Teenagers these days might be overwhelmed with all the free communication services and Skype, to them, probably is something their grandfathers used. Skype is still pretty popular though and Microsoft, the company behind it is trying to keep it so. Skype is one of the few popular instant messaging and video calling apps available also on Linux. In recent years, Microsoft has also been updating Skype and adding new features, bringing it to more platforms. On Ubuntu, Skype is available via the official repositories, as a snap app, or a flatpak. You can install Skype on Ubuntu 18.04 using either of the three ways.
Skype for Linux features
- Group text chat and audio calls
- One-to-one and group video calls (camera needed)
- Calling a phone number (mobile and landlines) with Skype Credit
- The ability to send files and photos
- web link preview: show a preview of the content in URL
- Youtube video preview
- @mention notifications
Install Skype on Ubuntu 18.04 using the Snap package
Snap is a universal packaging format for Linux from Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu. Linux is a free and open source operating system just like Android. Linux is also fragmented, to an extent. There are so many different Linux distributions each with its own packaging format that it gets tedious and confusing. Apps not available in the official stores can be installed via packages, but there are so many different kinds of them for different Linux distros. Snap aims to solve this fragmentation problem. Several Linux distributions that support Snap are Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Arch Linux, Fedora, OpenSUSE and even OpenWRT.
The Ubuntu software center, now GNOME Software, contains all the Snap packages available for Linux. Since Skype is also available as Snap, you can install it directly from the Software Center. Launch the Software Center, search for Skype, click on it and then click Install. Enter your password when asked and Skype will be downloaded and installed. Snap packages are automatically updated in the background
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Install Skype on Ubuntu 18.04 from the official repositories
For this, you’ll need to add Skype Linux client repository to your system. You can do this by launching the Terminal and entering the following command. You will need to enter your password.
echo "deb [arch=amd64] https://repo.skype.com/deb stable main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/skype-stable.list
Next, you’ll need to fetch and install the Skype public key so that the APT package manager can verify the integrity of downloaded packages from this repo. To do this, use these two commands in succession.
wget https://repo.skype.com/data/SKYPE-GPG-KEY sudo apt-key add SKYPE-GPG-KEY
Since this repository is using HTTPS protocol, you also need to install the package
sudo apt install apt-transport-https
Now that that’s out the way, update the software source and install the package
skypeforlinux, which is around 69 MB of size. This can be done using these two commands.
sudo apt update sudo apt install skypeforlinux
The last command above will install Skype and you can then launch it application menu or the Terminal using the command below.
Fortunately, updating to a newer version of Skype does not require as many steps, instead just a couple of commands which can be entered at once.
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
How to Install Skype on Ubuntu 18.04 from Flathub
Flathub is a software repository for flatpak packages. Flatpak is similar to Snap and aims to solve the same problem of fragmentation. It is developed by Fedora and is not supported on Ubuntu by default. We’ve previously discussed Flatpak and how to install it, and Flatpak packages on Ubuntu. Since support for Flatpak is not built-in, you’ll need to first install flatpak. Launch Terminal and install Flatpak using the following command.
sudo apt install flatpak
The above command installs support for Flatpak packages but you’ll still need to add the Flatpak repositories to your software sources. This can be done with the command given below.
sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo
Once that’s done, you are ready to install the Skype Flatpak package.
flatpak install flathub com.skype.Client
After installation, Skype can be launched from the application menu or with the following command in a Terminal.
flatpak run com.skype.Client
If you’d like to uninstall the Skype Flatpak, you can use this command.
flatpak uninstall com.skype.Client
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