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[HOWTO] use skype together with your ppc
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Joined: 11 Oct 2002
Posts: 300
Location: Germany/WI

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 11:17 pm    Post subject: [HOWTO] use skype together with your ppc Reply with quote

Hi folks,
I just managed to use my ibook together with skype. I just say together, not skype on the ibook.
And here is the trick:
As skype is not available for linux ppc, yet, you need a second, i368-compatible computer in your network to run skype on.
GUI, Microphone and speakers will be forwarded to your ppc.

I will split the Howto mainly into two parts:
1. Setting up X11-Forwarding
2. Setting up sound network transparency

- A ppc computer with alsa sound support (oss not tested, but should do the job as well)
- A x86 computer with alsa sound support (oss not tested, but should do the job as well)
- X-Server on both machines. On the x86, the server has just to be installed. I does not need to run.
- Running sshd on x86
- ssh-client on ppc
- installed skype on x86 (emerge skype)
- artsd

1. Setting up X11-Forwarding
If you already have set up X11 forwarding trough ssh you can skip this section

Edit /etc/ssh/sshd_config on your x86 and add:
X11Forwarding yes

Restart sshd by typing
$ /etc/init.d/sshd restart

connect from your ppc to x86 with the command
$ ssh -CY user@x86_hostname

where user is the user on x86 which should run skype later, and x86_hostname is the hostname or ip of the x86
The -Y option turns on automatic X11-Forwarding.
Note: You don't have to export DISPLAY or other fancy things. It should work as it is.
Try to start skype
$ skype

skype should start and will be displayed on your ppc. If you have kde running, it will even dock the skype-icon in kicker (maybe it will dock in gnome, too?)
Register a new account if you not already have one.
Note: if you connect to another skype-user, now, the sound will be played on the x86
close skype (klicking the "x" in the windows will just minimize it to the tray! You can hit CTRL-C in the ssh-client window to be sure that skype has really shut down)

2. Setting up sound network transparency
We will enable network sound transparency trough arts. You don't have to install KDE for this, just kde-base/arts.
To enable network transparency you have to start artsd with the -n option.
$ artsd -n -d -a alsa

Have a look at "artsd -h" for more options
If you have KDE installed, you can simply start KControllCenter, go to Sound & Multimedia -> Sound System and enable "Network Sound" and apply the changes.

Edit ~/.mcoprc and change the GlobalComm line (this should be the only line in the file) to

you have to do this on the ppc and the x86!
restart artsd on the ppc (artsd does not need to run on the x86)

artsdsp skype

in the ssh-client window to restart skype with all sound related operations forwarded to the artsd on the ppc

Thats it.

If you want to read more about X11 forwarding man sshd, man ssh and man X.
For more information about network transparency of arts have a look at

[edit]Network transparent sound should work also with esound. esddsp -s <server> should do the same as artsdsp. But esd was always killed after a few seconds (this was playing a sound with esdplay, I never got skype to work trough esddsp).
Maybe nas can do the trick, also. But documentation is not very good, and I don't really understand the concept behind it. But it seems, that the client-application has to have an outputplugin for nas. A wrapper like artsdsp (or esddsp) seems not to exsist.[/edit]

Other things
It is possible (at least with kde) to add a link to your desktop to skype on the remote-computer. Right-klick on the desktop->add new->link to program.
As command specify
ssh -CY mythtv@barebone /usr/kde/3.4/bin/artsdsp skype

Don't forget to enable "Start in terminal" under "extended options", because sshd will ask for your password unless you export your on the ppc to authorized_hosts on your x86 (which is what I do, there seems to be no difference at all between a locally started or a remotely started application). For more details see man ssh

Sometimes artsdsp will hang. You have to kill skype, then. This often occures after the first connection was established and closed again. Establishing a new connection will fail, then.

I tested this on my iBook G3 700MHz and kernel-2.4.12 (gentoo-sources) with alsa compiled as a module. skype version
The internal microphone works surprisingly well! But you better plug in headphones to prevent acoustic feedback.

Have fun

Don't bother to PM me if you have questions, as I sometimes do not receive mails from about comments regarding my topics.
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Joined: 23 May 2004
Posts: 386
Location: Israel

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice, but is it not possible to run skype on Mac-On-Linux ?
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Massimo B.

Joined: 09 Feb 2005
Posts: 1600
Location: PB, Germany

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really nice. And absolutely usable. I even have a Pentium Pro (384MB) busy box working as server here and I have to see if it can run skype.
Do you setup a special user for passwordless login, only being able to use skype?
X-tunnel with -C compression enabled works quite well over DSL internet, but will arts?
Doesn't arts(client) on the skype machine has to know which host is running the artsd, or is it managed by the ssh session?
ppc:PowerBook5,8 15"(1440)-G4/1.67,2G|amd64:HP EliteBook 8560w,i7-2620M,16G|amd64-prefix:OpenSuse|HP EliteDesk 800G1 i7-4790|HP Compaq Pro 6300 i7-3770
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