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I know that Pidgin has a video/audio plugin which I installed. But this doesn't seem to work with gtalk. I guess google doesn't support linux anymore?

What is happening is that when I attempt a call, I can see my self but not the other person (black screen) & the same for the other person (he can see himself but not me). Moreover audio doesn't work.

So does it work? & if so how?

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It should work with pidgin also. Maybe you are missing some packages as stated at pidgin faq:

Why can't I do a video call with the GMail client?

Interoperation with the GMail client requires you to have the H264 GStreamer codec installed. You can find these in gst-plugins-ugly and gst-ffmpeg. For debian based systems that's gstreamer0.10-plugins-multiverse and gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg.

As stated in this askubuntu question you must install

gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly and gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg

(I also installed by myself gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse, because I read about it somewhere I don't remember)

But after installing those packages, and after restarting pidgin, I couldn't make it work at first. (Empathy works at first restart, see below).

So what I did after installing the packages to make it work (I'm not sure of which steps are really necessary, but doing them all made it work):

  • Removed all accounts from pidgin (it could work just by removing the google account, but let's make sure here)
  • Restart pidgin (make sure you really shutdown pidgin)
  • Add the google account
  • When adding the google account go to the tab Voice and Video ( or Sound and Video )
  • Check the only checkbox that exists in this tab if not already checked (something about sound/silence suppression)
  • Complete other account information and then save
  • Profit! =D

I tested with Pidgin and definetely works with one official Google Talk client:

  • From Ubuntu with Empathy I was able to video/talk with other person using Gmail's Google Talk

  • Couldn't video call from Ubuntu to video/talk with Android's Google Talk client. In this test, I didn't test sound/voice. Maybe just sound/voice works with Android's Google Talk client.

An alternative

That seems to work more easily just after a restart of the program AND seems to work better with other Google Talk clients overall.

Try Empathy. (Default for ubuntu now)

I tested with Empathy and definetely works with other Google Talk clients (google ones):

  • From Ubuntu with Empathy I was able to video/talk with other person using Gmail's Google Talk

  • From Ubuntu with Empathy I was able to video/talk with Android's Google Talk client

Note: Remember that you need to install those same packages needed for pidgin to make video/audio work with Empathy also. (source)

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If this answer is enough, please mark it as accepted =) – Onilton Maciel May 6 '13 at 18:24

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