[LAU] Installing Google Voice Chat for Linux on Fedora instead of Debian

Niels Mayer nielsmayer at gmail.com
Mon Aug 30 23:07:48 UTC 2010

Duh.... even better than wrappering the GoogleTalkPlugin for using a
different device, you can just go to
and look for "Voice and video chat:" settings.

It'll say "Detecting devices..." for a while, especially if you're not
using pulseaudio, in which case it will time out
multiple times outputting 9 lines of
socket(): Address family not supported by protocol
socket(): Address family not supported by protocol

But if you wait long enough, eventually you're given the same listing
as "aplay -L" so you can choose the equivalent of
"front:CARD=Headset,DEV=0" for both microphone and speakers (or even a
different device for microphone if you've got a webcam with a built in
usb mic). It's silly to use the "aplay -L" listing as you're given
additional choices that make no sense for voice chatting:
surround40:CARD=Headset,DEV=0 ; surround41:CARD=Headset,DEV=0 ;
surround50:CARD=Headset,DEV=0 ; surround51:CARD=Headset,DEV=0 ;
surround71:CARD=Headset,DEV=0 ; iec958:CARD=Headset,DEV=0 ...

As final confusion, http://mail.google.com/mail/#settings/chat also
lists "aplay -L" outputs for the microphone, so you end up seeing
nonsense like "7.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Side, Rear and
Woofer speakers" as a potential choice of microphone source.

Fortunately it works with both "speaker" and microphone" set to the
"front" source of the desired card.

I never realized the gmail Settings->Chat options would do anything
useful beyond saying ""Detecting devices..." forever, as I never
thought of waiting till pulseaudio timed out 9 times before checking
the web page... Thus the previous attempt at wrappering
GoogleTalkPlugin ... at least it taught me their plugin is setting
some interesting environment variables:


PS: For those getting reports of echo on the caller end, there is a
Settings->Chat option for echo-cancellation that appeared to be set by
default. There's also a "send call quality info back to google" button
that is also selected by default -- those worried about these kinds of
things may want to change this option.

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