Skype on Windows in VMWare on Linux

02Aug06

Gonna be heading overseas for a while, so decided to spend a little time ensuring that it’ll be easy (not to mention cheap) for me to phone home.

Been playing with VMWare for a while before this, so decided on the Skype on Windows route. (Skype developers, if you’re ever reading this, for goodness sake, please get video on Skype Linux! You’re missing out on a huge user base otherwise)

A short review of VMWare Server 1.0.0 below

==Installation==
Installation was pretty simple.. a short ./vmware-install.pl in the directory that the downloaded tarball was uncompressed into, and you’re on your way! VMWare’ll ask you a few questions like if you wanna put the icons into /usr/share/vmware or not. Just answer the questions as you’d like your configuration to be set up.

VMWare will also ask you to set up your network for the virtual machines. Bridge and NAT are usually good options, if you want your VMs to function as separate machines on your network or hide behind your host OS respectively. I’m not sure of the the usefulness of Host-only networking though, that when your VMs can only communicate between themselves, behind your host, and not out onto the actual network. [Ok so maybe it’s useful if you want to do try DOS’ing your VMs.. but…]

Anyway, running it gives you a nice management console from which to manage your VMs.

vmwareServerConsole
VMWare Server Console showing the settings for a Windows XP VM

==Using it==

I found it was very easy to create new VMs and modify its settings. You can easily modify stuff like whether the VM’s network used a your Host as a bridge or was NAT’ed behind it.

The advantage I found in using Server over the previous Player is that Server gives you more direct access to your hardware, in my case, my external IEEE1394 CD drive. USB devices work pretty fine too, only a little more troublesome than in Player, now having to navigate through a menu instead of just clicking the dropdown bar. [Apologies: I uninstalled Player before doing this write-up, so I don’t have shots of Player to show 😦]
VMWare Device menu
VMWare Server’s Devices Menu

Other than this little inconvenience each time I wanna use USB devices though, VMWare Server’s a pretty good thing to have around. Coupled with a good Windows VM, and you won’t have an excuse to reboot just to use that Redmond OS again 😀

==About Skype==

I was initially excited about being able to use Skype to conduct video chats in Windows on VMWare.. but that joy was shortlived.. Somehow, Skype doesn’t seem to like my webcam very much.

As you can see:

webcamExplorer
Webcam works perfectly in Windows Explorer…

Windows itself does recognise the webcam, and can use it .

But..

webcamSkype
… but not Skype

As far as I’ve tried though, Skype adamantly refuses to recognise the webcam.

Has anyone gotten webcams to work for video chat in Skype in Windows on VMWare before? Would appreciate it lots if you could drop me a link or something..

If I can’t get it working.. maybe I’ll have to switch to another program.. Ekiga maybe?

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14 Responses to “Skype on Windows in VMWare on Linux”

  1. 1 Neudorfer Wolfgang

    Hi!

    I have got the same problem. I would like to use my Logitech Notebook Webcam Deluxe with Skype in VMWare Player 1.0.1. The cam works with the Logitech tool, but I could not get it working with Skype.

    I would really appreciate any hints.

    bye

    Wolfgang

  2. 2 P R Kay

    I have XP on VMware running on SUSE 9.1. I could not get pictures from my Logitec Quickcam Chat using Skype until I upgraded to Workstation 5.5.2. The previous error messages were that VMware did not support isochronous USB input devices.

  3. 3 Daniel

    I have an idea that I think might work. I’ll try it later on today after I get home. The crux of the problem, as I see it, is probably that Skype is playing games at some level lower than they should when it comes to network communication. The result of which is some level of confusion at the network level and then calls get dropped.

    My plan is to add a USB ethernet device that only VM-Windows will use and hopefully, that will bypass any network bridging issues that are going on.

  4. 4 ruiwen

    Never quite had connection problems with Skype in VMware Windows itself though.. I’ve been lucky.. =)

    It’s always been the webcam that ended up giving me problems. Good to know if you managed to solve your problems though..

  5. 5 Vincent

    I think your webcam issues have something to do with directX… I was trying the same, Windoze under Linux in vmware to use Skype video… My webcam works, also under Windoze in vmware but when i initially started Skype, it complained about not having DirectX (win2K). After having installed DirectX 9.0c skype kan take snapshots but cannot show me live video… It frustrates me that I have to put so much effort in something so ‘normal’ and still not have it working… Video under Skype. I’m thinking about convincing my friends to switch to other apps where video does work. Skype sucks…!

  6. 6 mjamesd

    skype 2.0 beta for linux supports video chat.

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  1. 1 VOIP, inside a virtual machine (part 1 of 3) at x86 Virtualization
  2. 2 samsung laptops

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