Talkin’ on the Phone

The new craze these days is chatting on the phone over the Internet. Whether you’re just wanting to experiment or are a complete devotee, Linux offers the software you need to take part. Think of the Internet phone networks like Instant Messenger networks. One of the most popular networks for supporting Internet phones is Skype (www.skype.com), which uses SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), a popular default that you can use a wider variety of programs with. You first need the proper hardware, whether it’s a phone you can actually plug into your computer (a SIP phone, for example) or just a combination of a headset and a microphone — preferably not the lowest-end model so you’ll get the best sound quality. When you have the hardware, it’s time to get the software.

In Fedora, the default client is Ekiga (www.ekiga,.org). It is available through ApplicationsInternetIP Telephony. Two other SIP clients are also included in the repositories, as discussed in Chapter 16. They are KPhone (http://sourceforge.net/projects/kphone) and Linphone (www.linphone.org). The popular Skype package isn’t included, but you can download a Linux client from www.skype.com.

In the upcoming sections, I show you how to configure and use both the default Ekiga package and the popular Skype ...

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