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  1. title Ekiga VoIP

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Introduction

Ekiga was the default Internet telephony (VoIP) application/ SoftPhone in Ubuntu until 9.10, Karmic Koala, when it was replaced by Empathy. It lets you make audio and video calls over the Internet to people who have hardware or software that follows the SIP or H.323 standards. Ekiga also features basic instant messaging. Ekiga has a robust and wide support for multimedia, and is compatible with Windows Messenger and most VoIP applications. Ekiga cannot communicate with Skype because Skype uses its own non-standard protocols. If you have a suitable SIP provider, you can also use Ekiga to place calls to any normal phone line. Ekiga?action=AttachFile&do=get&target=ekiga_3.png

Desktop interoperability

Ekiga works with Linux or Windows. For Mac OS, you can use the free software xmeeting. Ekiga is compatible with Netmeeting (H.323, windows), Windows Messenger (SIP, Windows, how to configure Windows Messenger for ekiga.net), Gizmo (SIP, multi-platform), and other programs listed on the Ekiga documentation. Googletalk is working to implement the industry standard SIP which will make it possible to communicate with Ekiga users in the future.

First use

When you start Ekiga for the first time, the 10 step Configuration druid will help you to correctly configure Ekiga. It is strongly recommended that you complete this configuration procedure. More help about the druid (step-by-step)

How do I get a free sip:address ? (step 3/10)

At step 3 of 10 in the druid, you'll be asked for your Username and Password. You get them by registering in ekiga.net. This will gives you a free SIP address. Choose your username with care since you will be giving it out to your contacts. A SIP address is a way to be reachable and to reach people. You can compare it to an e-mail address. Please avoid specials characters for your password. Letters and numbers will do just fine. Ekiga?action=AttachFile&do=get&target=Capture-FirstTimeConfigurationAssistant3.png Just follow the link given in the dialog to get an account if you do not have one, then fill in your username and password. Your address will be sip:[email protected] Please press ’Forward’ after having entered all required information to continue.

How do I place a call ?

When you're done with the druid and have an account on ekiga.net, you can call the echo test: sip:[email protected] You'll be able to check whether you can reach the service (the SIP network), whether your sound setup is ok (you can hear yourself with a delay) and whether your webcam works (you can see yourself). If you know the SIP address of the party you wish to call, you may enter that adress into the sip: input box at the top of the screen and press the Connect button; eg: sip:[email protected] and pressing the Connect button would call the user at that address.

Can I use several sip:addresses ?

Yes. First you have to register to the provider (e.g. ekiga.net). Then to add your new sip:address, go to menu Edit -> Accounts -> Add Ekiga?action=AttachFile&do=get&target=Capture-EdittheAccountInformation.png

Account name: enter the name for the Edit -> Accounts window
Registrar: ekiga.net (or another provider)
User: Your Username
Password: Your password

Ekiga.net services (free calls PC-to-PC)

Ekiga.net is a free service (no ads) based upon Free Software (SER and Asterisk) ran by the Ekiga team.

Test service

Once you're registered to http://ekiga.net, you can test your setup and line quality by dialing the echo service: sip:[email protected] This service only works with PCMU or iLBC audio codecs, and the H.261 video codec. Date: 2007-12-27: The test service begins with a voice explaining what will happen, then the echo test begins. The echo test is both an audio and a video echo function, so when this is running, you can choose to see local video from your camera or remote video from the remote machine's echo signal.

Audio conference server

If you are using ekiga.net as your VoIP provider, you can access a conference server via the aliases

[For example, a group of friends could meet in conference room 1122 by dialing sip:[email protected]] Using 501xxxx, you'll be asked for a "PIN number": dialing a number you can protect the access to your conference room or just dialing # will make this conference public.

How to place a call to other SIP providers (peering)

Peering is the term given to agreement between VoIP Service Providers which enables the users of one service to call users of another. This is usually implemented by dialing a special prefix number and then the number of the receipitant (on the 'other' service). With Ekiga.net, you can use SipBroker prefixes. Here are some exemples of prefixes:

Prefix Registrar Description
*282 sip.broadvoice.com Broadvoice, do not work actually (2007 july)
*747 proxy01.sipphone.com Gizmo/SIPPhone
*393 fwd.pulver.com Freeworlddialup
*534 sip1.voipbuster.com Voipbuster
*551 sip.internetcalls.com internetcalls
*248 voip.wengo.fr Wengo

You can also use the special prefix *013 to place a call using Enum. As prefixes do not have a standard, Enum tries to solve this situation. Some numbers you can dial using Ekiga.net:

Number Description
*[email protected] US toll free numbers (1-800) ideasip.com, search US Toll Free numbers.
*[email protected] Tell me ixcall.net (Speech recognition)
*[email protected] Wengo echo test (France)
*[email protected] Freeworlddialup echo test
*[email protected] Prato City Hall echo test (Italy)
*[email protected] Freeconferencecall.com
*[email protected] Gizmo Echo test
*[email protected] Party Line Sipphone.com
*[email protected] Voxalot.com (US) Echo test

How to search a contact in Ekiga White pages

People registered to Ekiga.net may be reached using the White Pages.

  • Open the Address Book (ToolsAddress Book), or click the address book button.
  • Select "Ekiga White pages".

You can search the White pages by name, SIP address, or location. Up to 100 results are returned for any search.

Ekiga.net button for your web page

You can easily put a button on your web page showing your status: online or offline. If you're online, the visitor can place a call using the button. Here is what will appear on your web page:

Ekiga?action=AttachFile&do=get&target=button-call-me.png Ekiga?action=AttachFile&do=get&target=button-offline.png

In order to use it, simply add this to your web page: <script src=”http://www.ekiga.net/status/presence.php?user=YOUR_ID_ON_EKIGA.NET”></script> where YOUR_ID_ON_EKIGA.NET is simply your username.

Register to a commercial VoIP provider (landline and mobile phones)

You can register to a commercial VoIP provider to place calls to normal phone line or cell phone (POTS). Ekiga allows you to register with several VoIP providers.

Default provider

There is no obligation for you to use the default provider. The default provider is Diamondcard Worldwide Communication Service, which offers these rates

  1. To purchase the account, go in Tools -> PC-To-Phone Account. You absolutely need to purchase the account from the PC-To-Phone configuration window or it won't work.
  2. Once you have opened an account, login to your account to look up your Account Number and PIN. Don't confuse these with your username and password!
  3. Enter the account number and PIN in the appropriate fields in the window and enable the PC-To-Phone service.
  4. If you need to edit the account under Edit->Accounts, you should use account number and PIN here also, even though it says "user" and "password". :(

You are now ready to do PC-To-Phone calls at very low rates all over the world. To dial a number, simply add "00" followed by the country code, and by the phone number you want to reach. For example, sip:003210111111 to call number 10111111 in Belgium. If you suffer from high latency (long delays) when using pc-to-phone you may need to enable the GSM codec in the audio section of Ekiga's preference window.

Broadvoice Support

In order to setup Ekiga to work with Broadvoice which offer those rates, use the following settings. Figure out which proxy is closest to you:

  1. proxy.lax.broadvoice.com
  2. proxy.dca.broadvoice.com
  3. proxy.mia.broadvoice.com
  4. proxy.atl.broadvoice.com
  5. proxy.chi.broadvoice.com
  6. proxy.bos.broadvoice.com
  7. proxy.nyc.broadvoice.com

Ekiga Preferences:

  • SIP SettingsOutbound SIP Proxy: proxy.broadvoice.com
  • CodecsVideo Codecs → Disable (uncheck) video support or else you will get a codec error.

Account Information:

  • Registrar: sip.broadvoice.com
  • User: <10 digit broadvoice telephone number>
  • Password: <obtained requesting it from broadvoice support>
  • Authentication Login: <10 digit broadvoice telephone number>
  • Realm/Domain: sip.broadvoice.com or Broadworks

In the case where you need to troubleshoot, start ekiga with 'ekiga -d 4'

How to set up a Gizmo account

Gizmo offers those rates. To subscibe an account, go here and open a Sipphone account. Then, with your account number and your password go there, you'll be prompted to choose a Gizmo name. Once you have an active account you can setup Ekiga to use it. In Ekiga, go to Edit | Accounts. This will open the Accounts window. Go to Accounts | Add a SIP account. Fill this window out with the following information (provided from Gizmo).

Name: whatever you wish
Registrar: proxy01.sipphone.com
User: Your Gizmo number (1747xxxxxxx)
Authentication User: Your Gizmo number (1747xxxxxxx)
Password: Your password
Timeout: 3600 (this is the default setting)

Also make sure that the Enable Account box is checked. When you click on OK you should see the new entry and the status go to Registered. Drag the new account to the top of the list if you have multiple accounts. Next, test it out by dialing sip:[email protected] You can alternatively dial just 18005558355 and the sip:[email protected] will automatically be added on.

How to set up a Wengo account

Wengo offer this rates. Once you've registered at https://secure.wengo.com/register/wengophone/index.php?yawl[S]=wengo.public.homePage&yawl[K]=wengo.subs_152.persistOffer&lang=eng , visit https://ws.wengo.fr/softphone-sso/sso.php?login=YOUR-EMAIL&password=YOUR-PASSWORD where YOUR-EMAIL and YOUR-PASSWORD are what you used when you registered your account. This will give you your real username and password:

...
<userid>Username</userid>
...
<password>Password</password>
...

Now go to menu Edit → Accounts → Add

Account name: whatever you wish
Registrar: voip.wengo.fr
User: the username from the ws.wengo.fr url above
Password: the password from the ws.wengo.fr url above

Now try the echo test: sip:[email protected].wengo.fr

Configuration

This section covers the configuration of Ekiga.

Network

Ekiga is able to use a STUN server. In most cases the defaults should work fine, even for users of consumer-grade firewalls. However, for advanced users or complex setups, here is the list of ports used by Ekiga:

Protocol Port Type of port Description
SIP 5000 to 5100 UDP SIP signalling, listen port: 5060
STUN 3478 to 3479 UDP Outgoing traffic to STUN servers
H323 1720 TCP Listen port
H323 5000 to 5100 UDP gatekeepers H.323
H323 30000 to 30010 TCP H.245 channel for old implementations H.323 (Netmeeting)

Date: December 2007 My router reports "Symmetric NAT" (which is a problem). After finding information on the Ekiga help site which mentions a script, and confused me in my newbie status, I used Ubuntu Forums and received a most helpful answer: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=4011798&posted=1#post4011798

Several Ekigas on a LAN

There are several programs which allow copies of Ekiga to communicate with each other; you can use a SIP proxy (like Siproxd) or a PBX (like Asterisk. Further information about Ekiga and Asterisk can be found on the Ekiga documentation), or you can use Avahi.

Avahi

Avahi is the main implementation of ZeroConf protocol under Ubuntu (known as Rendezvous or Bonjour on Mac OS X). This technology allows automatic discovery of services. To set up Avahi, please follow the Zeroconf Howto. Other copies of Ekiga on the LAN should appear in the Address Book (third button on the left) if you double-click on Contacts Near Me.

Sound

This section is about testing and changing the sound configuration in Ekiga.

Test your computer

The audio test in the configuration druid will show you if there is any audio problem. In case of audio problem, to check if your computer meets the requirements for Ekiga, try this command|in a terminal:

$ arecord -D plughw:0,0 -c 1 -r 8000 -f S16_LE - | aplay -D plughw:0,0 -c 1 -r 8000 -f S16_LE -

Now, speak into your microphone. You should be able to hear yourself in your headset with a small delay (approximately half a second). If it doesn't work as expected, first try to setup correctly your audio desktop configuration: make sure your microphone is not muted and the volume levels are OK.

Ekiga and other audio applications

Ekiga is capable of running simultaneously with other sound applications (like music and video players). The following directions should be enough to accomplish this: From the Edit menu, choose PreferencesDevicesAudio Devices.

  • Select "ALSA" as the audio plugin
  • Select "Default" as output
  • Select "Default" as input

Then, from the Edit menu, choose PreferencesGeneralSound Events. Select "Default" as alternate device output.

Webcam

Ekiga does not require a webcam.

Choosing the right webcam driver

The Linux kernel has two ways to communicate with video devices, the old v4l and the new v4l2. It's best to use v4l2, but some devices only support v4l. From the Edit menu, choose PreferencesDevicesVideo device.

  • Try "v4l2” or "v4l” as video plugin
Choosing the right video device

If you have several video devices (like a TV card and a webcam) you will need to tell Ekiga which one to use: From the Edit menu, choose PreferencesDevicesVideo device. Change the channel number until you find the right one.

Test your webcam

To test your webcam, click the fourth of the six icons (a grey round webcam) on the left side of the main Ekiga window. If eveything is ok, you'll see the output of the webcam. If not, you'll see the Ekiga logo bouncing slowly.

More Options

Encrypt your calls

As Ekiga use a standard Sip protocol, your calls can easily be encrypted using Zphone Next version (3.2) should support natively Zphone

Install the latest version

Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon ships with Ekiga version 2.0.11 (18th october 2007). Please upgrade.

Development snapshots

Ekiga?action=AttachFile&do=get&target=ekiga3_03-19-2008.png The Ekiga team maintains this roadmap to Ekiga version 3.0.

Install using a repository

You can get the latest development snapshots from snapshots.ekiga.net. Installing them may solve problems you are experiencing, but be aware that the snapshots could also cause more problems. This package will replace your actual and stable version.

Add this GPG key to verify the repository
  • Add the key to your key list
$ gpg --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 3596ED6E
  • Add the key to apt utils
$ gpg --export --armor 3596ED6E | sudo apt-key add -
Add the repositories
Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy)
  • The Ekiga SVN snapshot repository
deb http://snapshots.ekiga.net/snapshots/ubuntu/ hardy main
  • The hardy-updates repository (official)
deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates main multiverse
Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy)
  • The Ekiga SVN snapshot repository
deb http://snapshots.ekiga.net/snapshots/ubuntu/ gutsy main
  • The gutsy-updates repository (official)
deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ gutsy-updates main multiverse
Install Ekiga
  • Install the package ekiga-snapshot

Optionnaly you can add more features installing those packages:

  • for webcam support using only V4L API: libpt-snapshot-plugins-v4l
  • FireWire camera AVC video support: libpt-snapshot-plugins-avc
  • FireWire camera DC video support: libpt-snapshot-plugins-dc
  • The H264 Video codec: libopal-snapshot-plugins-h264

Compile

You can also try to compile Ekiga SVN yourself following this how-to: Compile your own SVN version of Ekiga on Ubuntu (Gutsy and Hardy)

Gutsy 7.10 Troubleshooting

Malformed Ekiga dialog box

The first time you run Ekiga, the Ekiga's configuration wizard appears; in Step 5 Ekiga detect NAT Type. With Visual Effects enabled (Compiz), the dialog box with the results is unresizable and too small to read the results it produces. Workaround: Disable Visual Effects, from the System menu, choose PreferencesAppearanceVisual Effects. Select "None". Restart Ekiga. Further informations on this bug here.

Edgy 6.10 Troubleshooting

Ekiga crash on exit

A bug in Ubuntu 6.10 makes Ekiga crash on exit. If you experience "bug buddy" showing up on exit, install this package on your system. Please, do not send a bug report about this issue. Thank you.

The webcam shows only a grey image

Try|this.

See also

External links