Skype 4.3

Have you been experiencing issues with Skype calls on Linux lately? If so, know that you are not alone.

Linux users say they are unable to join Skype group calls started using the most recent version of the VoIP client on other operating systems.

The latest (in a long line of) issue(s) with the Skype Linux app) seems to have started on Feb 22. When a Linux user attempts to join a group call started on a newer version of the Skype client for Windows or Mac a message is posed to the group informing them that Linux participants are ‘unable to join’ and should ‘update’ their version of the app.


That wouldn’t normally be an issue, of course. Except Skype for Linux hasn’t been updated since 2014.

Reader Boltgolt pinged us about the issue. He explains more:

The [Linux] Skype client hasn’t been updated for years, but the newest update prevents calls between the platform. In group chats, it will cause an error message telling everyone in the group you need to update.”

I, personally, haven’t been able to replicate this issue consistently.

skype for linux group call
This group call wasn’t exterminated…

The first group call I attempted to join did throw the error mentioned above. A message telling other participants that I needed to update my software appeared if I tried to join the call.

But after that initial blip everything just, well, worked.

was able to successfully make and join group calls using the Skype Linux app with folks on other platforms, including Android and Windows 10, even though they are running the very latest version of the software on their OS.

Other errors I noticed while testing:

  • Group IM messages sent from the Linux client would often fail to arrive or arrive late
  • Attempting to create a group call from the Linux client often failed or didn’t work
  • Contacts on Linux often appeared offline when set to ‘away’

Some of these IM issues could be easily fixed (after a bit of Googling and a few Terminal commands) but as the client is still *supposedly) supported they shouldn’t be required.

But there is enough chatter on social media and the Skype support forums to suggest this and a string of other bugs aren’t just isolated issues.

The issues could be a direct result of recent ‘upgrades’ Skype has made to its group chat feature. 

Skype say: “We don’t have any updates to share regarding Skype for Linux at this time.”

Remember: Skype for Linux Sucks Anyway

Skype for Linux has never been as feature-rich as its window siblings.

It has never supported group video chat, for instance. The official website states:

You can’t join a group video call in Skype for Linux, Skype for TV or Xbox One. However, you can start one with certain Samsung TVs and Xbox One. You also can’t start or join a group video call on Skype for Windows Phone.

Linux users have to sign-in to the Skype website to view images and links sent through the client (!) and can’t share their desktop with more than one person.

But the client is supposed to be able handle its core functions: calls and IM.

If you really must have the latest features of Skype, and can’t use a Windows or Mac desktop, you can get learn how to run Skype for Windows through WINE.

Whatever the cause of this issue it’s important that it is fixed. Skype for Linux hasn’t been updated since 2014 and the Skype web client does not currently support calls from Linux desktops.

And as great as Firefox Hello, Viber & Google Hangouts are, a great many Linux desktop users don’t have the luxury of persuading their grandparents, stubborn siblings or business clients to ‘use something else lol’.

Thanks to boltgolt!