Here is great news for Linux users of Skype. Skype is now available in Linux's "snap app" package format. If you are running Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Arch Linux, Debian, or any other distro with Snap support, you can install Skype easily without dealing with package dependencies.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Snap format, it can be considered as a static binary alternative - for example, a portable app. Snaps are containerised software packages that are simple to create and install. They auto-update and are safe to run. And because they bundle their dependencies, they work on all major Linux distros without modification. The one downside is that the package size increases because of the bundled dependencies.
Thanks to Snap, you can install bleeding-edge applications even if their dependencies are not compatible with your current version of the distro. Linux Mint 18.3 comes with Snap support available in the repo, which can be quickly installed by the user.
The Skype Snap package
The official Skype app is now available as a Snap app on the Snap store, maintained and updated by Skype themselves.
The official announcement says the following.
Skype has been enabling the world’s conversations for over ten years,” said Jonáš Tajrych, Senior Software Engineer at Skype, Microsoft. “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.
We’re delighted to welcome Skype to the snaps ecosystem,” said Jamie Bennett, VP of Engineering, Devices & IoT at Canonical. “Skype, and the ever growing number of snaps it joins, looks to put the Linux user first, allowing them to enjoy the latest versions upon release and provide a wider range of applications for users to choose from.
The official Snap Store page is here:
How to Install Skype Snap in Linux
Note: I'll use Linux Mint 18.3.
Step 1: Open a new root terminal.
Step 2: If you don't have Snap installed, install Snap support by executing the following command.
# apt install snapd
Step 4: Now, type the command
snap install --classic skype
The option classic is required. The "skype" package is published using classic confinement and thus may perform arbitrary system changes outside of the security sandbox that snaps are usually confined to. The only way to install the package is the --classic argument for the command.
Step 5: As a regular user, type the command in a terminal to launch Skype as follows.
$ snap run skype
The size of the Skype snap at the moment of this writing is 159 MB, which is considerably larger.
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