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More information about Skype for Linux Alpha

Skype for Linux Alpha is an early edition of a new version of Skype for Linux. It doesn’t yet have all of the features that will be released in the final version. It can be installed globally but is currently available in English only.

Skype for Linux Alpha users can help us test this new version, prioritize new features, and provide feedback. We encourage you to provide as much feedback as you can through the Skype Community, or using the Feedback button in the help menu. This helps us to improve call connections and call reliability quickly.
Read on to learn more.

What is the Skype for Linux Alpha release?
Up until now, Skype has built individual versions of Skype for different operating systems and devices. This is changing. In the last 12 months we have been testing our web-based platform meaning that users can make Skype calls without needing to install a plugin. We are making it quicker and easier than ever before to connect with friends and family – directly from Skype.com

Why are you letting users try this out as alpha, rather than beta?
We wanted to get this version of Skype to users as quickly as possible. It doesn’t yet have all the Skype features, but we hope that Linux users will help us move to beta and then to full launch in the coming months by testing our client and providing feedback to engineers.

Is it open source?
No. Skype for Linux is built on our web-based client and will not be open sourced for Linux users.

How do I get the Skype for Linux Alpha?
You can find out more about the Skype for Linux Alpha and download it on the Skype Community

 

How have you tested Skype for Linux Alpha so far?
Skype for Linux Alpha was tested with the following Linux distributions:

  • Fedora 23
  • Ubuntu Gnome 16.04
  • Ubuntu 16.04
  • OpenSuse KDE 13.2
  • Debian 8.5
  • OpenSuse Leap 42.1 KDE

We have tested with different desktop environments: Gnome, Unity, Mate, Cinnamon, KDE, but keep in mind there are differences between all these environments and some of the things are tightly coupled with the environment you use (e.g. notifications).  

Also, Skype for Linux Alpha depends on gnome-keyring and libgnome-keyring0 packages for storing credentials. Both of these packages are installed as a dependency for the Skype for Linux Alpha package.


Notes:

  • Without the libgnome-keyring0 the application won't start. If you encounter this problem, make sure this package is installed.
  • If after each launch the application still asks for credentials this means that either the gnome-keyring package is not installed on your system or that the gnome-keyring-daemon is not started. Make sure these two conditions are met.
  • On Fedora we've encountered a problem with the gnome-keyring-daemon. This problem was seen with gnome-keyring 3.18.2. It is solved in version 3.18.3.
 

Does Skype for Linux Alpha work on a 32-bit or 64-bit system?
We are only building Skype for Linux Alpha for a 64-bit system, as this is a first version and we want to see how people react to it. There may be a 32-bit version in the future.
 

Feature comparison between Skype for Linux (current) and Skype for Linux Alpha  

Feature list  Skype for Linux (current)  Skype for Linux Alpha  
One-to one video calling
Currently rolling out when both parties are using
Skype for Linux Alpha, or Skype for Web on Chrome browser for Linux or Chromebook
 
Skype PSTN calling   
Skype SMS messages  
Buy Skype credit   
Add participants to ongoing call   
Change device settings   
One-to-one instant messaging
Group instant messaging
Skype emoticons 
Call forwarding 
Add friends as Skype contacts
Start conversations 
One-to-one audio calling
Group audio calling
Share contacts
New emoticons packs   

When is video calling coming?  
We are currently rolling out one-to-one video calling when both parties are using either Skype for Linux Alpha, or Skype for Web on Chrome browser for Linux or Chromebook. Video calling is only available if you're both on these platforms.

Only audio calling is currently enabled between:

  • All other Skype enabled platforms (like Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows) and
  • Skype for Linux Alpha or Chrome/Chromebooks

We'd love to hear your feedback at this early stage of getting video calling out for Linux Chrome users. Let us know what you think via the Skype Community, by using the Feedback button in the help menu, or use #skypefeedback on Twitter.  
 
Is Skype calling for landlines and mobiles supported?  
No, currently this feature is not supported on Skype for Linux Alpha. But stay tuned!  
 
When can we expect to see the remaining features?
We hope to release an update every 2 weeks or so. For the time being, these updates will be pushed through the Linux software updater and confirmation of what changes have been made will be announced on the Skype Community
We will plan to add all remaining features in the coming months as we move from alpha to beta and then to full general availability.

Can I use Skype for Linux and Skype for Linux Alpha together? Are they separate apps? Will both apps ring when I get a call? 
As the apps are separate, you can continue to use them together. However, the notifications are not optimized between the two, so you will experience incoming calls ringing twice. This experience is not optimized through the alpha and beta period as, we would, eventually like all users to be using one client. 

Will my chat history be transferred?  
You will be able to see up to 30 days of conversation history in Skype for Linux Alpha. Over the course of the alpha, we will work on a way for your full conversation history to be made available.  

Which version of the Skype client should people I'm calling use?
Make sure they use at least the following versions of the Skype client in combination with Skype for Linux Alpha: Mac 7.26, Android 6.31, Windows 7.24, Skype for Web, and iOS 6.15.

Does this fix the incoming group call issue I have on Skype for Linux today? 
Yes, the problem with receiving incoming group calls is fixed in Skype for Linux Alpha. Make sure the people you're calling or receiving calls from are using the latest version of Skype.

Why can't I add a third person to an ongoing one-to-one audio call?
Skype for Linux Alpha doesn't support adding participants to an ongoing one-to-one call. This will be fixed in future releases. 

How can I start a group call?
Because you can't add a new participant to an ongoing one-to-one call in Skype for Linux Alpha, you can just create a new group chat with all of the participants, and then start the call. 

Why can't I make or receive calls from an existing Skype for Linux client when using Skype for Linux Alpha?
Skype for Linux Alpha uses a new cloud-based architecture for better call reliability, and provides a foundation for building more improved features much faster than we could using the older architecture in Skype for Linux 4.3. During this transition we know there may be some issues as Skype for Linux 4.3 is phased out. 


Why do I get this message when someone tries to call me - "This person tried to contact you but there was a problem connecting the call, try calling them back"?
Skype for Linux Alpha uses a new cloud-based architecture. Skype clients on Windows, Mac OS X, iPhone, iPad, and Android have not been fully migrated to the new cloud architecture. Once all of the Skype clients are fully migrated, you'll no longer receive this error. 

This error can also occur if the person trying to call you is using an older version of Skype.

Why do calls I make to my contacts sometimes fail in Skype for Linux Alpha?
Skype for Linux Alpha uses a new cloud-based architecture. Skype clients on Windows, Mac OS X, iPhone, iPad, and Android have not been fully migrated to the new cloud architecture. Once all of the Skype clients are fully migrated, you'll no longer experience any call failures. 

Alternatively, you can try calling your contact through the Skype for Linux 4.3 version.

Why can't I make video calls using Linux or Chromebook?
We are currently rolling out one-to-one video calling when both parties are using either Skype for Linux Alpha, or Skype for Web on Chrome browser for Linux or Chromebook. Video calling is only available if you're both on these platforms.
Only audio calling is currently enabled between:

  • All other Skype enabled platforms (like Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows) and
  • Skype for Linux Alpha or Chrome/Chromebooks

We'd love to hear your feedback at this early stage of getting video calling out for Linux Chrome users. Let us know what you think via the Skype Community, by using the Feedback button in the help menu, or use #skypefeedback on Twitter.

Are you planning to support Skype for Linux for a while?
Yes, we are committed to the platform ongoing. Our Linux users are very important to us.  
 
What are the channels for providing feedback on Skype for Linux Alpha? 
Feedback can be provided through the Skype Community, or by using the Feedback button in the help menu, or use #skypefeedback on Twitter.

 
I'm willing to provide debugging information/logs - how can I do this? 
We always appreciate feedback from users. By default, logging is not enabled in our app - you must enable it before you can create log files. When you create a log file, it will store certain personal data in line with our Skype Privacy Policy. We need the collected data so we can analyze and solve your problem. Log files do not contain data such as your chat conversations, audio, or video messages.  

 If you encounter an issue, do the following: 

  1. Enable debug menu with the following key combination: Ctrl+Shift+Alt+D.
  2. In the debug menu click Enable logging.
  3. Try to recreate the exact steps you did before in order to obtain the same issue.
  4. After you were able to recreate the bug, collect the logs:
    • Application logs can be found at ~/.config/skypeforlinux/logs (in your HOME directory, under .config/skypeforlinux/logs).
    • Create an archive from this folder. E.g. 
      $ tar -zcvf skypeforlinux-logs.tar.gz  
    • You may have to close the app as the files may change when creating the archive and the app is running. 
  5. You can disable logs after this by clicking Disable logging in the debug menu.
  6. Make sure to provide feedback about your issue through the Skype Community and one of our engineers will contact you if logs are needed. 

 

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