Friday, June 15, 2012

Skype 4.0 for Linux + SlackBuild Script

Skype has finally updated their Skype client for Linux after sticking with their version 2 for so many years. They bumped the version to 4 and it has a codename Four Rooms for Improvement. Four new features that are highlight to this version are:
  1. A new Conversations View where users can easily track all of their chats in a unified window
  2. A brand new Call View
  3. Improvement on Call quality
  4. Improvement on video call quality and also extended support for more cameras
Of course, they have other small improvements and fixes. Some of them are worthy to mention:
  • improved chat synchronization
  • new presence and emoticon icons
  • the ability to store and view phone numbers in a Skype contact's profile
  • much lower chance Skype for Linux will crash or freeze
  • chat history loading is now much faster
  • support for two new languages: Czech (flag:cz) and Norwegian (flag:no)
Note, the very first time you start Skype for Linux 4.0 might take a few minutes (depending on how lengthy your chat history is). Please do not close Skype during this time. Subsequent starts will load much more quickly.

Go get Skype for Linux, but there are no static release anymore on the download page. They only provide packages for several distribution, such as Ubuntu, Debian, OpenSUSE, and Fedora.

Don't worry, as the static and shared binary packages are still available if you know the direct link and thanks to ArchLinux team, we know the URL links now. They are available on here and here (static).

I have a Skype SlackBuild script ready at my SlackHacks repository. I updated the original SlackBuild on SBo project to reflect the changes upstream.

Note: Skype 4 requires libtiff-4.0.x which is now available on my SlackHacks repository. It's an upgraded version from -Current packages which is still at 3.9.6. I have also updated the README to add this note.