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szatox
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue, I think teamviewer can do that. It has some funny licence though, so you most likely would have to read it carefully to determine whether you can use it free of charge or consider it commercial. AFAIR it targets remote support, and in this case person providing support has to buy it and his clients are free to share his license. I don't know how good it really is though.
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Anon-E-moose
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue wrote:
I'm in serious need for a skype alternative, but we need desktop sharing between multiple people, as well as audio between multiple people.


Don't know if it will work (for you and your needs) but vm's are a possibility then you could run something like xp in it and use skype for windows
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mv
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anon-E-moose wrote:
you could run something like xp in it and use skype for windows

In this case, it is perhaps better to install pulseaudio. I have not checked it yet, but I suppose that it might be possible to start the pulseaudio server only with skype (and perhaps it will then even close when skype closes); in this case, it would not be too bad: skype cannot be trusted, anyway, so adding another unknown risk does not change the situation dramatically.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't mean to hijack the thread. In fact shortly after my previous post I made my own thread here: https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-994108-highlight-.html

I'm not opposed to commercial software. I write some of it. I would prefer open source because of the flexibility, but if something fills the void I'm happy with that.

It's a big debate for me whether a VM with an antique proprietary OS would mess up my system more than having pulseaudio on it. I never really understood why it had to be that complicated just to get a @#%@# sound card to work. It's so obtuse I don't see why any distros adopted it.

Edit: I also am extremely dissatisfied with skype's CPU usage. It sucks down more and more CPU and there's no reason for it. Webex uses minimal resources and is better in every way, other than the monthly license fees.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's an odd question... May as well check for feasibility.

How about an ALSA plugin that presents the pulseaudio API? Better yet, have the plugin feed straight into dmix.

There is already alsa-plugins-pulseaudio which lets native ALSA applications work through pulseaudio. How about the other way around?

I realize that it's at least a SMOP, but is it technically feasible?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

depontius wrote:
How about an ALSA plugin that presents the pulseaudio API?

Would such a plugin have any other purpose than to satisfy skype?
If not, the energy is probably better spent into a free skype alternative...

... speaking about tox :wink:
Currently, for me the showstopper is the lack of any android client with voice support.
And maybe another issue, which might be an implicity cause of the bad experience I had:

It seems that the tox protocoll requires that at least one (or maybe even both?) clients are not behind a NAT, i.e. that the machine on which tox is running can be actively accessed by ip4 from outside (and not only passively for connections established by the machine itself; sorry if I use wrong terminology, I am not a network specialist); in my case both machines were behind the same router...
If my conjecture is right, this is a severe drawback: Two people using tox e.g. in a hotel behind some NAT router could not connect to each other.
Skype does not have this problem due to its central server. Maybe this problem can also be avoided by running some public tox servers, but I have not checked the details whether this is the case (actually, I have not even verified whether my conjecture is right). Maybe some of the tox experts here can explain!?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would help to eliminate the necessity of having any poetteringware on your system.
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depontius
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mv wrote:
depontius wrote:
How about an ALSA plugin that presents the pulseaudio API?

Would such a plugin have any other purpose than to satisfy skype?
If not, the energy is probably better spent into a free skype alternative...


Skype is merely the first, I'm sure there will be more.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 4:28 pm    Post subject: beware: skype-4.3.0.37dropps alsa support! Reply with quote

there it begins, skype 4.3.0.37 doesn't support alsa anymore, just PA!

see: http://blogs.skype.com/2014/06/18/skype-4-3-for-linux/

nice going MS!

OT, any alternative which is cross platform?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're a bit late: tox and alternatives: skype requires pulseaudio now.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

duh! missed that thread. my bad!
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mv
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems that microsoft now started to force the new skype protocol: <net-im/skype-4.3 cannot connect anymore :evil:
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mv wrote:
It seems that microsoft now started to force the new skype protocol: <net-im/skype-4.3 cannot connect anymore :evil:

Why not use WebRTC? Can be tried on https://opentokrtc.com/ and should work in Firefox or Google chrome.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mv wrote:
It seems that microsoft now started to force the new skype protocol: <net-im/skype-4.3 cannot connect anymore :evil:

Hummm, still working here.

If I were to scramble a guess, perhaps it is because of me using a MSN/WLM-account instead of an actual Skype name-device. That should mean that I actually use a different protocol, though I could be wrong.

Something did break some time ago though, for KMess can only connect via the http-fallback, but that happened some time ago already.


Hmmm, I wonder if it's time to start sending good-byes to my contacts yet...
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mv
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chiitoo wrote:
Hummm, still working here.

This is strange, because in the corresponding bug there is already a semi-official announcement linked to.
There is a reference to that bug to your post to avoid removal of earlier skype versions too quickly; it might make sense to repost your experience in that bug.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mmmh, added a comment over there, though I'm not sure it makes sense to keep the version around even if it works for me and those who use the 'merged' accounts.

I have a feeling it's not going to last fer long...
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure enough, it did not last.

A couple of days ago, Skype logged me off, telling me that it was either due to a connection issue, or my password was changed elsewhere (way to get paranoid people go into pancake-mode!).

Trying to log in again would get me the following: “Sorry, we didn't recognize your sign-in details. Please check your Skype Name and password, then try again.”

Trying to purposefully enter a wrong password would say the password is incorrect, so I guess this is indeed the end. What a good way to tell me about it, Microsoft. It could have been said clearer, I'd imagine...

Even so, I can still use those “microsoft accounts” to connect via KMess (perhaps because of the http fallback).


On other news... I tried some more Tox clients using the overlay from here.

I'm still not a fan of the GUI style that nearly all of them have adopted. Would like to give it a shot to see if I could create something myself (though I doubt it!).

Out of net-im/toxic, net-im/venom, net-im/blight, net-im/tox-gui-qt, net-im/qtox, and net-im/utox, the tox-gui-qt and toxic are probably closest to something I might see myself using, though tox-gui-qt seems it might be the most incomplete one too. As for blight, it's the other different looking one I guess, but it doesn't run at all at the moment (or I can't drive it).

Have not tested calling, but µTox and qTox should have both, audio and video.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd suggest also following another alternative: there's an app for iThing/Android called WeChat that is fantastic as a communication app. The video and audio compression beats (at least on my Android phone) that of skype.

It has a web-based interface that allows for chatting via QR-code scanning. I don't know if the web interface also includes voice comms, but if it does, I'd highly recommend that as your VoIP solution.

Because I just tried to get skype to work, and that there is some bullshit :(
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

charles17 wrote:
mv wrote:
It seems that microsoft now started to force the new skype protocol: <net-im/skype-4.3 cannot connect anymore :evil:

Why not use WebRTC? Can be tried on https://opentokrtc.com/ and should work in Firefox or Google chrome.

Thanks for posting. I had never heard of WebRTC so decided to check it out, and indeed it turns out to be a viable alternative for some of the functions offered by Skype (although I did not check if Skype-to-landline, something I need to use quite often, is replicated by any of the commercial Web sites that use WebRTC).

I did not find the WebRTC free demo sites particularly intuitive to use, so have prepared a blog post (WebRTC – A viable alternative to Skype) as an aide-mémoire and to help others.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you just need VOIP then there are lots of options that don't necessarily involve Linux.

I use Magic Jack. It has a device that can be either a USB dongle or a stand-alone network entity. For this one, it lets you call anywhere in the USA from anywhere in the world. That may or may not suit your purposes but I'm saying it just to get the idea out, surely there are equivalents for almost every nation.

It has these modes:

  1. Android app. You register your cell phone and run the app, when people call your MJ number it rings your cell phone. This uses a lot of batteries.
  2. Presumably there's an iPhone app.
  3. Network entity: You hook up ethernet, usb (for power) and a plain old telephone to the device, it registers itself and the phone works as you would expect.
  4. Computer device: Hook the USB up to your computer, run the app (stored on the device) and use your computer's built-in audio as a headset.


I don't know if the computer mode works with Linux. I use it as a stand-alone device.

Cost is about $20 a year, unlimited calling. In the context I use it, it's a bargain.

All that said, I'm really really eager to hear about something that has all of this:

  1. Voice
  2. Text chats with groups
  3. Screen sharing among multiple participants
  4. Face to face video chat with multiple participants
  5. A sharable/secure whiteboard app with recording
  6. Prefer peer-to-peer with my own server for initial contacts and recordings.

AFAIK this does not yet exist.

Skype has always sucked up way too much power on my systems. One laptop regularly goes into thermal shutdown during screen share. That's not cool.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fitzcarraldo wrote:
I did not find the WebRTC free demo sites particularly intuitive to use, so have prepared a blog post (WebRTC – A viable alternative to Skype) as an aide-mémoire and to help others.
Yes, it's hard to understand and still int the state of a W3C Working Draft.
But, as it seems to be designed for initiating real P2P conversation, it should be possible to create one's own webpage involving certain javascript code and so get rid of any need to log in to proprietary closed shops like S...e or H.....t.

1clue wrote:
If you just need VOIP then there are lots of options that don't necessarily involve Linux.
Many options, true. For just only VoIP you don't even need a computer. Any phone connected to your e.g. Fritz!Box set up for SIP connections will do the job. Have your own SIP-uri equal to your email address, then all your landline calls and VoIP calls come in on the same device. And for your friends, your email address might be easier to keep in mind than your landline phone number.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fitzcarraldo wrote:
charles17 wrote:
mv wrote:
It seems that microsoft now started to force the new skype protocol: <net-im/skype-4.3 cannot connect anymore :evil:

Why not use WebRTC? Can be tried on https://opentokrtc.com/ and should work in Firefox or Google chrome.

Thanks for posting. I had never heard of WebRTC so decided to check it out, and indeed it turns out to be a viable alternative for some of the functions offered by Skype (although I did not check if Skype-to-landline, something I need to use quite often, is replicated by any of the commercial Web sites that use WebRTC).

I did not find the WebRTC free demo sites particularly intuitive to use, so have prepared a blog post (WebRTC – A viable alternative to Skype) as an aide-mémoire and to help others.
MS are actually working on a WebRTC based Skype. The present beta needs a 3rd party plugin to work via your browser, but the aim is to be a plugin-less, using WebRTC webclient.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. I also see that Mozilla has added a button to Firefox 34 to provide account-free video chat using WebRTC. Mozilla calls this feature 'Firefox Hello'.

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/where-firefox-hello-button

I have it in Firefox 34.0.5 (I had to drag the Hello button from Customise | Additional Tools and Features) but have not got around to trying it yet.

EDIT: OK, curiosity got the better of me and I'm trying out Firefox Hello as I type this. It works quite well. I didn't bother creating an account; I just clicked on the Email button to e-mail the automatically-generated URL to someone, and he clicked on the URL in the e-mail he received, which opened Firefox on his laptop and rang Firefox on my laptop. We tried both video and audio-only conversations, and both worked well, although the bandwidth at my end is not good recently (I really need to complain to my ISP) so I disabled my Webcam and continued with just audio. Firefox Hello is not as polished as Skype, but I reckon that, if Mozilla keeps working on it, they could end up with a good product.
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Tae_kyon
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a sidenote because someone earlier stated that Skype now depends on systemd: it does not.

I have Skype 4.3 on an openrc Gentoo system working without problems.

Pulseaudio does not require systemd. So, Skype 4.3 requires pulseaudio, not systemd.

Of course, if I wanted to use skype without pulseaudio this would be a big pain in the a..
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Last edited by Tae_kyon on Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:35 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tae_kyon wrote:
Of course, if I wanted to use alsa without systemd this would be a big pain in the a..

:? :?: You don't need systemd to use ALSA. Far from it. I'm using ALSA with OpenRC without any trouble at all.
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