Skype on CentOS

1. Skype on CentOS-6

Starting with Aug 4th 2014, no version of Skype older than 4.3 works due to the changes that were implemented in the authentication mechanism. Any attempt to use older versions lead to an error message similar to "Cannot contact server" ( the exact message varies depending on the version that was used ).

Skype 4.3 for Linux was released in July 2014. 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 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 alsa-lib.i686 libXv.i686 libXScrnSaver.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

The easiest method is to use the nux-dextop repository - (see http://li.nux.ro/repos.html). Once it is installed, all you have to do is

[root@host]# yum install skype

If you prefer to install it manually ( say for instance in /usr/local but feel free to modify as desired) please proceed as follows:

[root@host]# cd /tmp
[root@host]# wget http://www.skype.com/go/getskype-linux-beta-dynamic -O skype-4.3.0.37.tar.bz2
[root@host]# tar xjvf /tmp/skype-4.3.0.37.tar.bz2 -C /usr/local
[root@host]# rm /tmp/skype-4.3.0.37.tar.bz2
[root@host]# ln -s /usr/local/skype-4.3.0.37 /usr/local/skype

You need to replace the version number to match the one downloaded. At the time of writing (Aug 2014), the latest version is 4.3.0.37.

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

[root@host]# ln -s /usr/local/skype /usr/share/skype
[root@host]# ln -s /usr/local/skype/skype /usr/local/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 4.3

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. 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

1.5. 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.


2. More information

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

HowTos/Skype (last edited 2014-08-05 13:10:08 by ManuelWolfshant)