Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Microphones & Skype on Ubuntu

Today I installed Skype in Ubuntu 7.04. There can be a number of problems running Skype in Ubuntu. Yet my biggest concern was getting my microphone working.

Microphone Troubleshooting
After doing an Internet search I found the following things to try:

A) The microphone capture is turn off by default to turn it on:

  1. Double click the volume icon on the panel.
  2. Now click Edit, Preferences.
  3. You then need to make sure Microphone, Mic boost, and Capture are ticked.
  4. Now there should be a Recording/Capture tab in volume control panel.
  5. Go through each volume setting and make sure nothing is turned down or muted.
  6. In the Switches/Options tab make sure you select the Microphone as the input source.
B) Edit /etc/esound/esd.conf to look like this:
spawn_options=-terminate -nobeeps -as 1
# default options are used in spawned and non-spawned mode

Restart alsa-utils:
# sudo /etc/init.d/alsa-utils restart

If all of the above fail you can try installing the new version of the alsa drivers. This is the only thing that worked for me:
# wget ftp://ftp.alsa-project.org/pub/driver/alsa-driver-1.0.14.tar.bz2
# tar -xjf alsa-driver-1.0.14.tar.bz2
# cd alsa-driver-1.0.14
# ./configure
# sudo make
# sudo make install

If all of these things fail you can visit: Ubuntu Forums.

For more info please see: Zero-Sum: Ubuntu Microphone Problems and solutions, and DebuggingSoundProblems

Installing Skype

I installed Skype from the Skype Repository
  1. Add the Skype repository*: deb http://download.skype.com/linux/repos/debian/ stable non-free
  2. Reload or update the package information
  3. Install Skype: # sudo apt-get install skype
Once Skype was installed I went into the options and played around with the sound device settings until they worked. Now I have Skype running in Ubuntu.

If you have problems running Skype Please see the Ubuntu community Skype page. If you need help adding a repository then please see: Repositories/Ubuntu.

**Edit 29/10/07
: I've written a new post called: Microphones and Skype on Ubuntu 7.10.


Anonymous said...

I have been struggling for more than 2 years to make the microphone work with skype in my computer using Windows XP. I tried hundreds of tips nothing worked. 2 weeks ago I became an Ubuntu user. I just finished installing the new version of the alsa drivers as suggested here (option D), Eureka it worked

Kris said...

Oh wow, I'm so glad that this helped! Thank you for the positive feedback.

Welcome to Ubuntu, it is so wonderful too get new users in the opensource community. I really hope that you enjoy your stay.

If there is anything that you need help with, or like to see an article about. Please feel free to let me know. My email address is here: email.

Have fun!!!

Anonymous said...

Worked for me. Great. Thanks

Kris said...

No worries!!!

Rick said...

see screencast http://wikisos.org/wiki/Ubuntu_7.04:How_to_install_Skype

Kyle Echols said...

Hi Kris,

I just wanted to thank you for the excellent instructions on how to make the microphone work with Skype in Ubuntu. I have been struggling with this and other sound related issues for the past week, and installing the new ALSA drivers solved them all. Thank you!!!!

Kris said...

Thats great, it's really nice to hear how people go :-D
Have fun with Ubuntu.

Nick Staib said...

Hey Kris, Many thanks! Like many I had been thwarted by all those different Mic settings in Ubuntu, but now all is good - thanks entirely to your clear advice :-)

Now to put some credit for those Skype out calls - LOL



Kris said...

Hiya Nick, I'm glad that it helped out, have fun!

Anonymous said...

Excellent, the re-installing of the ALSA drivers seems to have solved my problems as well. As an update for people, version 1.0.15 of the ALSA drivers is now out. Thanks for the info!

Lasath said...


I have strugled with this for absolutely AGES and now it works thanks to your advice. I could kiss you!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for your help! It pointed me in the right direction, although in my case I also had to enable 'Mic Select' in Preferences, and when I looked at that, it was bizarrely set to Microphone 2, which doesn't exist on my system. I changed this to Microphone 1, and finally it worked!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot...

reinstall, build worked for me... I was looking for this instructions for a long time.. thanks for you help....

Unknown said...

Hello Guys, I'm brasilian so sorry obout my english.

I am just taking the same problem with my microfone on computer. It's an "Acer Extensa 5420".
So I've searching for a solution for a while and discover a parcial one.
It's simply changing for an external microfone, plugged in the mic entry and in the volum control accessing:

edit-> preferencies

and actvating "Input Sources".
Then acessing the Options tab.
And select Input Source as "Front mic"

In my case a testing call on Skype is working well.


Anonymous said...

i get this error when trying the last step

checking for gcc... gcc
checking for C compiler default output file name... configure: error: C compiler cannot create executables
See `config.log' for more details.

is there anything i can do about that?

Anonymous said...

Had the same microphone problem in 8.04 Hardy... and the same resolution solved my problem. Thanks for the advice..

Anonymous said...

Hey...it worked for me also, Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy 64 bit ! ;)

Mike !

Parag said...

Hello and thank you so much. Your instructions for changing esd.conf worked for recording using my headphone mic.

I have Ubuntu 8.04 64 bit running on Acer 6930/

Thank you very much once again.

roskoto said...

Thank you so much ! A) worked for me and I can use linux skype for the first time now !

anang said...

your post still relevant for Ubuntu 9.04 the Jaunty Jackalope. Thanks and God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! (A) worked for me.

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