Video Chat Linux Tools

Michael Torrie torriem at chem.byu.edu
Sat Jun 9 17:44:04 MDT 2007


On Sat, 2007-06-09 at 17:31 -0600, Clint Savage wrote:
> Michael,
> 
> My failures pretty much stem from poor network tunneling.  I am sure in the
> perfect environment, Ekiga would meet my needs.  However, because I
> regularly travel and am at the mercy of hotel wireless 80% of the time, I
> run into issues that way.  Like I said, it attempts to work, I see a short
> connection, then it fails.  Ekiga detected that it would need to use STUN
> which means to me that its trying to work around those troublesome firewalls
> and proxies, but can't quite do it.

Ekiga should be automatically detecting things like STUN, etc.  I
haven't used it in a few months, but it works very well.  If it's not,
there's nothing anyone can really do.

Also, I really doubt you'll have consistent bandwidth at random hotel
wireless networks to really do video anyway.  While I'm traveling, I
stick to voip only.  Usually SIP (with STUN NAT traversal enabled).  I
use project gizmo for most of that.

Note that STUN (NAT hole-punching anyway) is really a nasty hack anyway.
It's not guaranteed to work on all firewalls.  Seems to work pretty
decently for me.  Skype, ekiga, and project gizmo (a sip-only
soft-phone) all work with STUN quite nicely in my experience.

If ekiga is having a hard time building the STUN connection, all other
programs will have a hard time too.

> 
> As far as GoogleTalk, MSN, Yahoo and others.  I understand that they can
> only talk to others of their same kind, but if it could work in Linux, I'd
> be happy enough until something else comes along.

No video support for any of those on linux.

> 
> When I suggested Wengophone, I also implied OpenWengo.  I'll try again here
> though, because this last try wasn't as thorough as my foray into it last
> fall.

OpenWengo doesn't do video anyway.  But it is open source and there is a
linux download right on the page.  That was the only reason I mentioned
it, in response to your complaint about being unable to buy or download
it for Linux.

> 
> My webcam totally works in linux.  I can see myself and (believe) I can
> record it.  I'll be making sure things work better this week while in
> Ireland.
> 
> I'd love to commit bug reports to Ekiga, but I think "doesn't connect" and
> "Connection timeout" errors just wouldn't be enough for the developer.  I'll
> look into running it from source in the near future as well...

No it's not enough.  And it's likely not ekiga's fault either.  Until
the world converts to IPv6, I have a sad feeling you're going to be
disappointed with all solutions on all platforms.  STUN works very well
in a lot of cases.  But it relies on what are essentially problems
(well, certain behaviors anyway) with the UDP implementation on the
router.  That can never be guaranteed in any way.

> 
> Cheers,
> 
> Clint
> 
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