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Comment: Add instructions to start skype from the command line to get better error messages, and also instructions to install i386 version of libGL nvidia prorietary drivers if skype cannot fnd libGL
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== Debian 6 "Squeeze" ==
The Skype Web site no longer offers packages specifically designed for Debian 6.0, only for Debian 7. There is already a bug report on the Skype public bug-tracking system that decries this. (None of the new deb packages work as well as skype-debian_2.2.0.35-1_amd64.deb, and it is more spammy besides&nbsp;— really time to move to linphone.

http://download.skype.com/linux/skype-debian_4.0.0.7-1_i386.deb works on Debian 6.0. It's unknown whether any newer Skype packages were designed to work on Debian 6.0.

If you want MSN Messenger and Facebook support, you'll need Skype 4.1. http://download.skype.com/linux/skype-ubuntu-lucid_4.1.0.20-1_i386.deb&nbsp;— despite its filename&nbsp;— seems to work fine on Debian 6.0. Skype 4.1 has not yet been formally reviewed for this wiki.

http://download.skype.com/linux/skype-debian_4.1.0.20-1_i386.deb does not work on Debian 6.0.6. Even if you force it to install, the binary fails to start.

http://download.skype.com/linux/skype-debian_4.0.0.7-1_i386.deb does work on Debian 6.0.6 x86_64. Despite the architecture mismatch, you can install:
# apt-get install ia32-libs ia32-libs-gtk
and then run:
# dpkg -i --force-architecture skype-debian_4.0.0.7-1_i386.deb

Translation(s): English - Français - 简体中文 - Русский







Version reviewed:


unsigned .deb






minor errors


Control scripts




es pl zh_t ja no pt_br fr cs ro lv lt pt_pt et ko bg uk ru en zh_s th de it tr



i386, amd64


Legend: (./) = Pass ; X-( = Bad

Skype is non-free, proprietary, closed source software, owned by a corporation and not supported by Debian. Have you considered using a free and open source alternative, which is community-owned and supported by Debian, such as Iceweasel/Firefox Hello, the VoIP ekiga, linphone, or jitsi? See also UnifiedCommunications

Installing Skype

Skype is available for amd64 and i386 architectures and Debian 5 or later. Generally, latest packages can be found at the Skype Web site.

<!> As of 2014, there are no repositories with the latest Skype version (4.x). You will have to obtain the package from the Skype Web site each time there is an update. Since apt-get cannot inform you of updates, you might want to enable "[x] Check for update on startup" in the "Advanced" tab of the options menu in Skype.

Debian 9 "Stretch"

(See Debian 7 "Wheezy")

Debian 8 "Jessie"

(See Debian 7 "Wheezy")

Frequently Ask Questions (F.A.Q.) for Jessie 64 bits

(Make sure you followed all the instructions in Debian 7 "Wheezy" before trying to fix possible problems)

Question: Problems starting Skype, what to do?

Answer: Starting Skype from the command line can give you error messages that will guide you to the solution.

Question: I get the following error message when starting skype from the command line:

skype: error while loading shared libraries: libGL.so.1: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

Answer: If you are using nvidia proprietary drivers you need to install the i386 version of libGL

# apt-get install libgl1-nvidia-glx:i386

If you are not using nvidia proprietary drivers you can try:

# ln -s /usr/lib/mesa-diverted/i386-linux-gnu/libGL.so.1 /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/

Question: The installation instructions for Wheezy are not working for Jessie?

Answer: Try the following commands

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude install libc6:i386 libqt4-dbus:i386 libqt4-network:i386 libqt4-xml:i386 libqtcore4:i386 libqtgui4:i386 libqtwebkit4:i386 libstdc++6:i386 libx11-6:i386 libxext6:i386 libxss1:i386 libxv1:i386 libssl1.0.0:i386 libpulse0:i386 libasound2-plugins:i386
wget -O skype-install.deb http://www.skype.com/go/getskype-linux-deb
sudo dpkg -i skype-install.deb

Question: Why is Skype not using my systems default cursor?

Answer: Install the 32-bit variant of libxcursor1.

# apt-get install libxcursor1:i386

Question: Why is Skype not using my systems default theme?

Answer: Install the 32-bit variant of gtk2-engines-murrine and gtk2-engines-pixbuf.

# apt-get install gtk2-engines-murrine:i386 gtk2-engines-pixbuf:i386

KDE Users

In order for Skype to use the systems theme under KDE you must install the 32-bit variant of the GTK2 theme engine you are using, and in Skype => Options specify for Skype not to use the Desktop Setting but instead use GTK+.

For example if you are using the default GTK theme engine Oxygen for your GTK applications then you must install:

# apt-get install gtk2-engines-oxygen:i386

Debian 7 "Wheezy"

32 bits / i386

The i386 package works well with a standard i386 Debian 7 system

To install Skype choose one of the following two options

Option 1: Using GDebi

Type the following commands in Terminal:

# apt-get install gdebi
# wget -O skype-install.deb http://www.skype.com/go/getskype-linux-deb
# gdebi skype-install.deb

GDebi will automatically install all required dependencies.

Option 2: Not using GDebi

This option is an alternative install method. Mostly for users of KDE who do not want the GDebi dependencies.

Type the following commands in Terminal:

# wget -O skype-install.deb http://www.skype.com/go/getskype-linux-deb
# dpkg -i skype-install.deb

It is expected that there may be missing dependency errors output by dpkg. To fix missing dependencies run:

# apt-get -f install

64 bits / amd64

  • The following instructions work with both Debian 7.4 and 7.5. If not working, please open a ticket at the Skype forum.

  • From Wheezy onwards, Debian supports Multi-Arch. The Skype packages for i386 work well with Multi-Arch.

Option 1: Using GDebi

First, you will have to enable Multi-Arch; to do so type in the following commands in ROOT Terminal:

# dpkg --add-architecture i386
# apt-get update

Then, download the i386 package as above and install:

# apt-get install gdebi
# wget -O skype-install.deb http://www.skype.com/go/getskype-linux-deb
# gdebi skype-install.deb

Quite a few i386 packages will be installed by gdebi, however be careful to check which packages the above command has uninstalled as this might delete important packages such as openssh-server.

Skype is installed. Enjoy.

Option 2: Not using GDebi

This option is an alternative install method. Mostly for users of KDE who do not want the GDebi dependencies.

First, you will have to enable Multi-Arch:

# dpkg --add-architecture i386
# apt-get update

Then, download the i386 package as above and install:

# wget -O skype-install.deb http://www.skype.com/go/getskype-linux-deb
# dpkg -i skype-install.deb

It is expected that there may be missing dependency errors output by dpkg. To fix missing dependencies run:

# apt-get -f install

If you're using Gnome 3, to access the Skype menu, move your mouse to the bottom right side of your screen, then right-click on the Skype icon.

Problems starting Skype

When starting Skype, a native 32 bit binary, in a 64 bit environment you might run into the following error and Skype refuses to start:

skype: error while loading shared libraries: libGL.so.1: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

So far I only had this problem on 64 bit. The following solution solved it:

# ln -s /usr/lib/mesa-diverted/i386-linux-gnu/libGL.so.1 /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/

Frequently Ask Questions (F.A.Q.) for Wheezy 64 bits

Question: Why does Skype return the error message "Skype can't connect", or "Sign in failed" and "Server connect failed"?
Answer: Upgrade your Skype software to version 4.3, as of May 2014.

To upgrade your Skype, simply follow the instructions above.

That error is caused by the Skype authentication server, which is forcing Linux users to upgrade to Skype 4.3. Thanks to Clived for that solution :). Older versions worked until the end of July 2014, but the Skype server will no longer accept them. The error message could be clearer by inviting Linux user to upgrade their Skype.

Question: Why can't skype use my webcam?
Answer: You probably need to preload v4l compatibility.

Try this:

LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libv4l/v4l1compat.so /usr/bin/skype 

The user skype is running as must also be a member of the video group.

Also note that if Enable Skype Video is disabled when Skype starts it will never find your webcam (as of version 4.3).

So check in the menus, Skype->Options->Video Devices->Enable Skype Video. Enable it, close skype completely (watch for it in your system tray - close it fully), then start it again.

If your architecture is amd64, you will need to install libv4l-0 for i386 :

# apt-get install libv4l-0:i386

Question: Why does Skype not start when I click the Skype Launcher? Why does it return "symbol lookup error" when I try to start it from the Terminal?
Answer: Using Terminal, type in the following command to start Skype:

LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/ /usr/bin/skype

  • This command is a workaround. It runs Skype from the Terminal and manually makes sure it is pointed to the i386 libraries at /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/
  • The full first part of the error message reads:

skype: symbol lookup error: skype: undefined symbol:
  • This is assuming you have the skype:i386 package installed, not the amd64 64-bit package.
  • That error has to do with the current transition to Multi-Arch, which allows libraries of different architectures on the same install, such as i386 and amd64.
  • Answer source: Iwan / user29978

Question: Why can I not install libqtwebkit4:i386?
Answer: If apt-get is not able to install libqtwebkit4:i386 as dependency, try installing with aptitude, if you know what are you doing.

You probably need the version skype-debian_2.2.0.35-1_amd64.deb, as newer versions have problems associated with PulseAudio. One can edit the deb package to fix the dependencies for Wheezy. The control file should have:

Depends: libstdc++6 (>= 4.1.1-21), libasound2 (>> 1.0.14), libc6 (>= 2.13-1), libgcc1 (>= 1:4.1.1-21)

Question: Why am I not getting any sound from Skype?
Answer: If you have sound problems, you may be missing libpulse.

<!> As of Skype version 4.3.0 the PulseAudio server must be running, as ALSA support has been dropped. Symptoms are no sound in the program and no devices other than "default" listed in the program options for microphone and speakers. Version 4.2.0 works with ALSA, but libpulse still must be installed, as described below.

You can install libpulse with:

# apt-get install libpulse0:i386

If you have PulseAudio 4 and Skype 4.2 with wrong sound, use either solution:

1) PULSE_LATENCY_MSEC variable environment trick from the Skype forum:


2) From http://pc-freak.net: In file/etc/pulse/default.pa substitute the line :

load-module module-udev-detect


load-module module-udev-detect tsched=0

and restart the PulseAudio server.

If microphone is too low with pulseaudio and Skype 4.3, then hit F6 in alsamixer and pick correct input. https://askubuntu.com/a/95691/322045 . Furthermore, you might find this is not saved with the rest of alsa, and therefore need to do it often... or perhaps amixer -c 0 set "Internal Mic Boost" 100% in a wrapper script might work...

Upgrading Skype

Simply install the new Skype version

Frequently Ask Questions (F.A.Q.) about upgrading Skype

Question: I tried to upgrade Skype by installing the new Skype version. But Skype is still buggy or not working properly?

Answer: To reduce risk of data lost it is suggested to backup any valuable Skype data before doing the following. You could try to delete the ".Skype" folder in your home directory before installing the new Skype version. The ".Skype" directory contains your personal information and preferences. Otherwise, Skype will not start in the latest version, as you can see from the Skype frame title! If you have successfully started an upgraded version, Skype will ask you to sign a user agreement. If you do not see the ".Skype" folder in your home directory, press Ctrl+H in order to show hidden folders.

Package Review

Path and Files

A binary is installed in /usr/bin, some data files in /usr/share, and a little bit of documentation in /usr/doc. A configuration file for dbus is placed in /etc/dbus-1/system.d/.


# lintian -v skype-debian_4.0.0.7-1_i386.deb
N: Using profile debian/main.
N: Setting up lab in /tmp/temp-lintian-lab-iZ1DBQdipA ...
N: ----
N: Processing binary package skype (version, arch i386) ...
W: skype: hardening-no-relro usr/bin/skype
W: skype: changelog-not-compressed-with-max-compression changelog.Debian.gz
W: skype: new-package-should-close-itp-bug
E: skype: description-starts-with-package-name
W: skype: extended-description-line-too-long
W: skype: extended-description-line-too-long
W: skype: possible-unindented-list-in-extended-description
W: skype: extended-description-contains-empty-paragraph
W: skype: binary-without-manpage usr/bin/skype

A changelog is included only for the purposes of "compliance". It does not actually list what has changed from release to release and there is no version history included within it.

Skype Web

https://web.skype.com is in Beta. It requires to install a browser plug-in. That plug-in does not yet fully support Debian or any other Linux distributions. So Skype Web currently does not work for Skype call on Linux :(

You can use Skype Web on Debian to chat with your Skype contacts though. Assumes you use a modern Debian web browser such as Iceweasel.

Related pages and sources

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