By Brian Leonard on Feb 23, 2009
I first learned about Ekiga back in December while reading Dave Stewart's Favorite OpenSolaris 2008.11 features blog entry. One application I really miss since switching to OpenSolaris is Skype, so I was excited to learn that there was a potential open source replacement. It took some tinkering to get it working correctly, but I believe I'm now there. If you want to try it yourself, here are some pointers that might help.
- According to Dave, Ekiga worked with the built-in web cam on his laptop. I wasn't so lucky (Ekiga core dumped trying to use my laptop cam). However, I did have a Logitec USB camera that worked just fine. Colin Zou maintains a list of USB web cams known to work.
- When I initially tried to configure Ekiga with my built-in web cam (and it crashed), I couldn't get Ekiga to start again. Deleting the .gconf and .gconfd directories in my home directory forced the the Configuration Assistant to run again, where I was able to configure a different camera.
- The built-in microphone caused a horrible screeching sound, which made it unusable. However, plugging in my USB headset (also from Logitec), solved that problem.
If you're willing to deal with those potential issues and still want to give Ekiga a try, you first need to install the package SUNWgnome-meeting (Ekiga used to be called gnome-meeting). Note, the version in the repository is 2.0.12. Ekiga 3.0 is available in SVR4 pkg format on the Ekiga site, but I have not tried that yet.
bleonard@opensolaris:~$ pfexec pkg install SUNWgnome-meeting DOWNLOAD PKGS FILES XFER (MB) Completed 1/1 48/48 5.90/5.90 PHASE ACTIONS Install Phase 107/107 PHASE ITEMS Reading Existing Index 9/9 Indexing Packages 1/1
Once installed you can find Ekiga under Applications > Internet > Video Conference:
On attempting to run it, I was greeted with this error dialog:
Fortunately, the solution was to simply run:
And then Ekiga started as expected. I worked my way through the 10 step configuration assistant, which included creating a free SIP account at ekiga.net and configuring and testing my audio and video settings. Here's my configuration summary screen from that assistant:
After which I had Ekiga successfully running. I then made a test call to sip:email@example.com where a friendly electronic female allowed me to hear and see my video played back. If you prefer conversing with humans, feel free to give me a call at sip:firstname.lastname@example.org.