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Installing Skype

1. Editing your pacman repositories

To install skype, you need to uncomment the community repository in /etc/pacman.conf If it is already commented out, you can go to step 2

# Add your preferred servers here, they will be used first
#Include = /etc/pacman.d/community

will become:

# Add your preferred servers here, they will be used first
Include = /etc/pacman.d/community

Now use pacman to install Skype:

pacman -S skype

2. Let's Skype

Option B is preferred over option A. Because with option B you can use skype AND let other programs play sound too.

A. With OSS or Kernel OSS emulation for ALSA

Start "skype" and make sure no other program is using your soundcard. If you want to use skype AND let another program play sound too, look at option B instead.

B. Making ALSA + dMix work for Skype

Add the following to "~/.asoundrc" (the file ".asoundrc" in your home directory) If the file doesn't exist yet, just create it!

Many thanks to Lorenzo Colitti for figuring this out!

# .asoundrc to use skype at the same time as other audio apps like xmms
# Successfully tested on an IBM x40 with i810_audio using Linux 2.6.15 and
# Debian unstable with skype No sound daemons (asound, esd, etc.)
# running. However, YMMV.
# For background, see:
# Usage:
# 1. cp .asoundrc ~
# 2. ALSA_OSS_PCM_DEVICE="skype" aoss /path/to/skype
# (C) 2006-06-03 Lorenzo Colitti -
# Licensed under the GPLv2 or later {
   type asym
   playback.pcm "skypeout"
   capture.pcm "skypein"

pcm.skypein {
   # Convert from 8-bit unsigned mono (default format set by aoss when
   # /dev/dsp is opened) to 16-bit signed stereo (expected by dsnoop)
   # We can't just use a "plug" plugin because although the open will
   # succeed, the buffer sizes will be wrong and we'll hear no sound at
   # all.
   type route
   slave {
      pcm "skypedsnoop"
      format S16_LE
   ttable {
      0 {0 0.5}
      1 {0 0.5}

pcm.skypeout {
   # Just pass this on to the system dmix
   type plug
   slave {
      pcm "dmix"

pcm.skypedsnoop {
   type dsnoop
   ipc_key 1133
   slave {
      # "Magic" buffer values to get skype audio to work
      # If these are not set, opening /dev/dsp succeeds but no sound
      # will be heard. According to the alsa developers this is due
      # to skype abusing the OSS API.
      pcm "hw:0,0"
      period_size 256
      periods 16
      buffer_size 16384
   bindings {
      0 0

Now run skype in this way each time you want to use skype:

ALSA_OSS_PCM_DEVICE="skype" aoss skype

Optionally you can make a script to start skype:


# Little script to run Skype correctly using the modified .asoundrc
# See: <wiki> for more information!
# Questions/Remarks:

ALSA_OSS_PCM_DEVICE="skype" aoss skype

3. Questions or Remarks

You are free to edit this wiki entry if you have anything to add or change,

and for more questions or remarks you can mail me (profoX) at