Installing Skype on Debian 8.0 (Jessie)

I’m still not really a big fan of Skype, but Microsoft has now updated the Linux version, and although not everyone welcomed the changes, it works well enough for my occasional use.

To get Skype working on Linux you will need to create an account, update your system and install the most recent version (as older versions will not work any more).

Note – The latest versions of Skype for Linux only support 64-bit systems.

Create an account

If you want to create a new skype username WITHOUT using having to use an e-mail address to login or create an associated Microsoft account register here.

Update Your System

Before downloading and installing anything we need to be running as root and it is a good idea to make sure that your system is up to date.

$ su


$ sudo -i

To update your system use apt-get.

# apt-get update;apt-get upgrade
Get:1 http::// jessie/updates InRelease [63.1 kB]
Fetched 284 kB in 1s (150 kB/s)
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
Calculating upgrade… Done
The following packages will be upgraded:
apt apt-utils base-files cron dbus dbus-x11 libapt-inst1.5 libapt-pkg4.12
libc-bin libc-dev-bin libc6 libc6-dev libcupsfilters1 libdbus-1-3
libdbus-1-dev libdns-export100 libegl1-mesa libexpat1 libgbm1
libgdk-pixbuf2.0-0 libgdk-pixbuf2.0-common libgl1-mesa-dev libgl1-mesa-glx
libglapi-mesa libgnutls-deb0-28 libgnutls-openssl27 libgs9 libgs9-common
libgtk-3-0 libgtk-3-bin libgtk-3-common libgudev-1.0-0 libicu52
libirs-export91 libisc-export95 libisccfg-export90 libmp3lame0 libnss3
libpam-systemd libsystemd0 libudev1 libxatracker2
linux-compiler-gcc-4.8-x86 linux-headers-3.16.0-4-amd64
linux-headers-3.16.0-4-common linux-image-3.16.0-4-amd64 linux-libc-dev
locales mesa-common-dev multiarch-support rsyslog screen
systemd systemd-sysv tzdata udev xserver-xorg-video-modesetting
57 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 83.5 MB of archives.
After this operation, 728 kB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n]
Fetched 83.5 MB in 3min 9s (442 kB/s)
Extracting templates from packages: 100%
Preconfiguring packages …
Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.19-18+deb8u1) …

Oops – I should probably try to update my system more often!

Downloading Skype for Linux

You can either use this link to the Skype download page or download the client using this link.

Installing Skype

After downloading the latest package you can install it using dpkg. Don’t worry if you get an error, unless you already have all the dependencies installed it will fail – this is to be expected and isn’t a problem..

# dpkg -i skypeforlinux-64.deb
(Reading database … 56630 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack skypeforlinux-64.deb …
Unpacking skypeforlinux (…
dpkg: error processing package skypeforlinux:

All you have to do to solve this problem is use apt-get to fix the dependencies and automatically install any missing packages. This will also install automatically skype as it will still be marked for installation.

# apt-get install -f
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
Setting up sskypeforlinux ( …
Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.22-1) …
Processing triggers for mime-support (3.58) …

That should be all you need to do apart from checking that the correct audio devices have been selected by default and checking all your preferences are correct the first time you run Skype.

Sound Issues

I encountered issues with the sound quality and eventually discovered that it was necessary to change the configuration of the pulseaudio daemon to decrease the default fragment size (unfortunately I can’t remember where I found this suggestion – but it fortunately worked!).

# nano /etc/pulse/daemon.conf

; default-fragments = 4
; default-fragment-size-msec = 25
default-fragment-size-msec = 5 

Note – I’ve left the original line as it was (it was commented out by default) and added the modified setting as a new line.

Having done this I rebooted for the changes to take effect (in theory all you have to do is to restart pulseaudio but rebooting was easier than working out how!).

# reboot


There are a number of open source alternatives to Skype including Linphone, Jitsi, Ekiga, Blink and Firefox Hello.

The Skype name, associated trade marks and logos and the “S” logo are trade marks of Skype or related entities.

This entry was posted in Debian, Linux, Ubuntu and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Installing Skype on Debian 8.0 (Jessie)

  1. I think I have followed the procedure but I can’t find execution file or commander. Where or what is it?

    mike632t: Do you get the line Setting up Skype when you run
    dpkg -i skype-debian_4.3.0.37-1_i386.deb

  2. John Angelico says:

    Hmm, had to fix the download link to go to the downloads page and find the latest version.
    Suggestion, just make the link land on the downloads page.

    Downloaded latest Jessie version but all efforts to install failed with error messages for all files such as:
    E: Release ‘skypeforlinux_8.46.76.40_amd64.deb’ for ‘libu2f-udev’ was not found

    mike632t: It has been a while since I last installed Skype – I did a quick check using Debian stretch with a minimal GNOME3 desktop and didn’t encounter any issues.

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