Skype is one of the world’s most popular messaging services and already provides Linux builds — and now it is even easier to install Skype on Ubuntu.
Microsoft has made the official Skype app available as a Snap app on the Snap store. This build is maintained and updated by Skype themselves and is 100% official.
‘Snaps allow us to push the latest features straight to our users, no matter what distribution they happen to use’
Not that it’s just for Ubuntu users, mind. You can install the Skype Snap app on Ubuntu and other Linux distros, including Linux Mint, Fedora and Solus.
What is the Skype Snap App?
Snaps are a universal package format that can work with most major Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Fedora and Arch Linux.
Because Snaps are universal apps that run anywhere, app developers don’t have to create separate installer packages for separate Linux distros; they just create one Snap, and know it will run everywhere.
This makes Snaps super appealing to software developers as the effort they save packaging their app can be better spent on improving it.
“We want to be able to deliver the same high quality experience on Linux as we do on other platforms. Snaps allow us to do just that, by giving us the ability to push the latest features straight to our users, no matter what device or distribution they happen to use,” Skype’s Senior Software Engineer says of the release.
As Snaps can be upgraded (and downgraded if something breaks) by a developer ad-hoc you’ll always be running the latest (or least broken) version of any Snap app you install, without the need to update manually.
How to Install Skype on Ubuntu
Skype has provided a desktop app for Linux for many years through their website. That package is still available to download should you want it.
But the recommended (and easiest) way to install Skype for Linux on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS or above is to use the Ubuntu Software centre app:
- Open Ubuntu Software
- Search for ‘Skype’
- Click ‘Install’
If those simple steps sound like too much effort just click this button instead to open the Skype app listing in the Ubuntu Software app:
You can also install Skype on Ubuntu from the command line using the
snap command that follows:
sudo snap install skype --classic
--classic flag is needed to allow the app to send/receive files you have on your system.
If your Linux distro doesn’t come with Snapd by default (like Linux Mint) you will to install it install it first:
sudo apt install snapd
Skype joins a growing list of Snap apps
For a fuller list of Snap packages that we’ve mentioned previously do check in on our ‘Snap Apps’ tag.
The launch of the Skype snap is good news for Linux users (who no longer need to play a game of find the package) and great news for Canonical!
Skype is a hugely popular communication service that lets you send and receive messages, photos and files to other users, make voice calls, video chat, and even share your desktop screen.
It’s a big name app, and snagging it as a Snap app is a big coup for Canonical. The more “well known” apps that are available on Ubuntu, the fewer hesitations potential switchers will have.
Remember: you don’t have to install Skype to use Skype
If you don’t feel you use Skype often enough to bother installing an app you can run Skype in a web browser.
Just go to web.skype.com in a web browser (like Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome) and log in with your Skype details when prompted. You’ll then be able to make calls, send messages, browse your contacts, and more.