Running Skype on a Raspberry Pi?

Wouldn’t it be nice if Skype can run on a Raspberry Pi? Then this pocketed sized single board computer will function like a mobile phone. In fact, this thought is not new, a project was already done in 2012. Although Skype can compile on Linux operating systems, it does not compile with an ARM processor that runs Linux. In this video, Skype is not installed on the Raspberry Pi, SkypeKit is used instead. What is SkypeKit? In short, SkypeKit is a collection of API’s, which allows developers to access in order to make audio/video calls on embedded devices. By using SkypeKit, the developer will have a “headless” version of Skype, meaning the Raspberry Pi has the functionalities of Skype, however, without GUI running on it.

In 2013, Microsoft decided to kill its SkypeKit and replaced it with Skype URIs. Skype wants developers to embrace Skype URIs as it believes that will allow the developers to access Skype via various platforms: mobiles, web and desktop. The action is driven by the growth of Skype on mobile. However, it requires the Skype client installed on the devices, and it switches the focus to the Skype client when any Skype functionality is triggered. The SkypeKit enabled the third party applications to communicate with Skype network, but this was discontinued in the end of 2013. It is said by Chris Andrews, head of Skype Developer Program, that the SkypeKit was ceased in order to improve the overall Skype experience, which will significantly benefit Skype users across all platforms, especially mobile devices. Personally I don’t think it is a good idea to cease SkypeKit, it prevents the developers from embedding Skype into their own applications. Switching focus from the developer’s application to Skype client obviously is more complicated than embedding the so-called “headless” version of Skype into the developer’s application.

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5 thoughts on “Running Skype on a Raspberry Pi?

  1. Don’t you think it’s easier and less costly (since everybody already has a mobile phone) to just download the Skype app on your phone? It can be a nice feature if you connect your Pi to your tv, that way you can Skype in front of your tv.

    • The idea that the video wanted to show is that you can embed the functionality of Skype into your own application. I doubt if it’s possible to video chat with a Raspberry Pi, because even if before SkypeKit was discontinued, people could only use it to audio chat.

  2. Hi,

    My first thought as well. Is there any advantage on such a Raspberry Pi when there already exists multiple smartphones who can run the Skype-app. The feature of connecting the Pi to the TV and make the television a device that allows you to Skype in front of it sounds nice, because smart-TV’s are not yet established in every living room. I don’t know if the smart-TV is taking over the TV-landscape or not.. Because when it is, I don’t think the mini computer based Skype application has any hope on success. But then again, I don’t know much about electronics. Is it possible to use
    Skype on a smart-TV?

    • The idea I wanted to show here is that if we can use the ‘headless’ version of Skype, without installing the Skype app, then we can embed the functionality of Skype into our own app. The advantage is that a Raspberry Pi costs only about 30 euros, plus the necessary accessories, it will be a bit more, but it will still be cheaper than a smartphone. Using Skype on a smart-TV is possible, I just saw it on their website.

  3. I would love to run skype on Raspberry 24/7 connected to the TV of my parents, since this device consumes not much power. That way I could call them whenever I want, without any interaction on their side.

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