What’s New in Skype 5.4 for Linux Beta

Thanks to all of you who continue giving us valuable feedback. We have another update of Skype for Linux Beta. These are some of many new features and improvements coming with Skype for Linux Beta 5.4 that we are releasing today:


  • Enabled the Group video calling
  • Updated to Electron 1.7.4 for performance and security improvements
  • Fixed the Skype Update repository keys
  • Bugfixes and improvements

The support for Group video calling is currently experimental, so any feedback is welcome. 


You can download Skype for Linux Beta version 5.4 by visiting www.skype.com/download.


Thank you for all your feedback so far, please keep it coming. We're listening!


Discussion Info

Last updated October 8, 2018 Views 17,941 Applies to:

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.

Good to see progress 👍. Hope the following problems are addressed soon:

  1. Contacts renaming, for Skype contacts but especially phone numbers! The inability to associate a cryptic phone number to a name makes adding new phone numbers very unusable now; I shouldn't have to use the Windows / oldQtLinux client to rename a phone number 🙁!
  2. Please synchronize between clients only the settings that make sense to synchronize. Especially, notification/sound settings shouldn't be synchronized: at work I want no notifications, at home I do.
  3. The "Sound" setting shouldn't depend on the "Notifications" setting, and disabling notifications shouldn't prevent me from answering calls (currently, disabling notifications means the special call-answering notification with buttons won't appear, preventing call answering 😕).
  4. Screen sharing.
  5. Keep/search conversation history for more than 30 days.
  6. [5.4.0 regression] Fix numeric keypad / dialpad broken during calls, making it impossible to select options in business/governments answering machines 😕

I had skype 4.3 installed. There was a warning on the website saying that it was no longer supported, so I downloaded the latest version. It was NOT labeled as beta.

So now I have this software installed. There are no useful settings at all. No sound, no video, no notifications (aside from two ridiculous sound and chat).

It's unbelievable. Be patient. One of the largest companies in the world is not able to deliver a software with minimal features.

Please make the Skype for Linux accessible with Orca screen reader. It is extremely important for the blind user like me that Skype for Linux works with the screen reader because otherwise it is completely impossible to use the new Skype for Linux. Currently the Skype for Linux is 100% inaccessible with Orca screen reader, so it is completely unusable if you are blind like I am. It is completely impossible to use the current Skype for Linux because Orca screen reader speaks absoletely nothing when I try to use that new Skype. This problem must be fixed, it is completely unacceptable that blind and other visually impaired users can not use the new Skype. You must continue to support the old Qt based Skype as long as this problem is not fixed. The problem is caused by the fact that you are using the Electron which is using Chromium engine. It is well known fact that Chromium developers do not seem to be interested to support accessibility and Orca screen reader on Linux. During the last several years Chromium developers have been asked several times to support Orca but nothing has happened. Because of that Electron is completely inaccessible with Orca screen reader. If you are going to continue to use Electron then you must do something about that, or then you should base the Skype for Linux on something else than Electron. Skype is so important today that is not acceptable that blind users can not use it. So please make the Skype for Linux work with the Orca screen reader.

For my Ubuntu box (nothing very special) there are significant issues:

  1. Call my cell from Skype 5.3/5.4 appears to work.
  2. Call my cell Skype from Skype 5.3/5.4 has a 50% success rate.
  3. Call any conference call (ATT connect, Skype etc.) it always connects with no audio nor dialpad function.
  4. Call other VOIP line (business line/government) has a 50% success rate.
  5. Incoming calls have no notification.
  6. Voice message waiting has no notification.

If I am only calling private numbers to a landline, or even a LTE/GSM mobile device, then it probably wouldn't be an issue. But I use the conference call numbers a heck of a lot. Lack of incoming notification means I need to rely on my cell for that.

Skype 4.3 was connected audio through Pulse. Skype 5.3/5.4, I cannot tell where it wants to connect audio to.

Hi Jonas,

very relieved to see that Microsoft are still working on Linux Skype, Skype responded to the normal Ubuntu update process so have tried it.

However, still a very very long way to go, still far far far too early to restrict v 4.3 in any way.  

Great to see Screen Share on the + menu for the call, but not on the menu from clicking there, any indication as to when screen share is included please?

The settings menu is still pretty bare to put it mildly (about 80% down on v4.3, which was quite restricted compared to other desktop Skype versions), still deal breaker options missing such as auto answer, screen share, Skype call volume control, separate window for chats so can chat without intruding into the call window, and chat to other accounts spring immediately to mind.  With this version the video call seems to sometimes disappear when chatting, which is a massive pain.

Great to see this tiny step, but surely the missing 80% of features should have been included in the new Skype, as the Linux community so repeatedly requested, before any suggestion of restricting stable Skype for Linux 4.3's service, so that moving from stable 4.3 to the new Linux Skype offered seamless service in terms of functionality, my thread to that effect has the most people sharing the issue on the Linux forum.  Perhaps as this user interface is not getting much support, would it be worth rewriting the back end of v4.3 so that we can have the same functionality yet still work with the new cloud structure?  That would solve many poster's issues I guess.

Hope that the "bug fixes and improvements" means restoring the connectivity of Skype 4.3 to v 5.4?  As main contacts for poor signal are away in areas of even weaker connection, cannot explore for a few weeks.

One bug not fixed is the status indicator, always showing green online for mobile phone contact even when she had been flying for 9 hours so long offline, v4.3 has kept up with the status.

It would be far far better to put the sound & video settings with the other settings in preference to within the running call settings, so they are far easier to find, do not mean that you are fiddling with the settings during a call in preference to responding to the call (sure this will absolutely NOT go down well in some calls!), and apply to all calls

Sound is erratic, keep needing to quit skype, bounce pulse, start skype. Still lucky if the other person gets my sound. Sometimes need to bounce Linux. Pulse monitor shows my voice being recognised OK.

It still uses stupid amounts of CPU while doing nothing. Which tab is open when you minimise makes a big difference. Why? Its minimised! A small amount to monitor for notifications should be all and that runs regardless which tab is open.

It hogs stupid amounts of RAM too. Seems to run 2 duplicate processes. In total it is more resource intensive than Firefox with mutliple tabs open including Office365 and thats a huge bloat of a page.

Please just start again. Ditch Electron. Open it up so a third party can make a front end via APIs. Be honest and just ditch it. Anything but this.

I have continued to use Skype 4.3 for contact management, outgoing calls and chat with some persons.  Really there is a small percentage of people where chat does not work, so in 4.3 I only miss receiving video and VOIP calls. For the receipt of  Video and VOIP, I am using my Android Nexus phone (such as Skype is there, it is still better than Linux

Linux is basically useless due to lack of function, reliability and quality. The VOIP sound quality is terrible 50% of the time, and great 50% of the time. That terrible figure is too high and warrants retirement for my work. In addition, seems to randomly decide when to ring an incoming call. I have missed many and voice mail does not work. Video quality, when it does work, is okay, but not as good as 4.3.

That said, not all the problems are specific to Skype for Linux For example, It takes a huge amount of time for Android Skype to launch and inform you of an incoming call. I can answer a call after two rings, while the person on the other end had to endure 6 or 7 rings. Overall the performance of Skype across platforms is pathetic, and I think it is due to the architecture chosen. A far step back in time and likely related to some of the problems we in Linux are observing. I believe many problems are Skype-wide, regardless of platform.

My subscription is due in 2.5 months, we will see what MS communications happen (so far no significant plan or comms) and what progress is made. Using 4.3 for outgoing stuff and contact management works great. The performance of any other Skype on incoming calls can no longer be tolerated.

I kept using skype 4.3, but today video calls stopped working. I'm trying 5.4 beta and I can say definitively that it is pure garbage. Nothing works and I can't configure anything relevant. I can't choose a sound output, sound input and webcam? Are you serious?

I can't believe that a program in this state can exist. 

In the meantime, I have no choice but to use something else or wait or find a workaround...

EDIT : Found the issue. I had to click on Tools -> Enable Connection (sorry if it's not the correct name, my UI is not in english. It should be the second option in the dropdown menu). Now I wonder, Why is this an option? Is there any purpose?

EDIT 2 : When I call someone who uses a computer / laptop, everything works fine, but on an Android phone, nothing works and the call drops after 30 seconds. Weird...

Thank you for the notification.

I installed, however there was little change. It did initiate a call much faster, which was a pleasent surprise. Voip is still not functional, and most of the requests found in this discussion have yet to be addressed. For incoming calls voip, I need to use Skype for Android. For outgoing voip calls I am still using Skype for Linux 4.3, since 5.3 and 5.4 are still unusable.

Skype-to-Skype video calls appear to work, although the quality leaves a bit to be desired (when compared to what we had). It is useable, however. Skype-to-Skype voice calls are quite good.

Guys, seriously?

There were so many things wrong with 5.3 already, but one thing that did work was Skype out. Even though Skype in fails, and calls never register, or ring, I could dial up any phone and connect and speak.

Now even THAT is gone too! I am PAYING for this service. I am PAYING to make and receive calls to and from real phones. And NONE OF IT IS WORKING.

Microsoft should be sued for fraud, because that's what this is. Outright FRAUD.

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.