Have you been experiencing issues with Skype calls on Linux lately? If so, know that you are not alone.
Linux users say they are unable to join Skype group calls started using the most recent version of the VoIP client on other operating systems.
The latest in a long line of issue, which seems to have started on Feb 22, results in a message saying that Linux participants are ‘unable to join’ a call when said call was place through a newer version of Skype for Windows or Mac.
The Linux users are instead told to ‘update’ their version of the software.
That wouldn’t normally be an issue. Except Skype for Linux hasn’t been updated since 2014.
Reader Boltgolt pinged us about the issue. He explains:
The [Linux] Skype client hasn’t been updated for years, but the newest update prevents calls between the platform. In group chats, it will cause an error message telling everyone in the group you need to update.”
I, personally, haven’t been able to replicate this issue consistently.
The first group call I attempted to join threw the error mentioned above: other participants were told that I needed to update my software before I could join the call.
I’m sure it was pants anyway.
But after that joining calls just, well, worked.
I was able to successfully make and join group calls using the Skype Linux app with folks on other platforms, including Android and Windows 10, even though they are running the very latest version of the software on their OS.
Other errors I noticed while testing:
- Group IM messages sent from the Linux client would often fail to arrive or arrive late
- Attempting to create a group call from the Linux client often failed or didn’t work
- Contacts on Linux often appeared offline when set to ‘away’
Some of these IM issues could be easily fixed (after a bit of Googling and a few Terminal commands) but as the client is still *supposedly) supported they shouldn’t be required.
But there is enough chatter on social media and the Skype support forums to suggest this and a string of other bugs aren’t just isolated issues.
The issues could be a direct result of recent ‘upgrades’ Skype has made to its group chat feature.
Skype say: “We don’t have any updates to share regarding Skype for Linux at this time.”
Remember: Skype for Linux Sucks Anyway
Skype for Linux has never been as feature-rich as its window siblings.
It has never supported group video chat, for instance. The official website states:
You can’t join a group video call in Skype for Linux, Skype for TV or Xbox One. Ωστόσο, you can start one with certain Samsung TVs and Xbox One. You also can’t start or join a group video call on Skype for Windows Phone.
Linux users have to sign-in to the Skype website to view images and links sent through the client (!) and can’t share their desktop with more than one person.
But the client είναι supposed to be able handle its core functions: calls and IM.
If you really require the latest features of Skype and can’t use a Windows or Mac desktop you can get some of the newer features (including group video calls) by reading how to run Skype for Windows through WINE.
Whatever the cause of this issue it’s important that it is fixed. Skype for Linux hasn’t been updated since 2014 και το Skype web client does not currently support calls from Linux desktops.
And as great as Firefox Hello, Viber & Google Hangouts are, a great many Linux desktop users don’t have the luxury of persuading their grandparents, stubborn siblings or business clients to ‘use something else lol’.