Use the cross-platform Skype tool to call friends and family over your Internet connection.
VoIP (Voice over IP), or placing phone calls over the Internet, has gotten a lot of hype recently. After all, why pay long distance or even local telephone fees if you can make the same phone call using the Internet connection you already have? There are a number of different methods for placing computer-to-computer calls over the Internet, but lately the Skype software, which blends voice chat with regular instant messaging, has become increasingly popular. Skype offers Windows and Mac clients, but it also offers a Linux client, so with a little configuration, you can talk to your friends and family regardless of which OS they use. This hack covers how to install and configure Skype for voice chat.
To learn more about VoIP, check out the O'Reilly books Skype Hacks and VoIP Hacks.
The first step is to download and install Skype for Linux. Skype is a commercial product and although the software can be downloaded for free, it is not Open Source software. To get Skype, visit the official Skype Linux download page at http://www.skype.com/products/skype/linux. This page provides precompiled packages for a variety of distributions including SUSE, Fedora, Mandrake, and Debian. If your distribution isn't represented, you can download the precompiled software in tarball form and extract it wherever you want to store it. Otherwise use your distribution's ...