One of Microsoft’s biggest Linux contributions is Skype — the widely popular application used by millions of users globally to make free video and voice calls, send files, videos and instant messages. By offering that program to desktop Linux users, Microsoft enabled them to easily communicate with friends and family that aren’t on Linux, thanks to its cross-platform support.
And now, Microsoft further embraces Linux by releasing Skype as a Snap. Yes, Skype is going to be available in Linux’s “snap app” package format, according to an announcement made on Thursday by Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu. It means that Skype can deliver its communication service to a wider range of Linux users, including on Ubuntu.
“Skype has been enabling the world’s conversations for over ten years. We want to be able to deliver the same high-quality experience on Linux as we do on other platforms. Snaps allow us to do just that, by giving us the ability to push the latest features straight to our users, no matter what device or distribution they happen to use,” says Jonáš Tajrych, Senior Software Engineer at Skype, Microsoft.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Snap, it is a universal Linux package that works natively on all Linux distributions that support snap packaging. Launched in 2016 and created by Canonical, Snaps are containerized software designed to work securely on any Linux platform – desktop, the cloud, or IoT devices. It can auto-update and also has roll-back features, which means that if anything goes wrong with the latest version, users can easily revert back to the previous working configuration.
“The Skype snap will work natively on all Linux distributions that support snaps, including Linux Mint, Manjaro, Debian, Arch Linux, OpenSUSE, Solus, and Ubuntu. This Skype desktop application is compatible across the wide range of Linux platforms, opening it up to an increased range of devices and to millions of users,” says Canonical.
Installing Skype application on Linux:
If you wish to install the Skype Snap on your Linux box, you can go to the Snapcraft.io website and download it. Alternatively, you can install it through the terminal by typing “snap install –classic skype” without quotes.
The official Skype app is now available as a Snap app on the Snap store, maintained and updated by Skype themselves.