I have been trying to reach a holy grail. Well, not a big holy grail and to some people this will seem silly, but I have been longing to be able to use VOIP in Linux and until I discovered SIP Communicator it wasn’t viable.
Ekiga the default VOIP soft phone in Ubuntu just doesn’t cut the mustard. It crashes is difficult to setup and just plain doesn’t work properly for me (I have a mobile broadband connection so jitter is an issue).
As for Twinkle I couldn’t even get it to work. Qutecom was the best soft phone I had used. It crashed a lot on start up, would crash sometimes in calls but at least it was easy to setup and worked up to a point. And then, while trying to help somebody on the Ubuntu forums, the poster, after tearing his hair out trying to find something that just works recommended SIP Communicator. I thought I would give it a try and it was and is a revelation.
Installation, even though SIP Communicator isn’t in the Ubuntu repositories, is as simple as typing a few commands and completing a wizard. First go into System -> Administration -> Software Sources. Then click the other software tab and hit “Add” and put “deb http://download.sip-communicator.org/deb unstable/” into the text box. See screenshot below:-
Then go to a terminal and type the following commands:-
apt-get update apt-get install sip-communicator-keyring apt-get install sip-communicator
Simply type in your sip username followed by an @ sign and your sip provider e.g. “email@example.com” and your password and click “Sign in” and you’re good to go!
Using is as easy as typing in numbers and saving contacts.
Congratulations to the SIP Communicator developers as well as creating an easy to setup and use, cross platform VOIP soft phone. They have also managed to blow away the competition (at least in Linux) with an Alpha stage product! Whatever jitter buffer handling they have coded it works and it works well. Latency varies on my mobile broadband connection from sub 100ms to over 300ms so jitter is an issue with other VOIP soft phones.
Don’t talk to me about Skype I prefer to have an open product that I know won’t mine my home directory.