Skype in Ubuntu Precise alpha

Last night I installed Ubuntu Precise Pangolin 12.04. I was inspired by Mark Shuttleworth’s post and figured because this is an LTS release, it might be ok to upgrade this early, instead of going to 11.10 first.

My biggest hassle was getting skype working. I documented the steps in the hope that it might save somebody else some hassle. This worked for me today, 8 Jan 2012, it might get out of date fast, and should be totally obsolete soon.

First, I installed a bunch of packages from oneiric. I don’t think these are available in precise yet. They are:

They can be downloaded in one go with this command (I believe, I haven’t actually tested, I downloaded them one by one). That command makes a new directory “skype-downloads” then downloads all the packages into it. From there, I ran:

dpkg -i *.deb
sudo apt-get -f install
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install libxss1:i386 libqtcore4:i386 libqt4-dbus:i386 libasound2:i386 libxv1:i386 libsm6:i386 libxi6:i386 libXrender1:i386 libxrandr2:i386 libfreetype6:i386 libfontconfig1:i386 libqtgui4:i386

This installs all the downloaded files, upgrades / fixes some of them, then installs a whole load more i386 dependencies. Finally, after all that, I was able to install the skype .deb I downloaded from skype.com. After downloading the file, I’d suggest using dpkg to install it like this:

dpkg -i /path/to/downloaded/skype-ubuntu_2.2.0.35-1_amd64.deb

Then I was able to start skype. However, it wouldn’t show in the systray. To solve that, I used this command:

gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Panel systray-whitelist "['Skype']"

This command sets the value found in dconf-editor at desktop > unit > panel, called systra-whitelist. This value sets which programs can appear in the old fashioned system tray (now that we’re onto bigger and better things with unity and indicators). There’s a bug which means setting “all” in this value doesn’t work. So you need to add each program you want, in single quotes, separated by a comma. See this for more.

I don’t really understand what all of this does, I copied various bits and pieces from a few places and pieced it altogether through trial and error. This forum post talks about installing from oeneric, and this blog post listed the extra requirements.

I’m on skype video now, so this all worked! :-)

2 thoughts on “Skype in Ubuntu Precise alpha

  1. I wanted to let you know that the packages that you have listed in http://www.callum-macdonald.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/skype_precise_downloads_in_one_go.txt are older. If anybody uses the script you would need to 1) find the most current packages and 2) manually download each one for install. I was unable to find another way to download the correct packages using the script as wildcards cannot be used via http.

    Also, after installing the correct packages running sudo apt-get -f install will fix broken packages and install all other required packages as you have listed.

    • Thanks for updating. I haven’t installed any updated packages since, so the file might still work, but I believe there’s a much simpler way to get Skype working. I think it requires only one file to be installed from another package, but I haven’t figured out the details yet, because Skype is already working for me, and will probably work properly by the time Precise is released anyway! :-)

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