Skype Reliabilitator

The skype-kit is a set of scripts that helps making Skype reliable.

In my experience, Skype on Linux has a tendency to lose contact with the Skype network without reporting so. They way I determine if that is the case, is by right clicking on the taskbar icon and try to quit. If the application does not react, it has lost contact with the world.

This is annoying as it does not inform me about it. If it does so in the middle of a chat conversation, I can send several messages that do not reach the receiver and people stay “on-line”…

The solution is the skype-kit.tar.gz, the contents is BSD licensed. Untar this to get access to three scripts solving all your Skype reliability needs.

You can also use the following packages to install it on a distro of your choice:

The scripts are:

  • skype-status says Online or Offline depending on the number of ports opened by the Skype process. This is your true online/offline state. The exit status reflects the state, Online returns one while Offline results in zero.
  • respawn-skype kills the previous instance of Skype (only one) and restarts. If skype is not started, it is simply stated.
  • check-skype-status combines the two other scripts, checking the status and offers to restart it if Skype is offline (using a kdialog warning dialog). The brave can cron this (add -display :0 to kdialog). This script does not start Skype if there is no Skype process running, so it can safely be run without having Skype popping up all the time.

Now Skype is reliable once again.


  1. nodev
    Posted 2011-01-28 at 12:45 | Permalink

    I’ve an AUR package of this set. I have just one question – what’s the license?

  2. fear_factory84
    Posted 2011-01-28 at 12:46 | Permalink

    It seems that current skype has problems with qt 4.7, at least on my distribution, fedora 14.
    For example the file dialog for sending files caused skype to core dump and it corrupted the icon-cache in /vaer/tmp/kde-cache-username folder.
    i solved installing the statically compiled version, the one that embeds (old) qt libs inside.

    Does this solves the problem also for you?

  3. Posted 2011-01-28 at 12:52 | Permalink

    @nodev the license is BSD, the files all contain a header. By the way, can I link to your package?
    @fear_factory84 I have not tried that (I get no actually crashes here, just silent disconnections)

  4. Posted 2011-01-28 at 14:59 | Permalink

    I’m seeing the same problems in Gentoo since months. As far as I figured out this has to do with a blocked dbus interface, because accessing Skype with dbus hangs both ends of the bus permanently, other software like pulseaudio (which is used by Skype in my case) also starts to behave strange and hangs on some apps in this case (no more sound output). Restarting Skype and pulseaudio usually fixes this. Processes need signal 9 to be stopped if they hang.

    Maybe it’s a problem with this special combination? Skype without pulseaudio seems to run much more stable and dbus problems are not occuring in such a setup.

  5. Artem S. Tashkinov
    Posted 2011-01-28 at 16:49 | Permalink

    I have none of the mentioned problems. Skype 4.7.2/Fedora 14 i686 here.

  6. nodev
    Posted 2011-01-29 at 01:21 | Permalink

    @Johan Thelin: Ok, I’ve changed the package to contain the license info. Of course you can – it’s here.
    I just wasn’t sure about the versioning, so I made it “0.1”… I hope it’s alright – I can change it though.

  7. Posted 2011-01-29 at 13:28 | Permalink

    @nodev, thanks, I’ve updated the page. You can mail me (e8johan, gmail) if you want me to give credits in any other way or add a link or so.

  8. Posted 2011-02-17 at 13:34 | Permalink

    The skype process can be “skype” or “skype-bin”, and can be located in /usr/bin or /bin or /usr/local/bin… dependent of base system

    So it would be more easy to use folowing to start skype if it is not running
    [ $(pidof skype skype-run) ] || skype

  9. Posted 2011-02-17 at 13:37 | Permalink

    @Niels, the thing is, skype is still running. However, it drops the connection to the net. That is the issue. So just checking if it is running is not enough.

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