I use Skype and Brosic to make conference video calls with my friends. Often there is a noise from the background.

I use Centos and Ubuntu for workstation. Is there a way to configure Linux to activate the microphone only when I press a key for example Shift? I want people to hear me when I press Shift key.

migrated from serverfault.com Jul 20 '12 at 11:29

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

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    I think this question would be better on Superuser. Voting to move. – Rob Moir Jul 20 '12 at 10:00

Maybe this repo on bitbucket would suit your needs?


That one is only for Skype however. This one is for linux as a whole:


  • Yes, but this maybe will work only for Skype. – Peter Penzov Jul 20 '12 at 9:53
  • Yes, most likely since it's a skype addon. – Simon Aronsson Jul 20 '12 at 9:59

I don't have personal experience with it, but over on the Skype forums, someone asked this and was referred to a sort of "Push to Mute", or "Push to toggle Mute" feature. Kind of backwards I guess, but you can get a similar functionality out of it. Quoting the thread...

Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> Hotkeys. Select the last item and assign a hotkey. Save.

I used a push to talk feature of Ventrillo regularly, and I must say, push to mute would probably not have been near as useful, but if you don't have the muscle memory of the opposite already burned in, this may suffice. Plus it's apparently built-in to Skype.

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    The keybind actually pushes to reverse your current mute setting, oddly. So, if you mute yourself using the UI element for the call, then the keybind acts as push-to-talk. – Shane Madden Jul 21 '12 at 22:35

Metro style Skype doesn't reveal user setting for key binding and only have On/Off Ctrl+M key binding (switch, not push to talk):

Key binding customization is removed from today (2018-04-16) updated Desktop Skype:

Microsoft even pisses you if you are on Windows 10 and try to install Desktop Skype (Metro Skype doesn't have option to stay in background). It pushes you you to use Win 8 compatibility mode on installer. Otherwise it refuses to install Desktop version.

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