Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ubuntu Internet Software Suite - Ekiga

The world of Internet phone service has exploded with the popularity of broadband Internet connectivity in the home. Being able to reliably place and receive phone calls to anywhere around the world from your Internet connection is pretty cool and can save you some money. Ubuntu includes the Ekiga Internet phone software to turn your Ubuntu workstation into a telephone that can reach the world! The default Ekiga Internet phone software is a redesign of the old GNOME GnomeMeeting package for Internet voice and video conferencing applications. Ekiga was expanded to provide the same basic functions as the more popular Skype software, along with compatibility with Microsoft NetMeeting. This compatibility allows you to join in conferences with your Microsoft friends.

To start Ekiga, click on Applications -> Internet -> Ekiga Softphone. The first time you

start Ekiga, you get a series of configuration windows to help you set up your system. Follow these steps to configure your Ekiga software:

1. Click Forward to start the wizard.
The Ekiga wizard may skip to step 3 automatically if it detects your full username in your Ubuntu username configuration.

2. If prompted, type the name you want to be identified by on the network. Other Ekiga users see you listed by the name you enter here.

3. Click Forward to continue. The wizard proceeds to the Ekiga Account page.

4. Type your Ekiga account username and password where prompted. If you don’t have an account yet, click the button to go to the Ekiga web site ( and register for a free account. If you prefer, you can use the Ekiga Softphone with other Internet phone providers and skip this step. After installing Ekiga you’ll need to refer to your specific provider’s instructions for configuring the software.

5. Click Forward to continue.

6. In the resulting Connection Type window, select the type of Internet connection
your system uses, then click Forward.
The configuration wizard goes through a series of windows to automatically determine
hardware and software specifics of your system.

7. For each subsequent window, click Forward after the relevant determination or
detection is completed.
The series of windows includes the following:

• NAT Type: Determines whether a network address translation (NAT) server
is in place between your system and the Internet. Remote Ekiga users who
want to call to you must be able to access your system from the Internet. If you
use a NAT for Internet connectivity, your network address is the address of
the NAT, not your system. You’ll need to connect to a remote server for them
to access you directly. Ekiga takes care of this for you.

• Audio Manager: Detects the software that controls your audio applications.
For Ubuntu, this software is called ALSA.

• Audio Devices: Detect the audio input and output devices on your system.
The Ekiga software will most likely succeed in detecting these devices with
no intervention on your part. If you have more than one audio input or output
device, you can select which one to use for Ekiga.

• Video Manager: Detects the video manager software on your system. For
most Ubuntu, this software is Video4Linux (V4L2).

• Video Devices: Determines whether a video input device (webcam) is connected
to your system.

8. Click the Apply button to accept the settings and start Ekiga.

After finishing the configuration, the main Ekiga window appears, listening for incoming calls and waiting for you to place a call.

When you don’t want the Ekiga window on your desktop, you can close it and keep Ekiga running in the background. It appears on your desktop panel as an icon, indicating that it’s still running. Click the icon for the main Ekiga window to appear. Right-clicking the icon allows you to perform several functions, such as place a new call, set your availability status, or look up a phone number in your phone book. When a new call comes in, the icon will light up and you’ll hear a sound.

After you’re registered you can participate via four communication types: Softphone-to-Softphone: Communicate with remote SIP users via their SIP address—even with users on different SIP servers. The Ekiga SIP server will forward SIP calls to the remote server and accept calls from remote SIP servers. You can make and receive SIP calls at no cost with your Ekiga account.

• Softphone-to-Real Phone: Place calls to regular telephone numbers using your Ekiga Softphone. You must register a separate account at the Ekiga website and pay any relevant charges you accrue for your calls.

• Real Phone-to-Softphone: Receive calls from regular telephones using a phone number you purchase from Ekiga. The phone number can be located in any country! When the number receives an incoming call, Ekiga will route the call to your SIP connection.

• Text messaging: Send instant messages to any SIP address on any SIP server via the Chat window in the Ekiga Softphone.

Source of Information : Wiley Ubuntu Linux Secrets

No comments: