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[wlug] Installing Skype on Ubuntu [Rant]

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Mathew Carley mathewc@h...
Mon Nov 14 21:17:36 NZDT 2005

> > Here's why I'm a bit frustrated at the moment with Ubuntu:
> >>I think it's a bit short sighted to blame your problems on a Ubuntu when
> >>the problem is caused by a non-free application being distributed in
> >>binary only form. The blame should be appropriately placed with Skype.

You are quite right, perhaps I should have "blamed" Skype for the lack of
appropriate support for a still young (yet surprisingly mature) distro.
Keeping in mind it was a bit of a rant as to why (in this particular
instance) I prefer(red) SuSE, and also this install of Ubuntu was to
revive/choke out the last life of this laptops hard drive, and is not of any
real importance, shall we say.

I have since installed breezy, and had Skype working within minutes, all
appropriate packages downloaded through Synaptic (yay no dpkg!) and so on.
I've even changed totem-gstreamer to totem-xine with xine-ui and was able to
get the multimedia stuff working quite quickly. I must say, 6 months of
obviously hard work has made a huge difference to Ubuntu, and I must
congratulate all who develop in and around it.

> I wanted to install Skype. Skype is a KDE app, (and it looks ugly in
> > Gnome - there are workarounds, but aside from that). It requires
> > libqt3-xxxxxxxx.
> >
> > Firstly, I was trying to install it from the .deb package distributed
> > on <> (skype_1.2.0.18-1_i386).
> >>Luckily, as fulfilling as it is to be a Free software zealot and say
> >>it's all Skype's fault there are more pragmatic members of the community
> >>who are happy to put time and effort into make non-free software like
> >>Skype work seemlessly.

My experience with Hoary was not nearly as pleasant as the one with Breezy.
I must say that I much prefer Breezy over Hoary (surprised) and it is so
much quicker than SuSE 9.3, but this may be due to the light-weight nature
of the distro and the fact that I have bugger all installed on a clean (but
slowly dying) hard drive and clean /home partition.

To get Skype working nicely on Ubuntu you need to look no further than
> the Ubuntu Guide ( which links to nicely
> built .debs for Ubuntu that I've used successfully from Warty -> Hoary
> and now for Breezy.
> See specifically

Correct. Once again - instructions worked fine with Breezy, but not so well
with Hoary.

After reading the rest of your email and the packages you installed I'm
> surprised that your box still works at all!

So was I. In fact, I went so far as to leave the laptop on until I was able
to download and burn the Breezy ISO the next morning (after some sleep). In
saying that, I did end up having to reboot it, as for some reason it thought
the CD-RW drive was busy, and, well, yeah. Believe it or not, the system did
boot, apparantely without error; though there were a few complaints that it
couldn't talk to locale (unsurprisingly).

However, all is well now (until my hard drive and more RAM arrives), at
which time it will be a tougher decision than originally anticipated to
choose between SuSE 10 and Breezy. It hasn't taken long (or much) to like
Ubuntu so far, though as a "full featured" distro, I will probably end up
with SuSE.

Or I could partition the drive and just have both, sharing a /home partition
(with different user-folders) - Ubuntu for lightweight applications (eg when
I'm on the tram and need to write down a URL, for example) and SuSE for my
Development Stuff or something.


Mathew Carley
HostENZ Data Services
A Carley Network Media Ltd. (NZ) Company

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