FIX: Get Skype to Work on 64-Bit Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

 In Fix It, Linux, Tips and Tricks
Screenshot of Skype 4.2 for Linux on Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

Proof is in the Pudding.

Problem: I needed to install Skype on a Linux Live USB distro with persistence (so it remembers the settings & saves files) so I could video chat with my fiancée while on a business trip. On a 64-bit machine with Ubuntu 13.04, Skype is nowhere to be found in the Ubuntu Software Center. If you go to the Skype website, the last working copy of Skype is for 12.04 (which currently has long-term support on the Ubuntu web site), and it’s 32-bit.

I spent hours on this problem, because a library called ia32-lib and ia32-lib-architecture are deprecated in the last few versions of Ubuntu, and multi-architecture (the ability to do 32-bit and 64-bit applications) is included but disabled by default. I give credit to Noobslab for this solution (it’s the one listed under “alternative method” and it worked for me).

Open a terminal window (CTRL+ALT+T or go to the Unity menu and type “Terminal” and select it from there) and then run the following 3 commands:

sudo add-apt-repository "deb $(lsb_release -sc) partner"
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install skype && sudo apt-get -f install

That will automatically determine your current release and add the proper repository and then grab the correct version of Skype for your computer. After I ran that, I had a few dependencies that needed to be automatically downloaded and installed, so it took a few minutes. Afterwards though, I was able to go to the Unity menu, type in “Skype” and it found the application right away. I went ahead and locked it to my launcher so I could find it easier next time.

I launched “Skype” and set up my audio and video devices and did a test chat with my fiancée in the other room and it works brilliantly. I hope this saved you a few hours of searching and headache, I only wish I’d found the Noobslab article sooner.

I'm a 29 year-old blogger and tech support guy at a small university in the south. Technology makes me angry. I have certifications from Microsoft and Apple and I love Linux too. RAWR.
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