Skype on CentOS

1. Skype on CentOS-6

(This section is maintained by YvesBellefeuille.)

Skype 4.2 for Linux was released in May 2013. These instructions assume that you already have the packages included in a default Desktop installation and that your system is up to date:

[root@host]# yum groupinstall Desktop
[root@host]# yum update

For both CentOS i686 and x86_64, install the yum configuration file for epel, if you haven't already enabled it (it's required to install qtwebkit and qt-mobility):

[root@host]# yum install http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/6/i386/epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm

Then, install the 32-bit versions of qtwebkit and webkitgtk:

[root@host]# yum install qtwebkit.i686 webkitgtk.i686

Confirm that you want to install the GPG key for epel when prompted.

If you hadn't enabled epel previously, it's recommended that you delete its yum configuration file:

[root@host]# yum remove epel-release

If you want to continue using epel, see the information about Available Repositories for CentOS and yum-plugin-priorities.

If you're using CentOS i686, proceed to the next section. If you're using CentOS x86_64, continue as follows.

Install the necessary 32-bit packages:

[root@host]# yum install glibc.i686 alsa-lib.i686 libXv.i686 libXScrnSaver.i686 qt.i686 gtk2-engines.i686 \
PackageKit-gtk-module.i686 libcanberra.i686 libcanberra-gtk2.i686

Some users have reported that they must also install the following packages for sound to work:

[root@host]# yum install pulseaudio-libs.i686 alsa-plugins-pulseaudio.i686

Except for qtwebkit and qt-mobility, all these packages are in the Base and Updates repositories, which are enabled by default.

1.1. Installing Skype

Installing to /opt (modify as desired):

[root@host]# cd /tmp
[root@host]# wget http://download.skype.com/linux/skype-4.2.0.11.tar.bz2
[root@host]# cd /opt
[root@host]# tar xjvf /tmp/skype-4.2.0.11.tar.bz2
[root@host]# rm /tmp/skype-4.2.0.11.tar.bz2
[root@host]# ln -s skype-4.2.0.11 skype

You need to replace the version number to match the one downloaded. At the time of writing (May 2013), the latest version is 4.2.0.11.

Set up some symlinks (the first is required for sound to work; the second is optional).

[root@host]# ln -s /opt/skype /usr/share/skype
[root@host]# ln -s /opt/skype/skype /usr/bin/skype

Note: Use "Sound Preferences" to select the correct input/output audio devices.

1.2. Skype video with CentOS x86_64

To do: Update this information for Skype 4.2

If you're running a 64-bit system and video doesn't work with Skype, install the 32-bit libv4l package:

[root@host]# yum install libv4l.i686

Then, to run Skype, load the 32-bit v4l1compat.so:

[user@host]$ LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/v4l1compat.so /opt/skype/skype

1.3. Skype and NFS

If you're using NFS, see the comment from sipan_ at http://blogs.skype.com/linux/2012/06/skype_40_for_linux.html

1.4. Conflict between Skype and Wine

Update for Skype 4.2: The conflict between Skype and pulseaudio-libs.i686 still exists and, unfortunately, pulseaudio-libs.i686 is now required for Skype (it wasn't required for previous versions). As a work-around, starting Skype from the command line with PULSE_LATENCY_MSEC=300 /opt/skype/skype & seems to help. You can try with a lower or higher number. If you have suggestions, please contact the maintainer.

There's a conflict between Skype and Wine (more precisely, between Skype and pulseaudio-libs.i686, on which Wine depends).

This conflict has at least two consequences:

The work-around is to remove pulseaudio-libs.i686. Of course, this will also make Wine unavailable.


2. Skype on CentOS-5

The current version of Skype will not work in CentOS-5. You can download an older, statically linked version of Skype which will work in CentOS-5 from http://download.skype.com/linux/skype_static-2.1.0.81.tar.bz2 Then substitute this tarball into the directions for CentOS-6

See the README file at /usr/share/skype/README and the documentation from the Skype Website for instructions on how to use skype.


3. Skype on CentOS-4

<!> Please note that CentOS-4 reached the end of life in February 2012.

Note added on Nov 30, 2007. The current "static" version of skype does NOT run on CentOS 4. It needs some library files that are not available for CentOS 4. However, this method still works to get the 1.x version of Skype to install on CentOS-5

This guide assumes you already have CentOS-4 installed and that you have audio (both speakers and microphone) working on your CentOS install.

The rpm versions of Skype available from Skype.com are compiled for Fedora. They require qt4, which is not available on CentOS-4.

Since qt is a major component of the system and the released version is required for the proper operation of KDE and many applications, the recommended way to handle the installation of Skype on CentOS is to use the statically compiled version.

Here are the steps to get Skype installed and working on CentOS:

3.1. Download the Latest Skype Static for Linux

You can get the latest static version of Skype from here. Please replace the versions below with the version found here. You can also get it with this command from the command line:

[user@host]$ wget http://www.skype.com/go/getskype-linux-static

(at the time of this Howto, the current version of Skype is skype_static-2.1.0.81.tar.bz2)

3.2. Untar the static file

Use this command to untar the skype_static tar ball that you downloaded (substituting the version of the file you downloaded for <version> ... at the time of this Howto, the version was 1.4.0.118):

[user@host]$ tar -xvjf skype_static-<version>.tar.bz2

Once you have untared the file, you will have a directory named skype_static-<version>. Change to the new directory with this command:

[user@host]$ cd skype_static-<version>

List the files in the directory with the following command:

[user@host]$ ls -l

This is the result for the latest version available at the time of this Howto:

[user@myth skype_static-1.4.0.118]$ ls -l
total 18428
drwxr-xr-x 2 user group     4096 Sep 27 11:39 avatars
-rw-rw-r-- 1 user group      424 Nov 12 01:42 diff
drwxr-xr-x 2 user group     4096 Sep 27 11:39 icons
drwxr-xr-x 2 user group     4096 Sep 27 11:39 lang
-rw-r--r-- 1 user group    15628 Sep 27 11:39 LICENSE
-rw-r--r-- 1 user group     3173 Sep 27 11:39 README
-rwxr-xr-x 1 user group 18753060 Sep 27 11:39 skype
-rw-r--r-- 1 user group      453 Sep 27 11:39 skype.conf
-rw-r--r-- 1 user group      161 Sep 27 11:39 skype.desktop
drwxr-xr-x 2 user group     4096 Sep 27 11:39 sounds

3.3. Move the files into place

If this is an upgrade from a previous version of Skype which was installed using this howto, you will want to backup the previous version of Skype so you can move back to it if there are problems with the upgrade. Perform the following actions prior to copying the files into place to create this backup (need to become root here):

# Begin upgrades only section #
[root@host]# rm -f /usr/bin/skype
[root@host]# rm -f /etc/dbus-1/system.d/skype.conf
[root@host]# rm -rf /usr/share/skype.bak
[root@host]# mv /usr/share/skype /usr/share/skype.bak
# End upgrades only section #

Now you are ready (for upgrades and new installs) to copy the currently downloaded Skype files into place. You should still be inside the untared directory above and the command ls -l should show the above file list. Use these commands to enable skype:

[root@host]# mkdir -p /usr/share/skype
[root@host]# cp -a * /usr/share/skype
[root@host]# cd /usr/bin/
[root@host]# ln -s /usr/share/skype/skype .
[root@host]# cd /etc/dbus-1/system.d/
[root@host]# ln -s /usr/share/skype/skype.conf .

3.4. Adding skype.desktop to Desktops

If you want to have skype.desktop to show up on users desktops, you need to edit the file /usr/share/skype/skype.desktop and search for the line that says:

Icon=skype.png

and change it too

Icon=/usr/share/skype/icons/SkypeBlue_48x48.png

then copy the skype.desktop file into the user(s) Desktop with the command:

[root@host]# cp -a /usr/share/skype/skype.desktop ~<username>/Desktop
[root@host]# chown <username> ~<username>/Desktop/skype.desktop

3.5. Running Skype

You can run the skype program (as a normal user) from the command line with the command:

[user@host]$ skype

Also, if you installed the skype.desktop file above, you should be able to double click it from your desktop.

See the README file at /usr/share/skype/README and the documentation from the Skype Website for instructions on how to use skype.


4. More information

You can find more information regarding the Linux version of Skype on the Skype forum at:

HowTos/Skype (last edited 2013-07-21 02:52:56 by YvesBellefeuille)