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 ( ...
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?

No Sound After Upgrading Asus EeePC to Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)

Right, at the weekend I upgraded my Asus Eee PC (1008HA for those of you interested) to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS – Lucid Lynx from the previous version, 9.10.  Everything seemed fine (I think).

Update: The problem described in this post has subsequently been investigated and solved.

On Monday or Tuesday night I then upgraded the BIOS to see if it would fix the fact that the wireless was shite when I was using Ubuntu.  (Incidentially either the BIOS or OS upgrade seems to have fixed the probelms I had connecting to one specific router)

I didn’t notice a problem at the time because I’m dual booting Windows XP and was using that, but when I booted into Ubuntu again on Thursday night, the audio didn’t seem to be working.  I quickly discovered that the sound did indeed work at the login screen, but once I logged in there was nothing (including no welcome sound).  The audio/volume functions on the Fn keys also now do nothing (though brightness ones still work!)

I think the sound was fine following the Ubuntu upgrade, but I’m not sure, so I think the BIOS upgrade has ballsed it up.  Which is a pain.  It looks like I’ll have to try reverting the BIOS and/or Ubuntu to a previous version.  Watch this space…