Using Skype with Pidgin
by Dave Hunt
Here, I show how to install and use Skype, on a Vinux 3.0.x system, with accessibility to Skype provided by a plugin for the Pidgin instant messaging application. Note: Mentions of the Orca key refer to either the insertkey on your number pad, or the caps lock key, if you're using the laptop keyboard layout. Your orca key may be something other than either of these alternatives; substitute accordingly.
- You have working sound input and output.
- You have a working internet connection.
- Your software repositories are up-to-date.
- Your sources list is as provided by the Vinux team.
Let's install Skype, Pidgin, the plugin, and all dependencies, using the Synaptic package manager.
- Press Alt+f1 to navigate to Menus->system->administration->synaptic package manager.
- E'nter your root password at the prompt.
- Press Ctrl+f to open the search dialogue.
- Type the word
- Tab to and activate the search button with the space bar.
- Navigate to the results table. Note: I had to tab 8 times). To read this table. I suggest setting Orca to speak cell orca+f11.
- Right-arrow to the package column.
- Read down with down-arrow.
- When you hear the name of something you wish to install, E. G. Pidgin hit Ctrl+i. Note: If Synaptic says you need to mark additional changes, say "mark" with Alt+m. For our purposes, we'll want Pidgin and Pidgin Skype, at a minimum.
- After these packages, and others you want are marked, hit Ctrl+p to apply your changes.
- Before Synaptic makes any changes, it gives you a chance to review what it is about to do. If all looks right, hit the Apply button, and wait for your downloading and installation to finish.
- Close Synaptic.
- Repeat the steps above for installing Skype, this time, using "skype" as your search term.
Setup:This launches skype and backgrounds it, leaving the terminal free to be used for other jobs.
Since this is the first run of skype, there will be an inaccessible ula dialogue. I had a sighted assistant mouse the "I accept" button.
Now, let's alt+tab back to the pidgin account setup page. We hit "close"< to add and enable the Skype account.
now we are in a new dialogue, asking your permission to allow pidgin to control Skype. Click the "always allow" and "ok" buttons. If all is working, you will soon see a contact list group with your skype contacts and their mood messages.
- Open Pidgin. Press Alt+f1 menus->internet->pidgin.
- You'll be asked to create accounts here, hit Alt+y.
- In the first combo that appears, select Skype then fill in your username, alias, and other things as you like.
- Open a terminal Alt+Ctrl+t.
- at the shell prompt, enter this line:
echo "username password" |skype --pipelogin &
- For instance, suppose my username is r2d2 and password is droid, the line would read:
echo "r2d2 droid" |skype --pipelogin &
Making your first call:
Let's choose a contact from your list.
- You notice that c3p0 is online.
- With his name selected, press shift+f10 to get a context menu.
- Arrow down to "call", and hit enter.
- It rings a while, then C3 picks up, saying "c'm r2"...
- When you're done with your call, you can alt+tab to the inaccessible call with c3p0 window.
- Hit alt+f4 to hang up.
calling someone not on your list:
Let's call echo123 (the bot who tests your sound).
- Go to the pidgin contact list window.
- hit alt+a for "accounts".
- Down arrow to skype.
- Right arrow to open sub-menu.
- Go down to "call".
- Hit "enter".
- Press enter.
Answering a call:
When a call comes in, you'll hear the ringing sound. Also, a dialogue will come up, asking whether you want to accept, or reject the call. Choose the option that suits you, and you're done.
- If you accept the call, start talking, and dismiss the call window when you are done.
- If you reject the call, the ringing and dialogue go away.
Seeking and Adding Contacts:
- To search for and add a buddy, hit alt+a.
- Arrow down to your skype account's submenu.
- Right-arrow to open, and find the "Search For Buddies" option.
- Type enough of the string to match the username or email address of the person you want to find.
- Hit search.
- In the table that results, choose the right entry, if shown.
- Hit the "add" button.
- Choose the group to which to add the entry from the drop-down list.
- Hit "add".
Ending your Skype session:
- When you're done with Skype, alt+tab to the "buddy list" window, if you are not already there.
- Hit alt+a for "accounts".
- Go to the Skype submenu.
- Hit "disable".
- Now, get back to your terminal.
killall -9 skype
- press enter.
Starting with an Installed Pidgin and Skype:
We assume Skype and Pidgin are closed, and the Skype account in Pidgin was disabled, last time it was used.
- Start Pidgin.
- Open a terminal and type the line beginning with "echo" as above.
- Go back to Pidgin.
- Hit alt+a for "accounts".
- Down arrow to enable account submenu.
- Right-arrow to open it.
- Find "Skype".
- Hit enter.