How to Install Skype in Ubuntu

Skype on Ubuntu

There are actually a couple of ways to get Skype installed and running on your Ubuntu system. Both are fairly easy. It’s probably more convenient to use a Snap package, but you can also download and install Skype directly from Microsoft’s site.

With a Snap

Snaps are a relatively new universal packaging format for Linux. That means that Snap packages will work across all Linux distributions, making it an ideal format for applications like Skype.

Only recently, Skype started packaging in a Snap format, which is a big deal because Skype has historically been one of the more problematic packages to manage on Linux. Hopefully, this step forward will help make Skype more reliable for Linux users.

Check Snapd

Check Snapd

Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company, is responsible for creating the Snap format. So support on Ubuntu is about as good as it gets. Just double-check that your Ubuntu install is running the snapd service, but it probably is.

sudo systemctl status snapd

On the off chance that it isn’t, install the package.

sudo apt install snapd

Install Skype

Install the Skype Snap

Now you can install Skype. Snaps are like any other Linux packages, so you can just tell the package manager to install it.

sudo snap install skype --classic

The --classic flag is necessary for file sharing over Skype.

The Classic Way

If you don’t want to get involved with Snap, you can download and install a classic “.deb” package directly from Microsoft.

Get the Package

Download Skype

Go to Microsoft’s Skype download page, and select “Skype for Linux DEB.” Save the package when you’re asked.

Install with DPKG

Open up a terminal, and change into your download directory.

cd ~/Downloads

Then, use dpkg to install Skype.

sudo dpkg -i skypeforlinux-64.deb

The Easiest Way: Double-Click

An easier way (or perhaps the easiest) to install a .deb file in Ubuntu is to simply double-click on it, like how you double-click an .exe file in Windows. In the window that opens up, click “Install.”


Using Skype

Skype Launcher

Skype for Linux is a lot like the web application version of Skype. That’s because it practically is the web application version. Microsoft got kind of lazy with that. Still, it’s better than the old buggy version of Skype that never got updates.

Skype Running on Ubuntu

Once you start up Skype, sign in to your account, or create one. You’ll be dropped into the same interface that you’d expect, with your contacts to the left and a chat/status space on the right. Again, it’s almost identical to the web interface.

From here, you can use Skype the way you’re accustomed to. Skype will run on startup by default and move itself to the background when it’s closed. Make sure to modify this behavior if it’s not what you want.

Nick Congleton
Nick Congleton

Nick is a freelance tech. journalist, Linux enthusiast, and a long time PC gamer.

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