Ekiga and Skype

Aryan Ameri info at ameri.me
Wed Nov 11 15:48:30 GMT 2009

On Wed, 2009-11-11 at 21:27 +1000, Geoffrey wrote:
> Evidently (?) Skype is different and doesn't communicate with
> Ekiga. I've learnt too that there is Skype for Linux.
> This is a bit of a disappointment. What happened to standard protocols?
> Incidently I have not yet upgraded to 9.10. I think I saw a comment on
> Ubuntu-AU that Ekiga is not part of the upgrade. If so what has taken
> its place?
> My questions of members are, in relation to Ubuntu: 
> 1. Where do I go from the present position cited above?
> 2. How is the Ubuntu softphone-Skype matter resolved?

Yes, Skype uses its own proprietary protocol, and has gone to great
lengths to protect it from reverse engineering, so that nothing can work
with the Skype network other than Skype clients. 

SIP is the open and industry standard for VoIP (Voice over IP, the
technical term used for "making a phone call over the Internet"). Ekiga
is one such client that implements SIP. As Ekiga is a stinking piece of
shyt, it's been removed from 9.10, and replaced with Empathy. Empathy is
a nice client, and shows lots of promise, but at the moment its rather
immature and its support for SIP is rather shaky. 

To my knowledge, no good open source softphone implementing SIP exists
on any platfrom. 

If you need VoIP for the occasional use, then Skype is fine, and will do
the job. If you are thinking of using VoIP for serious use, like for
your business, then you need a good client, which supports the G.729
codec. They are all proprietary, and they all cost money. CounterPath
makes decent softphones, Bria and EyeBeam, but AFAIK they only run on
Mac OS X and Windows, no Linux. 

Or alternatively you can use a hardware VoIP phone. Snom is a very good
German brand, and is highly recommended. Of course, if you go that
route, you then also need a call termination service. There are many
decent aussie companies offering such services, have a look at
whirlpool.net.au for more info. 


Aryan Ameri

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