How to Install Skype With Ubuntu

Skype on the Ubuntu desktop


If you visit the Skype website you will see the following statement: Skype keeps the world talking - for free.

Skype is a messenger service which allows you to chat via text, via video chat and by voice over internet protocol. 

The text and video chat service are provided for free but the phone service does cost money although the cost of a call is much lower than a standard one.

For example, a call from the United Kingdom to the United States via Skype is just 1.8 pence per minute which depending on the fluctuating exchange rate is around 2.5 to 3 cents per minute.

The beauty of Skype is that it allows people to video chat for free. Grandparents can see their grandchildren every day and dads away on business can see their children.

Skype is often used by businesses as a way of conducting meetings with people not present in the office. Job interviews are often conducted via Skype.

Skype is now owned by Microsoft and you might think this would make it a problem for Linux users but actually there is a Skype version for Linux and indeed many other platforms including Android.​​

This guide shows you how to install Skype using Ubuntu.

Open a Terminal

You cannot install Skype using the Ubuntu Software Centre, therefore you will need to run terminal commands and in particular the apt-get command.

Open a terminal window by pressing CTRL, Alt, and T at the same time or use one of these alternative methods for opening a terminal.

Enable the Partner Software Repositories

Within the terminal type the following command:

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

When the sources.list file opens use the down arrow to scroll to the bottom of the file until you see the following line:

#deb yakkety partner

Remove the # from the start of the line using the backspace or delete key.

The line should now look like this:

deb wily partner

Save the file by pressing the CTRL and O key at the same time.

Press CTRL and X at the same time to close nano.

Incidentally, the sudo command allows you to run commands with elevated privileges and nano is an editor.

Update the Software Repositories

You need to update the repositories in order to pull in all of the available packages.

To update the repositories enter the following command into the terminal:

sudo apt-get update

Install Skype

The final step is to install Skype.

Type the following into the terminal:

sudo apt-get install skype

When asked whether you want to continue press "Y".

Run Skype

To run Skype press the super key (Windows key) on the keyboard and start typing "Skype".

When the Skype icon appears to click on it.

A message will appear asking you to accept terms and conditions. Click "Accept".

Skype will now be running on your system.

A new icon will appear in the system tray which allows you to change your status.

You can also run Skype via the terminal by typing the following command:


When Skype first starts you will be asked to accept the license agreement. Choose your language from the list and click "I Agree".

You will be asked to sign into your Microsoft account. Click on the "Microsoft Account" link and enter a username and password.


From within Skype you can search for contacts and have text or video conversations with any of them. If you have credit you can also contact landline numbers and chat to somebody you know regardless as to whether they have Skype installed themselves.

Installing Skype within Ubuntu is number 22 on the list of 33 things to do after installing Ubuntu.