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SDB:Skype

tagline: From openSUSE

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This article is about getting the original skype software to work in openSUSE. There is no denial that Skype has managed to create a cross-platform program with superb sound quality and firewall traversal capabilities. However, please note that the skype software is not Free and Open Source.
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Installation

13.1

(November 23rd 2013)

Follow these instructions to install and use Skype on openSUSE Linux 13.1 64-bit edition.

Download Skype RPM installation package from http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-computer/. Note that this is a 32-bit version that does not list the correct dependencies and requires tweaking. Install it, but do not start it yet. Instead, open YaST and go to Software Management. Open it and search for packages named "pulse". Select to install packages such as pulseaudio (the default is 64-bit version for 64-bit Linux), pavucontrol and alsa-plugins-pulse the default version and the alsa-plugins-pulse-32bit version. You may also install other pulseaudio packages if you wish. Next, search for "v4l". Install all libv4l* packages, including the 32-bit versions. Accept changes and finish.

Create a script for running Skype. First of all, you can find the executable Skype link among the applications in the "start menu" (depending from the desktop manager that you are using), so you can put it to your desktop. This was originally installed by Skype installer. However, you should not execute just that link (or the command skype). You should instead execute:

PULSE_LATENCY_MSEC=60 LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/v4l1compat.so skype %U

every time you start Skype. That can be accomplished in several different ways, one of which is to edit the desktop link to Skype and add the above command. Another way is to create a script file:

emacs skype.sh

in which you should paste in the previously mentioned command. Close the Emacs editor and execute

chmod +x ./skype.sh

to make it executable. Now run that script from console or make the desktop Skype link point to this file. You should visit the Skype options to verify that you have Pulse Audio and a button to its volume control. Press the button to the Pulse Volume Control where you can select the audio card, the microphone and volume levels in that program, apart from Skype. The webcam should work immediately. You should see it in the Options menu of Skype.

(January 22rd 2014)

Alternately you could not use PulseAudio (it must be disabled at yast sound section so) and you might not install any additional packages except skype package really requires. [Skype 4.2.0.11-suse121 at openSUSE 13.1 64bit.]


Preparation

For 64-bit installation of openSUSE 12.3

su -c 'zypper install libqt4-32bit libqt4-x11-32bit libpng12-0-32bit libQtWebKit4-32bit xorg-x11-libs libXss1-32bit libXv1-32bit libpng12-0'

For 32-bit installation of openSUSE
You will need at least these packages before installing skype. On openSUSE > 12.1 the skype package from skype.com will depend on these and they will be installed automatically.

su -c 'zypper install libqt4 libqt4-x11 libqt4-dbus-1 libsigc++2 libpng12-0'

For 64-bit installation of openSUSE 12.2
You will need the corresponding *-32bit RPM packages, since skype is only offered in 32-bit. The Skype rpm from skype.com depends on these so it will install them automatically. However, on most openSUSE systems pulseaudio is used and this is not a hard dependency so you will need to install this to get sound.

su -c 'zypper install libpulse0-32bit alsa-plugins-pulse-32bit'

For 64-bit installation of openSUSE 12.1
You will need the corresponding *-32bit RPM packages, since skype is only offered in 32-bit.

su -c 'zypper install xorg-x11-libXv-32bit libqt4-32bit libqt4-x11-32bit libpng12-0-32bit'

You may also have to install libpng12-0 with YaST.
For 64-bit installation of openSUSE 11.4
You will need the corresponding *-32bit RPM packages, since skype is only offered in 32-bit.

su -c 'zypper install libasound2-32bit xorg-x11-libXv-32bit xorg-x11-libs-32bit libqt4-x11-32bit libpng12-0-32bit'

Installing skype

  • If everything goes well, your web browser will start YaST to install this package.

When your web browser does not say that it can be opened with YaST (or with another package manager you are using as default), download the file and then open the file in your file browser by double clicking on it. YaST will be started to install this package.

  • Alternatively, you can install the skype package by command line:
su -c 'zypper in skype-<version>.rpm'
  • After the installation, a menu entry will be created whereby you can launch skype:
In Gnome it will appear under Internet->More Applications
In KDE, skype appears under Internet -> More Programs

For 64-bit installation of openSUSE 11.4

(this could be valid also for 32-bit openSUSE 11.4)

Do not use above installation procedure as there is dependency issue (libstdc++).

Download skype static version (4.0.0.8) for Linux ((current link)). As root unpack archive to /usr/share/skype_static and make static link to /usr/share/skype_static/skype in /usr/bin. You would need to manually add menu entry in your desktop or use command skype to lunch skype.

Currently (2013) the static version is a bz2 archive (skype-4.1.0.20.tar.bz2) under the download item named "dynamic". It may be unpacked to /opt/skype, for instance. FIXME: the link described right above is currently pointing to skype-4.2.0.11.tar.bz2 and, as one would expect since the package is tagged as "dynamic", the binary provided there is NOT statically build. Therefore one will have to provide the same dependencies (but manually) required by rpm packages (Qt 32bit, etc), not just the basic i586 environment (libstdc++6-32bit and such).

Installing from Community Repos

  • Add the community repos (for openSUSE 11.3) using:
  • Install Skype using the command:
zypper in wrapped-skype

Configuration

Sign-in (or sign-up) and then make a test call to "echo123". Follow the instructions and it will record your voice and then play it back. Chances are that you will have to configure the microphone volume level. You do this through the Volume Control, available in Gnome at Multimedia->Volume Control->Volume Control or in KDE at Application -> Multimedia -> Sound Mixer


Privacy and security

A lot of people do not want to run Skype because it tries to collect data from your system which it shouldn't do. It tries to read your Firefox profile for whatever reason (said to be because of autodetecting proxy settings but could be more).

To avoid such things you can use AppArmor to protect your system.

Copy this apparmor profile to your /etc/apparmor.d/ directory to jail skype.

Skype has to be installed as RPM to make this work.

On openSUSE 11.1 with this profile settings, skype may not work. The following message is displayed in console: "No protocol specified".


Old link has broken and skype don't work with old profile. I add abstractions/gnome and abstractions/ssl_certs to old cynapses.org config, because new version skype need it. new correct apparmor profile

Tested on openSUSE 11.4

Tested on openSUSE 12.1

12.2 has libgcc47-32bit. Skype requires libgcc44-32bit which requires to remove libgcc47-32bit and would break other programs.

Fail on openSuSe 12.2


Using high resolution with webcam

By default, skype only supports video with resolutions up to 320x240. If you have a good web cam (e.g. from Logitech, e.g. UVC_Webcams) which can do much more for you, here's how to configure skype to make use of it.

After you configured your web camera for use with skype, open ~/.Skype/SKYPENAME/config.xml with a text editor. (Replace SKYPENAME with your skype login name, ~ is short for your home directory.)

Search for the <Video> section. It probably only contains <AutoSend>1</AutoSend>.

Add three lines, so your <Video> section looks as follows:

<Video>
 <AutoSend>1</AutoSend>
 <CaptureHeight>480</CaptureHeight>
 <CaptureWidth>640</CaptureWidth>
 <Fps>15</Fps>
</Video>

With skype-2.0, you can also set higher resolutions (800x600 or even 960x720) or higher frame rates if your camera supports that (and you have enough light to avoid getting completely noisy video). Note that the data rate and the CPU load increase and skype may scale back the resolution again as it runs out of CPU cycles or bandwidth.

skype-2.1 does not support resolutions above 640x480 unless you have very special webcams with hardware encoding support and skype certification ...


Troubleshooting

No Mic input with Logitech webcams

This might not be Logitech specific, applicable to all external mics. If you can use your mic elsewhere but in Skype, then check input device settings in Pulse Audio Volume Control. Install the application pavucontrol, run it, and click on the Recording tab. Then while pavucontrol window is open, run Skype and make a test call. There should be Skype item showing in pavucontrol window. Check Skype: Input from []. Make sure you select Webcam ... Analog Mono instead of Internal Audio Analog.

If you are behind a proxy

If you use skype and are behind a proxy server or firewall, you may have problems connecting to the Skype network. Skype may not even start and will hang immediately.

Skype apparently reads the proxy settings from the Opera or Firefox configuration and reads the environment variables http_proxy and https_proxy.

These environment variables have the format:

http_proxy=myproxyname:myproxyport
https_proxy=myproxyname:myproxyport
http_user=myname
http_passwd=mypwd

export http_proxy https_proxy http_user http_passwd

Often myproxyport is 8080.

However, setting these does not always allow skype to connect correctly. (At least it didn't work for me). Skype seems to hang on the first login, and does not allow you to go any further.

If this happens for you as well, you may need to set a default gateway for your system:

# route add default gw proxy.ip.address

Note that proxy.ip.address need not be an actual network gateway; Skype just needs this setting.

Windows workaround

There is another workaround that can be done:

1) Log into skype on a windows machine, using your skype name and password, and setting the proxy options. You can also do this with WINE and the windows version of skype if you are lucky enough not to have a Windows machine available

2) Copy the file "shared.xml" from the Windows machine or from WINE to the Linux skype version, using a command something like:

cp ".wine/drive_c/windows/profiles/<username>/Application Data/Skype/shared.xml" ./.Skype/shared.xml

(you will have to change, <username> to match yours)

3) Start up skype, and hopefully it will start

ALSA microphone problem with some sound chips

Use command line tool (not GUI tools) to capture the microphone

alsamixer

A terminal will open with sliders for master, headphone, etc. Select the proper soundcard with F6 and adjust microphone settings if necessary. On some sound systems you will also need to select "capture" in the mixer with F4 and change the sliders from zero to higher values before you can record sound in skype (or any other applications for that matter). Be sure to check the input sources as well: they must obviously refer to the correct input source.

Example with capture enabled and adjusted sliders Alsamixer.png

No microphone input to skype on a working soundsystem

When you have checked that the sound system is working, both microphone and speakers but skype, using the test call, does not play back your microphone input, you should change the Sound In setting in skype from Default device to another setting. This may solve this problem.

Skype and pulseaudio

On openSUSE 12.1 64 bit, the package alsa-plugins-pulse-32bit is reported to be required to make Skype work with pulseaudio.

Skype 2.2 beta and openSUSE 11.4, there is no problems with PulseAudio.

Starting with openSUSE 11.0 (With the exception of openSUSE 11.2 with KDE desktop) pulseaudio is shipped and enabled by default. Some users report problems with getting skype to work with pulseaudio enabled, mostly regarding no sound input/output, glitches in sound playback/recording and delays in audio transmission. If you experience any of these problems and suspect that it is due to pulseaudio, refer to PulseAudio and Perfect Setup for proper configurations.

On openSUSE 12.3 64 bit, Skype won't see a pulse audio server unless alsa-plugins-pulse-32bit is installed. This is perhaps because Skype is 32 bit, but the 32 bit version of the PA plugins will not be installed by the system since mostly you need the 64 bit version. You can set up input and output devices manually using options without this package, but giving Skype direct access to the pulse audio server makes things much, much easier.

Fixing webcam screen problems

On some systems openSUSE might have library loading problem and webcam doesn't show anything sensible (black or green screen is more common). To fix this open the terminal/Konsole and log in as superuser "su" and perform following steps:

mv /usr/bin/skype /usr/bin/skype.real
chmod 755 /usr/bin/skype.real
vi /usr/bin/skype

and put the following inside

#!/bin/bash
LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/v4l1compat.so skype.real

If you use a 64-bit system and the fix does not seem to work, try running skype from the terminal window (as your normal user). If you get an error like:

ERROR: ld.so: object '/usr/lib/libv4l/v4l1compat.so' from LD_PRELOAD cannot be preloaded: ignored.

you might need to install the 32-bit version of the above-mentioned library with

zypper install libv4l-32bit

Finally set permissions for the script above:

chmod 755 /usr/bin/skype

Test your skype video. It should work now.

Please note that if your web camera is showing a green, scrambled or black image, this workaround may also help:

In the above-mentioned script in place of the line

LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/v4l1compat.so skype.real

try the following

LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/v4l2convert.so skype.real

and test your skype video.

Input Method

Skype is a 32-bit Qt-based application. If you experience problems inputting text (such as nonfunctional dead keys), you should install the 32-bit Qt input module:

  • For ibus, install ibus-qt (for x86_64 systems, ibus-qt-32bit).
  • For fcitx, install fcitx-qt (for x86_64 systems, fcitx-qt-32bit).

See also


External links