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VOIP on Linux

driveconsultant
Grafter
Posts: 164
Registered: 03-08-2007

VOIP on Linux

I'm a newbie to this broadband phone lark - always thought "Got Skype and amsn, why do I need...". Anyway thought I would give it a go and checked the FAQs, and I was really disappointed to see that all the packages listed are for Windoze or Mac. As a long-time Linux user that is not good enough for me. I found a thread about Ekiga, so I'll give that a bash, and I saw some comments about ATA adapters for normal phones, which sounds interesting if it all works well.
After all my waffle, what I want to know is, what is recommended for VOIP on Linux. Apart from Ekiga that is. There's usually more than one choice with Linux - so who likes what and why?
48 REPLIES
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,548
Thanks: 185
Fixes: 9
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: VOIP on Linux

I think the choice is Ekiga or nothing.
I managed to get it working using a very cheap headset (from ebay).
But in all honesty, there was no benefit as I can make cheap calls via BT in the evening,
calls to non-geographic numbers and mobiles are no cheaper
I can make international calls via prepaid cards
And it isn't necessary to switch my PC on.
So unless I invest in some decent VOIP equipment (pricey), I might as well use the ordinary phone.

lingbob
Grafter
Posts: 734
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: VOIP on Linux

There's also KPhone: http://sourceforge.net/projects/kphone
Never looked at it or used it so I couldn't comment on it. Might be worth having a look?
Regards .....
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: VOIP on Linux

Ekiga works fine for the Plusnet voip free minutes. You can also use your Skype hardware.
puddy
Grafter
Posts: 1,571
Registered: 10-06-2007

Re: VOIP on Linux

Quote from: Santiago
You can also use your Skype hardware.

How many times do we have to tell you plusnet voip service is NOT skype compatible!!!!
Please be very careful when telling people new to plusnet voip service that  skype equipment is compatible its not
I have given you a list before that tell you this.  Your skype handset only works in the same way as a very expensive mic and headphone and needs software to work.  All plusnet voip hardware will not work with any skype hardware
puddy
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,548
Thanks: 185
Fixes: 9
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: VOIP on Linux

Skype will work in the sense that it works over anybodies broadband.
If you just want a PC to PC communication it will work OK.
If you want to access a telephone, then you must pay Skype - there are no free minutes.

puddy
Grafter
Posts: 1,571
Registered: 10-06-2007

Re: VOIP on Linux

This forum/thread is for the plusnet free VoIP service which will not work with any Skype compatible hardware.
I am concerned that you advising newbie plusnet VoIP customers to buy Skype hardware.
which as I say again will not work with plusnet VoIP kit all you asking them to do is buy a overpriced handset which need software to work and its only use is a mic and speaker
As I said before plusnet VoIP service is not Skype compatible and will not work Skype VoIP phone or other  skype hardware.
I have sent you a list which you asked for showing you Skype hardware will not work with plusnet VoIP service.
I can try to arrange a plusnet Customer service agent to e-mail you if you do not believe me or others who use the plusnet VoIP service.
In addition you cannot use plusnet free minutes on Skype service and you will not get an incoming call to ring a skype handset (hardware) with a plusnet  telephone number also you cannot get tech support from plusnet for skype hardware
Puddy.

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
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Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: VOIP on Linux

Quote from: puddy
~snip~ plusnet free VoIP service which will not work with any Skype compatible hardware.
That statement is is not true. Why do you keep saying this?
How may times do I have to tell you some [mine] Skype hardware works with Plusnet Free voip. I use it all the time.

puddy
Grafter
Posts: 1,571
Registered: 10-06-2007

Re: VOIP on Linux

Quote from: Santiago
Thank you for posting the Ekiga settings. I was also struggling with the set up.

Can you make Skype calls on your Ekiga box and if so what settings did you use? and did the Skype calls come out of your free plusnet  allowance?
Can you let me have your Skype setting so I can get free VoIP mobile calls via Skype/plusnet network now they are linked in the same way. Will skype work with my?
nokia n95-8gb and my nokia e65
My grandstream gxp2000
Linksys PAP2 Adapter
Siemens 460ip dect phone
Linksys spa3000 uk edition
Speedtouch 716wl
speedtouch 780wl

Puddy

pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: VOIP on Linux

another thing the forum title is Broadband Phone, that does include Skype which is a broadband phone
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
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Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: VOIP on Linux

Quote from: puddy
Quote from: Santiago
Thank you for posting the Ekiga settings. I was also struggling with the set up.


The settings I needed help on were the plusnet voip settings for Ekiga. My skype phone worked fine by changing the Audio device.
Quote from: puddy
Can you make Skype calls on your Ekiga box and if so what settings did you use? and did the Skype calls come out of your free plusnet  allowance?

No I can't make Skype calls using Ekiga (of course you knew that). On my Ubuntu box I use Skype for skype calls and Ekiga for plusnet voip, I use the Skype certified Ipevo phone hardware for both. You also know that Skype calls don't come from the Plusnet free allowance.
Quote from: puddy
Can you let me have your Skype setting so I can get free VoIP mobile calls via Skype/plusnet network now they are linked in the same way.

There is no such setting, again you already knew that.
However I am pleased that you do now realise that Skype and the plusnet voip network are linked by the capability to share the same Skype certified hardware.
Quote from: puddy
Will skype work with my?
nokia n95-8gb and my nokia e65
My grandstream gxp2000
Linksys PAP2 Adapter
Siemens 460ip dect phone
Linksys spa3000 uk edition
Speedtouch 716wl
speedtouch 780wl

I don't know if Skype will work with all those things. I don't have any of those so I have never tried them.
For my voip applications Skype, Plusnet voip, Yahoo voice, Live messenger and Nonoh I have only one piece of hardware, the Ipevo phone. Actually I have two of them and I keep one in my bag to use one when I am travelling overseas. The only other hardware I had was a Plantronics head set which was very good if you spend hours on end on the phone like I do. It was a bit flimsy and I broke that and moved onto the Ipevo phone.
On the other hand for you to use just the PlusNet Voip it appears you need 8 pieces of hardware, complicated set up procedures, unlocked and debranded equipment from Ebay and a running dialogue with both Plusnet and Gradwell to keep thing working.
However as I like to have an open mind on these things I am wondering if your recommended equipment can be used for for Skype.
I think I will have a look on Ebay
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,258
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: VOIP on Linux

I know I'm going to regret this but here goes anyway!!!
This is all getting a bit heated so can I try and get some common ground on which we all can agree...
I know some of the statements maybe seen as teaching some of us to suck eggs but bear with me and maybe we can all agree ( after a few attempts maybe) on something that will be useful and unambiguous for newbie voip people.
VOIP is a generic term for any means of sending voice over a network, it stands for  VOICE OVER IP. ( Yes I know most of us know that but there probably are people watching who dont..) and Skype,MSN,Plusnet are all VOIP.
Skype and PlusNet Voip use different protocols, Skype is a proprietary protocol whereas PlusNet uses the standard SIP protocol. Given this fact, in general ( note I said 'in general' ) any hardware device designed for use with one of these protocols is not compatible with the other.
Now lets try to get some common ground on some of the differences in opinions...
There are two basic ways to get voip working, one is to use a PC with a software application ( a softphone ) and an audio device, the other is to use a piece of hardware independent of the PC with either an inbuilt phone device or which allows you to plug in a standard telephone.
Using the first method, Skype is implemented using the Skype software and there are a number of SIP compatible softphones available ( SJPhone,XLite,Ekiga to name a few) that can be used for PlusNet voip. You then just need an audio device to allow you to talk and listen, you can use a standard headset or, more conveniently sometimes, a USB phone ( and here's where it gets confusing... ). Most USB phones are sold as Skype compatible, but all they really are is a microphone,speaker and some buttons ( and maybe a display ). Most of the time these phones can be used with SIP softphones and they work fine, although quite often the buttons and display do not work and all you have is a microphone and speaker.
The main disadvantage of the softphone method is that your PC must be on all the time to make and more importantly receive calls. The main advantage is that it is cheap (even USB phones are <£10) and usually simple to set up.
Now for the second method, there are various options, a router with built in voip ports, an analogue telephone adapter(ATA), a dedicated Voip phone and a wireless phone ( or a wireless capable mobile phone. Mainly most of these devices are designed for the SIP protocol however there are a few ATA's, voip phones and wireless phones that are designed for Skype or MSN. However the overriding principle of these devices is that they can be used for ONLY on voip system for which they are designed  i.e a Skype one will NOT work for PlusNet and vice versa.
The main disadvantages of this method are  sometimes cost and occasionally difficulty in setting up.
The main advantages are that your voip system is independent of your PC and that you can quite often integrate your voip and landline system through a single phone (or set of DECT phones).
Ok that's it for now, please feel free to comment ( creatively please!!) or expand where you think useful and maybe we can get a sticky post in the forum that would be useful for newbies.
Ducks to get head below parapet  Smiley
puddy
Grafter
Posts: 1,571
Registered: 10-06-2007

Re: VOIP on Linux

As you know people who do not know the differance between skype hardware and Sip hardware (plusnet voip) should not be advising new customers what equipment to buy.
ian I fully agree with your post
puddy
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,258
Thanks: 432
Fixes: 39
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: VOIP on Linux

Oops , just noticed that my original post seemed a bit too large , maybe cos bits of it seem to be repeated.
I started to post directly to the forum, then realized it was going to take a while and did it offline then pasted in , looks like I made a bit of a mess of it. ( fixed now After a few edits..... )
@puddy, thanks , do you think it would be useful to try and expand a little on the hardware and software options and try to get it into a sticky post that we could refer new people to first ?
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: VOIP on Linux

ianwarrilow
Your post was a very good summary of the various issues. I am sure it would make a great sticky for the Broadband Phone Forum
However this
Quote
i.e a Skype one will NOT work for PlusNet
is not correct. I use a skype phone for plusnet voip and it works great.
Quote from: puddy
As you know people who do not know the differance between skype hardware and Sip hardware (plusnet voip) should not be advising new customers what equipment to buy.

I agree with that. I do know people who do not know the difference between skype hardware and Sip hardware (plusnet voip).
If people come on the forum and ask for a simple / effective / low cost / USB hardware solution for Plusnet voip I will continue to offer my opinion and that I use my Skype certified phone.