Skype has released a new Beta version of it’s VoIP client for Linux. The new release comes with video support.
For the first time every Linux’ Skype client now features full video support. With this feature the Linux client catches up with the Windows and MacOS client. The most important features listed in the changelog are:
- feature: Video.
- video feature: Video Devices options dialog.
- video feature: Video Accept/Decline dialog.
- video feature: Full-screen video.
Binaries are already available for several distributions like Fedora and OpenSuse. Unfortunately there is no Fedora 8 package yet, but the Fedora 7 package might just work.
Since this is a Beta release there are still several bugs, and some of them might spoil the fun for several users:
- Using uvc webcam driver with new Logitech cameras can cause a split video effect which does not recover until you restart video.
- Using uvc webcam driver with ATi fglrx graphics card driver results in a memory leak and potential crash currently.
gspca webcam driver can crash sometimes during webcam initialisation (which can also happen during the call).
- Using a display driver with only a single Xv port means you can only see video in one direction currently.
- Using a display driver with no Xv support will not work at all.
- ATi fglrx driver versions before 8.42.3 may crash your X server and lock up video during the call.
- ATi fglrx driver version 8.42.3 may crash your X server and lock up video at the beginning of the call.
The last two ones are in so far interesting that it means you shouldn’t try the new Skype with fglrx drivers of any version. Also, I’m not sure what the third point, “only a single Xv port” means and how many ports an average Linux system has. On the other hand, I do not even have a Web Cam currently so I don’t care just right now.
Still, with VideoOnSkype working I might buy one soon.