[linux-audio-user] fighting skype ...

Hans Fugal hans at fugal.net
Sat Mar 19 10:35:59 EST 2005

On Fri, 18 Mar 2005 at 15:44 -0500, Eric Dantan Rzewnicki wrote:
> I know very little about skype and don't have much time or personal
> interest in learning about it. But, it's making inroads. I want to
> understand what it does and what free software alternatives are
> available. Is it possible for free software alternatives to inter
> operate with the skype world?


Skype seems to be the most visible among normal people at this point, or
so I hear (nobody I know uses it). But Asterisk is what is truly making
inroads in corporate America. That's a good thing, because Asterisk is
free, Free, excellent quality, extremely versatile, and has a vibrant
community. Others have discussed what skype is and its problems and

There are plenty of quality softphones available for windows that will
talk some of the protocols asterisk understands. SIP being the most
common, but also one of the more difficult protocols to get working
behind NAT. IAX is Asterisk's own protocol that works very well behind
NAT and in most other ways. A "just work" solution should be very easy
for your users - grab one of those softphones[1] that is Free and package
it preconfigured to connect to your Asterisk server. Use IAX and you
don't have trouble with NAT. 

On linux the situation is not so pretty - most of the softphones that do
work are lame beyond compare. Those that aren't lame in other ways just
don't work. :-) But that is changing, as you can expect. I can almost
guarantee that whatever linux softphone that isn't lame surfaces, will
support SIP and/or IAX.

1. This one looks good, though I haven't tried it:

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