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:

  • voice calls
  • video calls
  • text chat

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? presence?
Mumble Yes No? Yes?
WebRTC Yes Yes Yes?

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 ...?

Free clients

Lists exist already:

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

SIP? XMPP/Jingle? Mumble? Active development? Platforms License Notes
Jitsi Yes Yes No Yes? Java LGPL
Ekiga Yes No? No Yes GNU, Windows XP  ?
Empathy Yes Yes No No? GNU GPL GNOME default
Mumble No No Yes
Twinkle Yes No? No

Personal experiences


  • I have used Ekiga in the past and had good luck with it, but only with other Ekiga users on GNU/Linux -- Mattl 15:47, 14 May 2012 (EDT)
  • Ekiga used to work fine for me on the local network, but failed to connect to another user behind NAT firewall. It does not support UPnP mechanism provided by many modern routers and used by almost every torrent-client and by Skype as well. -- v_2e 05:49, 24 May 2012 (EDT)


  • Successfully used to three-way audio-video chat with a pair of Mac users. H.264 only, but VP8 support soon! -- Mattl 15:47, 14 May 2012 (EDT)


  • Empathy is improved in Fedora 17/Gnome 3.4. I am able to make voice calls from Empathy to Empathy and from Empathy to the Google Talk desktop client. However, sometimes I have to log out and log back in to get the client to ring. Also, I have not had success calling from the Empathy to the Google browser plugin. -- agajan 23:36, 6 June 2012 (EDT)