Skype for Linux by nni49141

VIEWS: 53 PAGES: 10

									http://support.skype.com/                                                                                                                           27June08



User guides homepage: http://www.skype.com/help/guides/


Skype for Linux
Contents:

   Introduction .................................................................................................................................... 2

   A. Getting started............................................................................................................................. 2

       Downloading Skype ............................................................................................................................................ 2

       Starting Skype For The First Time .................................................................................................................. 2

   B. Skype Audio & Video Setup........................................................................................................ 3

       Audio Setup .......................................................................................................................................................... 3

       Video Setup .......................................................................................................................................................... 4

   C. How To Use Skype ...................................................................................................................... 7

       Placing And Receiving Calls.............................................................................................................................. 7

       Making Conference Calls................................................................................................................................... 9

       Sending files with Skype..................................................................................................................................... 9

   D. Video calling ............................................................................................................................ 10

   E. Tips And Tricks......................................................................................................................... 10

       Improving Sound Quality................................................................................................................................. 10

       Improving Video Quality ................................................................................................................................. 10




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http://support.skype.com/                                                                   27June08



Introduction

This document is not a full manual but rather an outline of basic operations Skype supports. For the
full suite of documentation pertaining to Skype and other pertintent software and hardware please
consult the link at the top of this page and other relevant sources.


A. Getting started
Downloading Skype
Skype for Linux is available at the following location:
http://www.skype.com/download/skype/linux/choose/
Make sure you have the appropriate libraries installed on your machine then download the proper
package for your distribution and install it.

System Requirements
Hardware requirements:
    •   1 Ghz processor or faster
    •   256 MB RAM.
    •   20 MB free disk space on your hard drive.
    •   Microphone and speakers or headset.
    •   Internet connection (broadband is best, GPRS is not supported for voice calls, and results may vary
        on a satellite connection). .
    •   Video card driver with Xv support.

Software requirements:
    •   Qt 4.2.1+
    •   D-Bus 1.0.0
    •   libasound2 1.0.12


Starting Skype For The First Time
When you first start Skype you will see the window to the right:




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http://support.skype.com/                                                                 27June08



Click the “Don't have a Skype Name yet?” link to subscribe. That will take you to the following pane:




Fill in the form to acquire a Skype ID. Make sure the email address you provide is valid as that is the
only way you will be able to retrieve your password should you lose it.




B. Skype Audio & Video Setup
Audio Setup
Skype nominally supports all the audio playing and recording devices supported by the underlying
Linux system. Based on the practical experience, however, it appears that USB-based headsets produce
the best user experience. Relatively inexpensive USB/analog headsets featuring a USB adapter and a
pair of analog 3.5 mm cables are currently available and provide the user with valuable flexibility. Most
Logitech and Plantronics combo headsets this writer has used provided decent audio quality.
To set up the audio devices click on the Skype (S) button in the lower-left corner of the application and
go to “Options” or press Ctrl-O. The following panel will appear:




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http://support.skype.com/                                                                 27June08



Select “Sound Devices”. That will display the following:




Select the settings you prefer.
Use the “Make a test sound” button to make sure the device you prefer to be your “ringer” device is
operational. That is the device that will, among other things, notify you about an incoming call. For that
reason, it is advisable to assign that role to a device other than your headset as you will likely not be
able to hear the headphones in your headset if you are not wearing it. As can be seen in the example
above, the “Ringing” device is set to “default” which in this case happens to be desktop speakers
attached to the computer's sound card.
Use the “Make a test call” button to place a test call to Skype's automatic testing facility. You will be
asked to record several seconds worth of audio, which will then be played back to you. This utility is a
useful tool for testing Skype's audio performance.
Check the “Allow Skype to automatically adjust my mixer levels” button or use a mixer of your choice
to control the record and playback level in your Skype application.

Video Setup
Note: It is not required to have a video camera set up on your machine to participate in a video-
conference – unless, of course, you are the presenter.
Skype supports all video devices supported by Linux. However, here we will limit our discussion to
USB-based cameras, as they are most commonly available.
In order to properly support a USB camera, your system ought to have the UVC (USB Video Class)
driver installed. It is recommended that you run kernel version 2.6.22 or above. For the information on

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http://support.skype.com/                                                                 27June08



the UVC (including the list of recommended camera models) please consult http://linux-uvc.berlios.de/.
For some cameras (such as Logitech), separate kernel drivers may be required.
If you want to transmit text or diagrams, it is advisable to have a camera with at least 640x480 pixel
resolution and frame rate of 30 frames/second.
Any variety of Linux video viewers (mplayer, kdetv, motv, etc.) may be used to ascertain that your
camera is operational. Specific details on which ones would work depend upon the particulars of the
camera, drivers installed, etc.
Once the camera is installed and operational on your computer you can configure it from Skype's
options menu:




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http://support.skype.com/                                                               27June08



Go to the “Options” menu and select “Video Devices”:




Select the appropriate video camera if you have more than one. Use the viewing pane to test it.




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http://support.skype.com/                                                                27June08



C. How To Use Skype
Placing And Receiving Calls

To contact people use the “Add Or Search For Skype Contacts” button on the bottom of the
application window:




This takes you to the separate graphical pane where you can conduct a search basd on the contacts
name, geographical location, etc. Note that the Skype directory sometimes loses information on
contacts who have not signed in for an extended period of time. It may therefore be advisable to contact
those individuals by other means such as email to obtain there Skype ID.

As you have seen, as part of establishing initial contact with another Skype subscriber you had to ask
them for their authorization. That means you had to ask them for their permission to communicate with
them via Skype. However, it appears that at this time the current Linux version of Skype (Skype 2)
does not require authorization for others to contact you.

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http://support.skype.com/                                                                  27June08



Use the button on the upper right-hand side of the Skype application window to switch between the
contact list and the event history.




Right-clicking on any of the contacts in the event list allows you to see the information about the call
that transpired as well as add the party in question to your contact list. See below:




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http://support.skype.com/                                                 27June08




Making Conference Calls
To make a conference call, first initiate a conversation with one of
the participants. Then right click on the next one's entry in your
contact list and select “Invite to Conference” (see illustration to the
right). Repeat the same procedure for other participants


Sending files with Skype
Skype also happens to be a very handy way to send large files
quickly and easily to other users. To begin the process, simply
select the user to whom you would like to send a file. Next, chose
“Send File…” by clicking the “Send file” button or select “Send
File…” from the Contacts menu. You will be prompted to select a
file from your computer to send. Skype will ask the permission of
the receiving party to begin the file transfer.




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http://support.skype.com/                                                                 27June08



D. Video calling
Skype Video allows you to use Skype with a webcam to see the person you are talking to.




To begin using the Video option, go to “Skype” > “Preferences” and click the “Video” button, then tick
the “Enable Skype Video” check box. You can set Skype to start video automatically when you make a
call or you can switch video on and off during the call, by clicking the video button in the call window


E. Tips And Tricks

Improving Sound Quality

To get the best possible sound quality, we highly recommend you try the following:
    •   Use a headset with a built-in microphone.
If you don’t have a headset, you are still likely to improve sound quality if you:
    •   Use headphones instead of your computer speakers.
    •   Try moving the microphone closer or further away from your mouth.
    •   Use an external microphone (note that most laptops use low-quality microphones).
    •   Update your soundcard drivers if applicable.
    •   Note that if you don’t own a microphone, you may be able to use a pair of headphones as a
        temporary solution by connecting these to the microphone jack of your sound card.

Improving Video Quality

Position your camera such that the light sources provide good illumination of the object you have
trained the camera on. Try to avoid situations where the object is between the light source and the
camera.

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