OMG! Ubuntu!

It Just Got Easier to Install Skype on Ubuntu

Skype is one of the world’s most popular messaging services and, from today, it is even easier to install it on Ubuntu.

The official Skype app is now available as a Snap app on the Snap store, maintained and updated by Skype themselves.

‘Snaps allow us to push the latest features straight to our users, no matter what distribution they happen to use’

The new Skype Snap app can be installed 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 (The Easy Way)

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:

  1. Open Ubuntu Software
  2. Search for ‘Skype’
  3. Click ‘Install’

Literally, that’s all there is to it.

If you prefer using the terminal you can install Skype from the command line by running this command:

sudo snap install skype --classic

The ‘–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 need to install it  install it first:

sudo apt install snapd

Skype joins a growing list of Snap apps

Skype is the latest in a line of big-name apps to embrace the Ubuntu Snap store, joining the likes of Spotify, Hiri, LibreOffice, VLC, and Mailspring in backing the fledgling app format.

For a fuller list of Snap packages that we’ve mentioned previously do check in on our ‘Snap Apps‘ tag.

Summary

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.