How to Install Skype in Ubuntu 13.10 and Fix Common Issues

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Skype is one of the best applications out there as far as communicating with people you love is concerned. Owned by Microsoft now, millions of people rely on Skype on staying in touch with their loved ones who are staying far away. The freemium Voice over IP service was first released in 2003. By the end of 2010, it had 663 million registered users. In 2011, the service hit a major milestone when it was acquired by Microsoft for a whopping $8.5 billion. While its presence on Windows and Mac has seen many updates, its Linux version had been largely ignored until recently.

Over the past couple of years, Skype on Linux has seen many updates, thus making it very stable and reliable software, at least as compared to its earlier iterations. Though not quite perfect, it has some rough edges that unfortunately affect many Ubuntu users who are new to the free operating system.

So, if you have installed Ubuntu (particularly Ubuntu 13.10 "Saucy Salamander") for the first time and are looking for ways to install Skype, simply follow this tutorial:

Installing Skype

To install Skype, first open the command line. You can do this by searching for "Terminal" without quotes in the dashboard or simply using the keyboard combination (Ctrl + Alt + T). Then, once the terminal is open, type in or paste the following commands in the given order:

sudo sh -c 'echo "deb saucy partner" >> /etc/apt/sources.list'

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install skype

When you enter the first command, you'll be prompted to enter your root password. If you don't know the root password, contact the system administrator.

Fixing Sound Issues

Many users have complained of sound issues when using Skype on Ubuntu 13.10. A simple fix for this problem is found by entering the following command in your terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T)

sudo sed -i 's/^Exec=.*/Exec=env PULSE_LATENCY_MSEC=30 skype %U/' /usr/share/applications/skype.desktop

Fixing the Indicator Applet Problem

Many users find that the indicator applet doesn't show up after installing the software. This is especially annoying if you use Skype on a daily basis. A fix for the issue is a simple command that you can enter in your terminal.

Type in or paste the following command in your terminal to show the indicator applet.

sudo apt-get install sni-qt sni-qt:i386


The issues pertinent to Skype can easily be fixed by using the aforementioned commands. The main reason Skype runs into trouble after each upgrade is that it only supports LTS releases in Ubuntu. So, as the libraries get updated for the newer versions of Ubuntu, Skype starts conflicting with them. Let's hope that Microsoft starts paying more attention to its sworn enemy a little more now. To install Skype directly from Microsoft site, you may go HERE:

Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.