Sunday, January 11, 2009

Skype On The Dell Mini 9

Get Skype
You can download Skype for Linux directly from the Skype website or install it from the Medibuntu repository. I prefer, and recommend, downloading it from Medibuntu. They have packaged Skype specifically for Ubuntu 8.10 in both i386 and lpia architectures. You can install the Medibuntu repository by following these steps.

To install Skype after setting up the Medibuntu Repository,
In a terminal type:
sudo apt-get install skype

Configuring The Mini's Audio
Double click the volume control icon on the gnome panel and select Preferences.
Make sure the Master, Internal Mic Boost, Capture & Input Boxes are checked, close the dialogue box.
Screenshot-Volume Control Preferences

Then increase the Internal Mic Boost volume.
Screenshot-Volume Control: HDA Intel (Alsa mixer)-2

Select the Recording Tab and turn your capture settings up. Make sure the mic icon on the bottom of the dialog box is not X'ed out.
Screenshot-Volume Control: HDA Intel (Alsa mixer)-4

Go to the Options tab and select Front Mic.
Screenshot-Volume Control: HDA Intel (Alsa mixer)-3

Configuring Skype
Go to the Options menu, under Sound Devices
Sound In - HDA Intel (hw:Intel,0)
Sound Out - HDA Intel (hw:Intel,0)
Ringing - HDA Intel (hw:Intel,0)
Uncheck the box that says "Allow Skype" to automatically adjust your mixer levels.
Apply the settings.

Go to the Options menu, under Video Drivers
Check the Enable Skype Video
and also check the Start my video automatically when I am in a call box.
Select Integrated Webcam (/dev/video0)
Apply the settings.

Skype will now work with the Mini's internal mic and speakers. Configuring other devices to work with Skype is up to you. I haven't had much luck with my PS3 Bluetooth headset.

Have a question or problem that this article doesn't cover? Ask our Ubuntu Mini 9 Google Group for help.

edited by pHreaksYcle


Anonymous said...

"Skype will no work with the Mini's internal mic and speakers. Configuring other devices to work with Skype"

I'm a bit unclear what this means. Do you mean that Skye won't work with the internal mic and speakers at the same time (e.g. due to feedback), but using headphones solves the problem?

redDEAD said...

Sorry about that. A whole week went by and pHreaK didn't notice it. The text got cut off and a 'W' was missing.

Anonymous said...

A good article; however, set both mic boosts to zero if you want to use the internal microphone. Capture sets the audio input level sent to Skype. The two mic boosts set the input audio levels sent to the Alsa mixer, which in turn drives the speakers. In this application, their only effect is to create regenerative audio feedback.

Neci Baby said...

Thanks for your tutorial. Skype works fine with your instructions. The preview works perfectly when I go to Skype options, but I can't get it to start a video call. Any ideas about what could be going on?

redDEAD said...


Select start video when making a call in the video options

Anonymous said...

Hi, I've been having trouble getting my webcam to work. I recently did a clean install of Intrepid and the webcam is no longer being recognized either in Cheese or in Skype. It seems to be a driver problem - I've done a bit of googling and some other people have posted similar webcam difficulties, but I haven't been able to find a solution. Any thoughts?

Ed Brothers said...

This post was very informative about Skype and Ubuntu 8.10. I was wondering if I but a Mini 9 and then don't update (leave it at 8.04.1) whether Skype runs out of the box, or do I need to go through something similar to this?

gid said...

Mediubuntu doesn't seem to work with dell ubuntu. It's also lpia architecture so I don't know if skype will work out of the box. I installed umpc ubuntu and was able to get skype working easily. The install was rather painless, although typing on this tiny keyboard is not :)

redDEAD said...

quote: "They have packaged Skype specifically for Ubuntu 8.10 in both i386 and lpia architectures."

Dell's Ubuntu is based on Ubuntu 8.04 and this blog is about Ubuntu current (not Dell's Ubuntu) on the Dell Mini 9.

Anonymous said...

Hey there,

Hated the 8.04 that the Mini came with so I upgraded to 8,10 and lost my mic abilities.

Tried a few things and this was got it working for me.

Skype was the one thing that broke that I need the most on the 9. Now Im gonna figure how to get more than 800x600 video settings.

Thanks fpr the help.

John said...

#3 is right. Set both mic boosts to 0. The actual mic capture is controlled on the capture tab.

The mic boosts will just add a little static to your speakers probably lowering battery life.

I just set mine to 0, made a test call and it works.

azisman said...

I tried to follow instructions in the article and in the comments carefully- however, whenever I open the Volume Control and go to the Recording tab, the microphone icon is [x]'ed out.... I can turn that off and click Close, but as soon as a go back to it, the [x] has returned. Perhaps not surprisingly, making a Skype test call, I can hear the other speaker, but there's no indication that my voice is being recorded. (Mini 9, Ubuntu 8.10)