Skype Wrapper, the third-party Skype plugin that integrates the VoIP client into Ubuntu, has been updated for the second time in less than week.

The latest version sees many of the features requested by OMG! Ubuntu! readers added to the plug-in by its developer, Shannon Black.

Set Skype online status from the Messaging Menu (Note: changing your status via the Messaging Menu affects all applications that make use of it, such as Empathy).

An unread message badge and File transfer progress bar:

Skype transfer bar

Note: For Unity features to work you must add Skype-wrapper to the Launcher and not Skype. This can be done by pinning ‘Skype Wrapper’ to the launcher when run from the Messaging Menu item.

The launcher item now ‘seeks attention’ (pops out and shakes) when the window isn’t in focus and you receive a new message(s) or a file transfer completes.

Attention seeking Skype

The Skype-Wrapper launcher item also now brings Skype into focus when running.

Avatars are displayed next to user messages in the Messaging Menu: –

Skype Avatars in Ubuntu Messaging Menu

Also included are a bunch of settings for tweaking aspects of the plugin’s behaviour (accessible via dconf-editor > apps > skype-wrapper):

  • notify-on-initialising – Skype likes to let you know who’s online as soon as you sign in, setting this to false stops skype-wrapper from notifying whos online during startup
  • notify-on-messagerecieve – Here you can enable or disable Ubuntu Desktop Notifications for when you receive a message
  • notify-on-useronlinestatuschange – Here you can enable or disable Ubuntu Desktop Notifications for when users come and go offline
  • notify-on-incoming-filetransfer -choose if you want Desktop Notications for incoming file transfer events
  • notify-on-outgoing-filetransfer – choose if you want Desktop Notications for outcoming file transfer events
  • show-outgoing-filetransfer-progress – choose if you want the unity launcher progress bar to include outgoing file transfer progress
  • show-incoming-filetransfer-progress – choose if you want the unity launcher progress bar to include incoming file transfer progress
  • display-indicator-avatars – Choose if you want avatars in the messaging menu
  • display-notification-avatars – choose to display avatars in the Desktop Notifications (dont know why anyone would want be, but hey there’s an option)
Skype-wrapper settings

Bug fixes

Various bugs and quirks within the applet have been fixed. These include: –

  • First startup after login is faster (few seconds)
  • Closes applet properly after quiting skype itself
  • Failed attempts for the main event listeners recover silently [fixed]
  • Add gtk2-engines-pixbuf dependency
  • Don’t have to have the telepathy online presence menu enabled to work [fixed]


The application is only as good as the users who help to test it, report bugs and suggest ideas. To that end Shannon Black, the developer, wishes to thank marleyutd, Red A. Villacampa, Satchit Bhogle for their bug reports and patience, and Tomas Hnyk and Phill Gillespie for their ideas.


To upgrade an existing installation of Skype-wrapper you can add the official Skype Wrapper PPA: –

  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:skype-wrapper/ppa
  • sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install skype-wrapper

If you do not already have Skype-wrapper installed you will need to follow the guide at

With thanks to Shannon Black

Apps News Skype skype-wrapper