How to Update Skype in Ubuntu

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Updating software in Ubuntu requires a little more effort than updating software in Windows or Apple operating systems. You have two options for how to update your software: the Graphic User Interface and Command Line Interface -- the GUI and CLI. You also need to set up the partner repository.

New Features in Skype 4.3 for Linux

  • One of the distinguishing features of the updated version of Skype is a new user interface. Skype 4.3 also improved the Group Chat experience, which is cloud based and gives users new options such as consistent chatting history between different devices, sending messages to friends even if they are offline, and updating message status -- read or not read -- across devices. The reliability of file transfer support when you are using multiple devices at the same time has been enhanced. Skype 4.3 has also improved accessibility for those with visual impairments. PulseAudio 3.0 and 4.0 support helps you set up your audio device more easily, and developers fixed a lot of bugs in the Skype 4.3 version.

Setting Up the Partner Repository

  • Before you start, go to "System" and choose "Software & Updates." Under the section "Other Software," check the check boxes "Canonical Partners" and "Canonical Partners (Source Code)" which contains proprietary software such as Skype, VMware and Adobe Reader. This allows Ubuntu to access the software's source code and make it available for the Ubuntu system. This is an essential part of the setup and is necessary before updating your software.

Updating to Skype 4.3 Using the GUI

  • After you set up the Canonical Partners, you are ready to use the update file provided from Skype's official website. On the Skype for Linux page (link in Resources), choose the correct version of Skype for your system from the drop-down menu titled "Choose Your Distribution." You might run into a problem with Ubuntu 14.04 64-bit, because that exact version is not listed on the website. In this case, go ahead and choose "Ubuntu 12.04 (multiarch)"; it's a compatible version. Initiate the installation by double-clicking on the file you downloaded. If you have an older version of Skype installed in your system already, follow the instructions in the prompt to remove the older version first and then proceed to the installation. After the installation is done, you will see the new Skype interface pop up.

Updating to Skype 4.3 Using the CLI

  • It is also possible to remove an old version of Skype and install version 4.3 using the CLI in Ubuntu. To remove an old version of Skype in the CLI, first open your terminal and input

    sudo apt-get remove skype skype-bin:i386 skype:i386
    sudo apt-get install sni-qt:i386

    It is a good idea to clear the old Skype installment folder using "rm -rf ~/.Skype" without the quotation marks to ensure there are no conflicts when you install the new version. Now you are set to install Skype 4.3. Using Ubuntu 14.04 LTI 64-bit as an example installation environment, you first need to enable Ubuntu to install and manage .deb packages to be ready to use the update file. Input

    sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386"
    sudo apt-get install gdebi

    and then, to start the installation, input

    wget download.skype.com/linux/skype-ubuntu-precise_4.3.0.37-1_i386.deb
    sudo gdebi skype-ubuntu-precise_4.3.0.37-1_i386.deb

    After the installation has finished, you'll be ready to use Skype 4.3.

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  • Photo Credit LDProd/iStock/Getty Images
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