Group:Skype Replacement

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Skype Replacement is an item on the FSF's High Priority Projects list.


Protocol, not client

We need to make the discussion about protocols, not clients, (think how people say "send me an email" rather than "send me a Hotmail").

The primary functionality of Skype we aim to replace is real-time:

Anywhere over the internet (or beyond), with as many people per conversation, logging, etc. whatever other features (clarify this section as necessary).

The free protocols currently available to do this are.

Voice Video Text Notes
SIP Yes Yes? Yes sessions?
XMPP/Jingle Yes Yes Yes Full presence, group chat, widely deployed
Mumble Yes No? Yes?
WebRTC Yes Yes No Not a protocol, just media Javascript APIs
Tox Yes Yes Yes In early development, not fully implemented

Central Registry?

Apart from technical problems with free Skype replacements, there is a "network effect" problem preventing free protocols (and clients) becoming popular. This might be solved by explaining the problems of Skype to the people and providing the stories about injustice concerning this software.

Free clients

Lists exist already:

Do we need more info? If so it can go here.

SIP? XMPP/Jingle? Mumble? Tox Active development? Platforms License Notes
Linphone Yes No No No Yes GNU/Linux, Windows, OS X, iOS, Android, Blackberry, WinRT GPLv2+
SFLphone  Yes No No No Yes GNU/Linux GPLv3 IAX2 Support
Jitsi Yes Yes No No Yes Java LGPL
Ekiga Yes No? No No Yes GNU/Linux, Windows XP GPLv2+
Empathy Yes Yes No No Yes GNU/Linux GPL GNOME default
Mumble No No Yes No Yes GNU/Linux, Windows, OS X, iOS BSD
QRadioLink No No Yes No Yes GNU/Linux (audio only, video planned) GPL
Pidgin No? Yes No? No Yes GNU/Linux, Windows (no calls) GPL
Twinkle Yes No? No No
Tox No No No Yes Yes GNU/Linux, Windows GPL3

Personal experiences




I started to install Empathy on Debian Squeeze, using Synaptic. However, marking Empathy for installation resulted in Synaptic telling me that over 120 other packages were required, starting with brasero, brasero-common, cdrdao, cheese-common ... This is lunacy. Either there is a gross mistake in Empathy's packaging, or it really requires most of Gnome, which rules it out for me (I use xfce).


I've been using Tox for a while on GNU/Linux and moved a few people to it. I'm now using it as one of my only forms of instant messaging instead of XMPP. Jookia 08:42, 23 November 2014 (EST)

The good:

The bad (but planned):

The ugly:

Personal tools
Important Teams
Community Norms