Adding SIP to Empathy

Linux users know; especially Ubuntu users, who have been using Ubuntu for last 2 years, the default chat client is Empathy. Empathy is a strong Instant Messaging, Audio & Video Conferencing software which integrates with Ubuntu seamlessly. It supports several popular protocols and services and supports audio/video conferencing on gmail, google apps accounts, xmpp protocol based chat services. All in all, it is a strong unified messaging client so to say.

One of the services which empathy does not come pre-installed is the SIP support. SIP stands for Session Initiated Protocol and is one of the emerging protocols now a days for several IP based telephony services. There are several SIP clients available in Ubuntu repositories and one of the most commonly used clients is Ekiga. While ekiga works seamlessly with Ubuntu, the advantage of having one chat client for all chat accounts explains why it is good to have SIP support in Empathy.

Adding SIP support in empathy is extremely simple and is just a click away. You can add sip support to empathy either through Ubuntu Software center or by punching some lines through the terminal.

Installing SIP support for Empathy

  • Through Ubuntu Software center – Search for telepathy-sofiasp and click install. Ubuntu Software center will automatically install all the dependencies.
  • Through the command line type the following command: sudo apt-get install telepathy-sofiasip
  • For Ubuntu 12.10 specifically, you need to also¬†install account-plugin-sip package using the command: sudo account-plugin-sip (Courtesy destartalado & Haris – Thank you for pointing it out)

Once the you have executed one of the steps above, you should be able to see SIP in the drop down menu when you add an account in Empathy.

Some of the popular free SIP Service Providers are

  • iptel.org
  • ekiga.net
  • freeworld dialup

The advantage of such a service is that it allows you to

  • Buy minutes and give you an online number
  • Provide voice & video capabilities
  • Use any ‘Free Application’ on any operating system (Linux, Mac OS or Windows) or on a smart phone or a tablet (Android, Nokia) that suits you
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3 thoughts on “Adding SIP to Empathy

  1. In my Ubuntu 12.10 I have also needed to install the “account-plugin-sip” packet in order to see the new SIP icon in the ubuntu accounts configuration.

    Just in case somebody else get into the same problem.

    Thanks for your info.

    • Hey … thank you guys for pointing out the issue. I have edited to reflect the change. BTW, How is the performance for you of Ubuntu 12.10?

      I run it in a VM, but only for R & D. My production laptop is 12.04.01.

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