
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Apr 22 '10 at 5:59

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6 Answers

If you don't want Skype-compatibility, there is an open-source alternative that seems very popular: Mumble. It's been featured in gaming.stackexchange community ads for the 1st half of 2011, and the samba developer Andrew Tridgell uses it a lot for pair-programming.

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If you don't need Skype-compatibility, then you can use Google Talk.

Pidgin instant messenger has support for voice and video on Jabber/XMPP. In my experience, I couldn't get video working, but I could have a short voice chat with someone else for testing purposes.

In addition, once you install "Google Talk Plugin" (also available on Linux), you can start voice and video chats directly inside your browser (I've tested with Google Chrome). It even works on Google Plus "hangout" feature.

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I hated using the Linux Skype, it never was as good as the windows one, to tackle this problem I had installed Windows XP in a vmware Workstation Virtual Machine and then installed skype with all the needed webcam drivers and then just used it's unity mode to integrate itself into the Linux OS.

That way I can use Linux but also use Skype as it is in Windows.

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What linux distribution are you using? ubuntu 9.10 has empathy as part of it's installation, some other alternatives to skype for ubuntu are listed here.


Note - I'm not certain if you are asking for alternatives to skype or not; I presumed so.

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AFAIK none of the clients support Skype protocol. –  Petr Peller Aug 23 '11 at 8:45
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This probably isn't the answer you want ... but yes, Skype will be opening most of its code base so that seasoned Linux developers can improve the Linux client. You can read their blog post on it, from November 2009, not much has happened since then.

Basically, Skype will open the code that makes all components of the user interface, as well as the abstraction of pulse/alsa , etc. The code (when compiled) will statically link to a pre-compiled version of their codec library, which will ship as a binary blob in the source tree.

They realize that people don't care much for the Linux version, but I don't think getting the code out the door and into the hands of people who can actually fix it is a top priority for them.

Until that happens, there is unfortunately no suitable replacement. Also, just releasing the source code does not make it open. Unless they are very careful in their choice of licenses, they will receive very little support. That's likely where the hold up resides.

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QuteCom, previously known as WengoPhone: http://www.qutecom.org/
[EDIT]: It has its own network and user database. I don't think it is compatible with Skype if that is your point.

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