Update to Skype for Linux

Feb 07, 2008

An update for the proprietary Skype VoIP client resolves video image display issues among other problems.

Some Linux users saw nothing but blank screens on the first beta version of Skype for Linux, although their webcam drivers worked. In a blog entry Ryan Hunt, who is the project manager responsible for development of the Linux client, explains that Skype now has the ability to let X11 draw the window (non-accelerated X11 overlay output), although X11 video output will not let users scale the image to full-screen mode.

The X11 feature helps users on systems without Xv support. Xv is the X Window system video extension. It seems that Skype needs multiple Xv ports to display its own window and one for the other subscriber. The "xvinfo" command outputs the number of ports used on a system.

Besides video output bugfixes, Skype 2.0 also outputs more debugging information at the console. This will help more technically oriented users to troubleshoot errors, while at the same time helping Skype's vendor discover where users are experiencing difficulty.

In addition to this there have been several minor bugfixes, as listed in the release notes on the Skype website. The bugfixes mainly relate to changes to the user interface for the VoIP client.

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