Getting Started with Skype on Linux

Installation on Fedora

I’ve installed it also on a Fedora 8 system, and also here all was pretty smooth. I’ve downloaded the repository for Fedora7. These have been the newest binaries on Spype’s Linux page, but it worked flawlessly for my Fedora8 box. In the link above are also other Linux distributions, like

  • Ubuntu 7.04-8.04
  • Debian Etch
  • Xandros
  • Fedora 7
  • Fedora Core 6
  • OpenSUSE 10+
  • Mandriva
  • Centos

Also dynamically and statically linked standalone binaries are available. You have to copy them in place yourself (the Skype executable into /usr/bin/ and sound/, lang/ and avatars/ into /usr/share/skype/). So if your distro isn’t listed above, give these guys a try.
All downloadable versions is version 2. I’m new to Skype, and don’t know if it is a bad sign, if the version Beta 4 for Windows was already released. But anyway – I just hope it’ll be possible to connect to the other, maybe just not being able to use the latest feature xy, or something like that.

My kernel btw. is a up-to-date 2.6.26-49.fc8 – i686 – 32bit. And also here I hadn’t to install video drivers for the webcam.
Here’s the webcam’s data:

Bus 002 Device 006: ID 0ac8:3420 Z-Star Microelectronics Corp.


usb 2-1.4: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 6
usb 2-1.4: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
uvcvideo: Found UVC 1.00 device Venus USB2.0 Camera (0ac8:3420)
input: Venus USB2.0 Camera as /class/input/input8
usb 2-1.4: New USB device found, idVendor=0ac8, idProduct=3420
usb 2-1.4: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=0
usb 2-1.4: Product: Venus USB2.0 Camera
usb 2-1.4: Manufacturer: Vimicro Corp.

The only problem I had the first time I was using it on my Fedora box, was a non functional microphone, so the other hasn’t no sound from me. First I thought it’s a pulseaudio issue, since I’ve read a lot pulseaudio is known not to work with Skype and microphones or sound at all. Not the sound, neither the mic was broken at all.
Very fast was clear, my microphone was just muted. I had to unmute it in the KMix application (KDE) and turn up the volume.

I’ve additionally openen TCP and UDP port 23399 ‘or incoming connections‘ for the computer where Skype was running (port forwarding). But I couldn’t find a difference, because [FIXME], I’ve still was reachable(callable) for others.

I had a little issue with the microphone volume. I had to uncheck ‘Allow Skype to automatically adjust my mixer levels‘ in Main Menu -> Options -> Sound Devices, because the other in the conference could hardly hear me. The volume level came to normal shortly after I deselected this switch. I don’t know if it’s an important note, but the Skype partner was in this case a Windows client. I’ve had a chat with a MacMini from Macintosh, and the sound was just fine with the this switch being selected.

Btw: If I launch Skype from the console, it gives me a bunch of these lines:

ALSA lib ../../../src/pcm/pcm.c:2156:(snd_pcm_open_conf) Cannot open shared library /usr/lib32/alsa-lib/

However – It seems to work anyway.