Monday, May 23, 2011

Run your own Skype-like service in less than one hour

In the past few weeks, there were couple of articles showing alternatives for Skype (like this one) - applications or/and services.

Why not running your own Skype-like service? Even better, why not do it using open source and free applications and spend 8.5 billions for something else?

The target is to build your own communication service that offers:
  • peer-to-peer and secure communication (encryption of the content sent between users)
  • voice calls between two users
  • video calls between two users
  • group voice calls (audio conferencing)
  • screen sharing
  • chatting - instant messaging between users
  • contacts list and presence status notifications
The service is going to use the open standard protocol - SIP (Session Initiation Protocol). Two open source application are playing the major roles in the network:
  • Kamailio SIP Server - for user authentication server and 'super-node' functionality of relaying the voice/video packets when necessary
  • Jitsi - the client application, a cross platform implementation running on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows
Installation of the SIP server is exemplified on a Debian Squeeze system, but any flavour of Linux can be used.

The step-by-step tutorial is available at:
It took me about 15 minutes to get the service up and running following the guidelines presented (being very familiar with the two applications), however it should not take more than 1 hour to get everything in action.

Enjoy! Communicate secure and freely!

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