Skype just recently released an updated version of their desktop client for Linux, Skype Beta v126.96.36.199. This release fixes some major bugs and well as introduces some new features previously unavailable on the Linux release. I am very happy to see this version released as I use Skype quite regularly. Not only to talk to distant family, but also day-to-day as a standard home phone. Yes, that’s right. It is 2010 and I don’t even own a cell-phone! With high-speed internet so readily available between my home, office and public transportation, I simply use Skype as my contact phone number.
In this article I will outline how to install the latest Skype release directly from the Skype website. This version should fix the issues Ubuntu users previously had with Pulse Audio as well as issues presented by using dark themes in GNOME.
If you currently have Skype installed, from the Medibuntu repository, you’ll want to remove that package. Until the Medibuntu team updates their release, the two packages might conflict.
You can uninstall the existing package using the command:
sudo aptitude remove skype
We’ll now grab the Skype for Linux Beta v188.8.131.52 package from the Skype website. The links below are direct-download links. Please select the appropriate architecture:
Once the package downloads you should be prompted to either “Save As…” or “Open With : GDebi Package Manager”. Select the latter which will launch a package management tool and install the package for you. If you are only prompted to “Save As”, you can simply double-click on the Skype download item in your Downloads window and the installer will launch.
If there are any needed dependencies these will be taken care of using this tool.
Applying GNOME Theme
This release now allows you to apply your GTK theme to the Skype desktop client. You can do this by launching Skype (Applications > Internet > Skype) and opening the “Options” menu. On the General tab you can now select “Choose Style” underneath the language selection option. This will allow your Skype client to better blend in with your GNOME Desktop.
This release of Skype includes a number of new features other than the bug fixes mentioned above. Some of these new features have been available on the OS X and Windows version, but are now also included in Linux. These include:
- Screen Sharing
- Report Abuse
- Support for UI Styles
- Message Quoting
- Localized Time Formats
See the Skype Changelog for more detailed information.
Skype is a great tool for communicating with friends and family worldwide. It has become a required tool in my daily arsenal, and I think these new additions make it even better. If you haven’t used Skype in a while, I’d invite you to check out this release.