There has been a lot of talk about Skype connectivity in the VoIP blogs lately. Digium announced that they will no longer be selling their Skype channel driver, and this news rekindled interest in free/DIY methods for connecting Skype to Asterisk. Nerd Vittles has a good writeup, specific to the PBX-in-a-Flash/Incredible PBX implementation. His method relies on the SipToSis gateway application (read the SipToSis how-to for more generic setup instructions).
If you are only wanting to receive Skype calls, you can transfer them to your PBX via Tropo developer account, free.
I decided to add Skype to my home PBX last weekend, and chose FreeSWITCH’s mod_skypopen as the connector.
- The PBX is Asterisk 1.4, and I’m holding steady on this version until 1.8 becomes a bit more stable. Thus, because I want to use Google Voice,
- FreeSWITCH is already in place, on the same machine, as a gateway to Google Voice. It has been working well in this role.
- mod_skypopen requires only the FreeSWITCH module and Skype. No extra connector software is required.
- It works and was easy to install!
Asterisk 1.4 continues to be a rock-solid choice and is supported (security patches will be provided) for another year. For me, the only killer feature that 1.8 provides is Google Voice connectivity. There are bunch of other new features too, but I don’t need them. Stick with that which works, until you need the features or the support is gone.
Back to mod_skypopen. There are basically two ways to install this to FreeSWITCH. The easy way, and the hard way.
Today, the easy way. If you visit the FreeSWITCH wiki page on mod_skypopen, you’ll find some notes on building and installing the module. If you’re running a fairly standard install of FreeSWITCH that utilizes the autoload_configs structure, you can follow through the wiki instructions to build the module and the fake audio driver and then run the Perl installer found in the source directory to automatically build out your configs, configure the Skype client(s) and set up a shell script to get everything going at startup.
If, like me, you have set up FreeSWITCH only to act as a feature gateway for Asterisk, and have aggressively minimized the configuration, you’ll want to avoid the installer script and perform the necessary steps by hand. More on that in the next posting: “the hard way.” (Not really that hard.)