How to Install Skype on Ubuntu 20.04

Skype is a proprietary telecommunications application software that is owned and developed by Microsoft. Skype is one of the most known and recognized software for video, audio, and text communication app available across multiple platforms. For the most part, free to download and use, Skype is an excellent tool for keeping in touch with friends or working remotely with colleagues.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Skype on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa.

Prerequisites

  • Recommended OS: Ubuntu 20.04
  • User account: A user account with sudo or root access.

Update Operating System

Update your Ubuntu operating system to make sure all existing packages are up to date:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

The tutorial will be using the sudo command and assuming you have sudo status.

To verify sudo status on your account:

sudo whoami

Example output showing sudo status:

[joshua@ubuntu ~]$ sudo whoami
root

To set up an existing or new sudo account, visit our tutorial on How to Add a User to Sudoers on Ubuntu.

To use the root account, use the following command with the root password to log in.

su

Install Dependencies

To install Skype on your Ubuntu system, you will need to make sure the following packages are installed. Run the following command to verify or install the packages:

sudo apt install software-properties-common apt-transport-https curl -y
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Method 1. Install Skype with APT

The first step in installing Skype on your Ubuntu 20.04 desktop is to import the repository from Skype.

First, import the GPG key with the following command:

curl -sSL https://repo.skype.com/data/SKYPE-GPG-KEY -o skype_gpg_key
gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring ./skype_signing_key_temp.gpg --import ./skype_gpg_key
gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring ./skype_signing_key_temp.gpg --export > ./skype_signing_key.gpg
sudo mv skype_signing_key.gpg /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/

Example output if successful:

gpg: keybox './skype_signing_key_temp.gpg' created
gpg: key 1F3045A5DF7587C3: public key "Skype Linux Client Repository <se-um@microsoft.com>" imported
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg:               imported: 1

Secondly, import the Skype repository with the following command your terminal:

echo "deb [arch=amd64] https://repo.skype.com/deb stable main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/skype-stable.list

With the source repository sorted, you must refresh your apt package manager sources list to reflect the new addition before the Skype installation. To do this, run the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt update

Now install Skype with the following command:

sudo apt install skypeforlinux

Example output:

How to Install Skype on Ubuntu 20.04

Type “Y,” then press the “ENTER KEY” to proceed with the installation.

Once the installation is complete, you can verify the installation using the apt-cache policy command.

apt-cache policy skypeforlinux

Example output:

How to Install Skype on Ubuntu 20.04

Updates for Skype will be handled by the standard apt update and upgrade commands.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

To remove the Skype software from your system, run the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt autoremove skypeforlinux -y

Then for complete removal, delete the repository and GPG key:

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/skype-*
sudo rm /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/skype_*
sudo apt update

Method 2. Install Skype with Snapcraft (Snap)

The second option is to install Skype with Snap. By default, the Snapcraft package manager should be installed on your Ubuntu desktop unless you have removed it previously.

For users that removed snapd, re-run the following command:

Snap installed? Skip the following few lines and proceed straight to the installation of Skype with Snap

sudo apt install snapd -y

Next, some packages come in classic, so you need to create a symlink to enable classic snap support.

sudo ln -s /var/lib/snapd/snap /snap

Once installed, you will need to restart the GDM3 service to log you out of your current session.

sudo systemctl restart gdm3

Install the core files to avoid conflicting issues:

sudo snap install core

Example output:

core 16-2.51.7 from Canonical✓ installed

Next, enter the following snap command to install the Skype client:

sudo snap install skype

Example output:

skype 8.77.0.97 from Skype✓ installed

Snap packages are more significant in size than traditional repositories through the APT package manager for several reasons. However, the trade-off is more straightforward maintained packages that are often updated to the latest available version.

For the future, to update along with and any other packages installed by Snap, run the following command:

sudo snap refresh

If you no longer need to have Skype installed, remove it using the Snap remove command.

sudo snap remove skype

Example output:

skype removed
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Method 3. Install Skype with Flatpak

The third option is to use the Flatpak package manager. By default, Flatpak is not installed with Ubuntu operating systems. This is another popular option similar to Snap that may be more familiar with users from other non-Debian/Ubuntu-based operating systems.

First, if Flatpak has been removed, re-install it and its dependencies.

sudo apt install flatpak -y

Next, you need to enable Flatpack for Ubuntu using the following command in your terminal:

sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

Now install Skype using the following flatpak command:

flatpak install flathub com.skype.Client

Example output:

How to Install Skype on Ubuntu 20.04

Type “Y,” then press the “ENTER KEY” to proceed with the installation.

YOU MUST RESTART YOUR SESSION IF THE ICON IS MISSING! 

To view the application Icon, you can log in and out of your session or use the following terminal command.

sudo systemctl restart gdm3

Ignore the above if the Skype icon is present. However, sometimes this bug can occur when installing new packages.

Updates are handled by Flatpack automatically every time you log into your system. For users that want to check manually for updates, use the following command.

flatpak update

However, if you need to remove the Flatpack version of Skype, run the following command:

flatpak uninstall --delete-data com.skype.Client

Example output:

How to Install Skype on Ubuntu 20.04

Type “Y,” then press the “ENTER KEY” to remove using Flatpack.

How to Launch Skype Client

Now that you have the Skype client installed, launching can be done in two ways.

In your terminal type:

skypeforlinux

If you would like to launch Skype and use the terminal, send it to the background:

skypeforlinux &

Alternatively, Flatpak users will need to launch using the command below from a terminal instance:

flatpak run com.skype.Client

However, this isn’t practical, and you would use the following path on your desktop to open with the path: Activities > Show Applications > Skype. If you cannot find it, use the search function in the Show Applications menu if you have many applications installed.

Example:

How to Install Skype on Ubuntu 20.04

Now you will be taken to the Skype application login screen. Sign in or create a new account.

How to Install Skype on Ubuntu 20.04

And that’s it! You have successfully installed Skype on your desktop.

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Comments and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you have learned how to install Skype on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa. Overall, Skype allows you to make both video and voice calls to your personal and business contacts. Skype can be a valuable tool amongst many for conversations amongst teams and is still a market leader.

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