Skype Installation Shows Ubuntu Not Ready for Masses

The horrifically footery and niggly process I’ve just gone through to install Skype is sad proof that Ubuntu, and Linux, is still not ready for prime time.

The fact you have to get a bit hacky to get a product as mainstream as Skype working is a sad indictment of the state of the OS.

Step 1: Add the Ubuntu Partner Repository following the instructions from Ubuntu’s wiki.

As my installation was Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) upgraded from 9.10 (Karmic Koala) I had to edit the repository information and change the distribution from ‘karmic’ to ‘lucid’ as for some reason this had not been automatically updated as part of the upgrade.

After doing this, and reloading the package information, the Synaptic Package Manager still didn’t find Skype when I searched, so I had to follow

Step 2: Revert to the terminal and enter

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install skype

This was a command I’d picked up from Googling previously and finding this guide.  I figured it was worth a shot.  This seemed to work, gave me a lot of information and asked me if I wanted to continue. I did.

The terminal did a lot of stuff in the background as I’ve been typing this, eventually telling me:

Setting up skype (2.1.0.81-1ubuntu5) ...
Processing triggers for libc-bin ...
ldconfig deferred processing now taking place

and returning me to the command prompt. Umm… ok? Still not sure this had worked I started looking for Skype and guessed (correctly) that it would be under Internet (I’m using Ubuntu Netbook Edition).  I opened it, accepted the Licence Agreement and signed in. Very slowly.

A good 2-3 minutes later I’m signed in.  Unfortunately, I only use Skype for talking to my girlfriend who’s currently studying in Malaysia and as it is currently 5:40 am there, she’s not online for me to test it out properly on a call.  However I don’t need to do that to ask this question:

How many ordinary users are going to go through all that just to install Skype, and how many will give up and go back to Windows?

Author: nerd.

An experienced IT professional, I used to run a number of small websites and spend a lot of time tinkering with my sites or my PC - back when I had free time.

2 thoughts on “Skype Installation Shows Ubuntu Not Ready for Masses”

  1. This post is a bit outdated, but as it made me angry to read and nobody else has enlightened you I’m taking the bait …

    Your statement is RIDICULOUS. How can problems installing one application mean an OS is not ready for the masses?

    Firstly, regarding the repository configurations: judging by your footerings on the command line you like to tinker. I would guess you added some entries manually in the apt configuration files. Without going into details of why, your repos probably worked, but I doubt you made the entries according to standards. The upgrade process would be expecting the files to conform to standard formats. You could have used a GUI to help you add the repo and get everything in the right place (e.g. Synaptic)

    Second, it’s IMPOSSIBLE that synaptic failed to find skype but apt-get did. You probably MISUSED synaptic … did you do a refresh in the GUI? this would be required as you had changed the repos manually. That’s what apt-get update does. If you had updated the repos through a GUI this would have been done for you.

    You are basically faffing about on the command line and making hard work for yourself. There’s plenty of ways for “ordinary users” to work on Ubuntu without needing the command line.

    Third, everybody knows Skype is pure poison to Linux. The CLIENT is in permanent Beta. I believe it is now open source, but there’s not much incentive for the Linux community to develop it. The protocols and API are all closed/proprietary and therefore beyond the control of Ubuntu developers. If it took you a long time to sign in it was most likely a slow connection, or a bug in the client. How is this any fault of Ubuntu?

    You can’t condemn a whole OS because a) you made some mistakes and b) a third party application isn’t very fast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *