Installing Skype on Ubuntu (or Debian) with updates for Skype URLs

This how to will show you how to install a Skype client in Ubuntu & Debian base operating system.

1. First of all you need to start up Synaptic Package manager. Go to System->Administration->Synaptic Package Manager

2. From Synaptic, go to Settings->Repositories. Click on Other  Software Tab. Check the box next to Canonical Partners.

3. Click Close, and Click ‘Reload’ at the top of Synaptic. Now you can locate Skype and install it from Synaptic or Ubuntu Software Center.

Now to install skype-action-handler to handle skype: URLs:

Download and install the Skype Action Handler (direct download link) and extract.

In a console, navigate to extracted files directory and run these as root:

perl Makefile.PL
make test
make install

For Mozilla (Firefox)
* Open Mozilla (Firefox)
* Type about:config in the address-bar to open the configuration editor.
* Use the scroll bar to navigate to the network.protocol… section.
* Check if the network protocol section includes a key.
* If a key exists, edit it. If no key exists, create a key by right-clicking on any key and selecting New -> String from the pull-down menu.
* Enter as the key name.
* Enter /usr/local/bin/skype-action-handler as the key value.

### For GNOME-aware browsers (Epiphany, Firefox 1.5)
Run the following two commands:

/usr/bin/gconftool-2 -s -t string /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/skype/command '/usr/local/bin/skype-action-handler "%s"'
/usr/bin/gconftool-2 -s -t bool /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/skype/enabled true

Thats it – Test Call should work in Firefox. UPDATE: Except, it doesn’t work here. I can’t give you a valid link because WordPress keeps eating it. :\ But, try this yourself in an html file:


To undo the above gconftool key changes, you may run the following:

gconftool-2 --recursive-unset /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/skype

Original post by thestudio53 at Rewritten with updates for Ubuntu 10.04 and information from

Questions, comments, and feedback are welcome. Please share your experience with this so I can improve the guide. Thank you.


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  1. #1 by Mylan on March 28, 2011 - 11:50 pm

    root@mylan-desktop:/home/mylan/Desktop/Net-DBus-Skype-0.02# perl Makefile.PL
    Cannot determine perl version info from lib/Net/DBus/
    WARNING: ‘All rights reserved’ in copyright may invalidate Open Source license.
    Do you want to install ‘skype-action-handler’? [n]

    *** Module::AutoInstall version 1.03
    *** Checking for Perl dependencies…
    [Core Features]
    – Test::More …loaded. (0.98)
    – Net::DBus …loaded. (0.33.6)
    – Moose …loaded. (1.24)
    – Env …loaded. (1.00)
    *** Module::AutoInstall configuration finished.
    Checking if your kit is complete…
    Warning: the following files are missing in your kit:
    Please inform the author.
    Writing Makefile for Net::DBus::Skype

    root@mylan-desktop:/home/mylan/Desktop/Net-DBus-Skype-0.02# make
    cp lib/Net/DBus/ blib/lib/Net/DBus/
    cp script/skype-action-handler blib/script/skype-action-handler
    /usr/bin/perl “-Iinc” -MExtUtils::MY -e ‘MY->fixin(shift)’ — blib/script/skype-action-handler
    cp script/skype-simple-dialer blib/script/skype-simple-dialer
    /usr/bin/perl “-Iinc” -MExtUtils::MY -e ‘MY->fixin(shift)’ — blib/script/skype-simple-dialer
    Manifying blib/man1/skype-action-handler.1p
    Manifying blib/man1/skype-simple-dialer.1p
    Manifying blib/man3/Net::DBus::Skype.3pm

    root@mylan-desktop:/home/mylan/Desktop/Net-DBus-Skype-0.02# make test
    PERL_DL_NONLAZY=1 /usr/bin/perl “-MExtUtils::Command::MM” “-e” “test_harness(0, ‘inc’, ‘blib/lib’, ‘blib/arch’)” t/00-load.t t/boilerplate.t t/pod-coverage.t t/pod.t
    t/00-load.t ……. 1/1 # Testing Net::DBus::Skype 0.02, Perl 5.010001, /usr/bin/perl
    t/00-load.t ……. ok
    t/boilerplate.t … ok
    t/pod-coverage.t .. skipped: Test::Pod::Coverage 1.08 required for testing POD coverage
    t/pod.t ……….. skipped: Test::Pod 1.22 required for testing POD
    All tests successful.

    Test Summary Report
    t/boilerplate.t (Wstat: 0 Tests: 3 Failed: 0)
    TODO passed: 2-3
    Files=4, Tests=4, 1 wallclock secs ( 0.03 usr 0.02 sys + 0.56 cusr 0.05 csys = 0.66 CPU)
    Result: PASS

    root@mylan-desktop:/home/mylan/Desktop/Net-DBus-Skype-0.02# make install
    Appending installation info to /usr/local/lib/perl/5.10.1/perllocal.pod

    • #2 by Mike on March 28, 2011 - 11:53 pm

      Looks like a clean build and install.

      Were you able to get it working?

      Have you tried using the gconftool lines above, or the about:config settings? Were those any help?

  2. #3 by Mylan on March 28, 2011 - 11:54 pm

    Not the gconftool but did the other thing.

  3. #4 by linuxgeoff on December 16, 2011 - 11:10 am

    just doesn’t seem to work. Have the action handlers working (can call from command line), but FF (8) just refuses to acknowledge them!

  4. #5 by linuxgeoff on January 20, 2012 - 10:18 am

    I think I solved it, and it’s down to a change in the way that Gnome catalogs Applications. However, it’s probably not elegant and if any of you maistros can help improve it, we’d all be grateful:

    1) list a new .Desktop file in /usr/share/applications/defaults.list by adding the following line:

    2) create a firefox-skype.dedsktop file in /usr/share/applications with the following lines:
    [Desktop Entry]
    Name=Skype Action Handler
    Comment=Call from Skype
    GenericName=Skype Client
    Exec=/usr/local/bin/ %u

    #replace /usr/local/bin/ with your own file and path name
    and it seems to work

    • #6 by Mike on January 21, 2012 - 2:26 pm

      Thanks for the hard work on this!

  5. #7 by Peter Wein on March 2, 2014 - 3:45 pm

    Hi, thanks the instruction worked so far, that in my Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Skype opens now Firefox when clicking on a link, but it only opens my startpage ( in a new window. Do you probably know howto fix this issue? I have no clue where to start looking. Working with a new profile does not fix it….

    • #8 by Mike Beach on March 2, 2014 - 10:11 pm

      Sorry, WordPress keeps eating the correctly-formatted Skype callto link. See above where I gave the syntax and you can try it yourself.

      • #9 by Peter Wein on March 3, 2014 - 5:06 am

        Hi Mike, I will try this test call out, but, the problem seems, that my own http-Link does not open the desired link but the start page of th fox! This might be also a problem of the fox, but I do not see a solution. Or is the solution to make a test call? Greetz Peter

  6. #10 by Peter Wein on March 3, 2014 - 5:08 am

    Ah, and one more question: Above scripts I ran without root permissions on my Ubuntu 12.04LTS, did not work. So I started it line by line with the sudo command, and then it finally opens the start page of the fox. But it is very irritating fact, that every line I put there, seems to give the same output

    • #11 by Mike Beach on March 4, 2014 - 9:43 pm

      Getting this to work seems to be a bit of a hack. These workarounds are also based on the versions that were released when this article was written, which have since been updated. (Firefox, Gnome, etc). These workarounds may not even work anymore, but I welcome effort and feedback on them.