I recently was struggling a little bit with running Skype in my distro. The problem was that I had to configure chroot environment (because my native OS is 64-bit and Skype is a 32-bit application), and then also solve some problems with PulseAudio to get sound.
OK, so here are my findings and some useful shell scripts. First, we have to make sure that all important pieces of native system are also available in
chrooted environment. Hence chroot_mount.sh script:
#!/bin/sh -x CHROOTPATH="/mychroot" cp -L /etc/resolv.conf $CHROOTPATH/etc/ mount --bind /dev $CHROOTPATH/dev mount --bind /dev/pts $CHROOTPATH/dev/pts mount --bind /dev/shm $CHROOTPATH/dev/shm mount --bind /tmp $CHROOTPATH/tmp mount -t proc proc $CHROOTPATH/proc mount -t sysfs none $CHROOTPATH/sys mount --bind /var/lib/dbus $CHROOTPATH/var/lib/dbus mount --bind /var/run/dbus $CHROOTPATH/var/run/dbus mount --bind /run/udev $CHROOTPATH/run/udev mount --bind /home $CHROOTPATH/home
Run it from root. (Obviously, you have to create /mychroot dir earlier and install there base system. This part is out of scope of this blog post.)
After using your
chrooted environment you may also want to umount all resources. Hence chroot_umount.sh script:
#!/bin/sh -x CHROOTPATH="/mychroot" umount $CHROOTPATH/dev/pts umount $CHROOTPATH/dev/shm umount $CHROOTPATH/dev umount $CHROOTPATH/tmp umount $CHROOTPATH/proc umount $CHROOTPATH/sys umount $CHROOTPATH/home umount $CHROOTPATH/var/lib/dbus umount $CHROOTPATH/var/run/dbus umount $CHROOTPATH/run/udev
Then you have to configure PulseAudio so it can be used from different user than logged in (I prefer to run closed-source apps, like Skype, from a separate account.) Here is my
~/.pulse/default.pa file on main account:
.nofail .fail load-module module-device-restore load-module module-stream-restore load-module module-card-restore load-module module-augment-properties .ifexists module-udev-detect.so load-module module-udev-detect .else load-module module-detect .endif .ifexists module-jackdbus-detect.so .nofail load-module module-jackdbus-detect .fail .endif .ifexists module-bluetooth-discover.so load-module module-bluetooth-discover .endif .ifexists module-esound-protocol-unix.so load-module module-esound-protocol-unix .endif load-module module-native-protocol-unix .ifexists module-gconf.so .nofail load-module module-gconf .fail .endif load-module module-default-device-restore load-module module-rescue-streams load-module module-always-sink load-module module-intended-roles load-module module-suspend-on-idle .ifexists module-console-kit.so load-module module-console-kit .endif .ifexists module-systemd-login.so load-module module-systemd-login .endif load-module module-position-event-sounds load-module module-role-cork load-module module-filter-heuristics load-module module-filter-apply .ifexists module-dbus-protocol.so load-module module-dbus-protocol .endif load-module module-switch-on-port-available load-module module-native-protocol-tcp auth-ip-acl=127.0.0.1
On the secondary account I have only this in
default-server = 127.0.0.1
Also I have
skype-wrapper.sh there in the
#!/bin/sh -x export PULSE_SERVER=127.0.0.1 PULSE_LATENCY_MSEC=60 skype
Why it is needed? Well, without first line (
export PULSE_SERVER=127.0.0.1) there was no sound and
paplay always was saying Connection refused. Read PulseAudio’s FAQ about details how do the PulseAudio libraries decide where to connect to.
The second line (
PULSE_LATENCY_MSEC=60 skype) was/is important to work around the bug in Skype that was adding some “funny” effects, like no sound at all or only some noises. Read this post from PulseAudio developer to learn more. I experienced these problems with PulseAudio 4.0 and Skype 188.8.131.52. This line works like a charm and all works OK.
OK, now when everything is configured (remember also to install and configure
dchroot) you can run 32-bit Skype on a separate account by only running this command on your main account:
$ su -c 'dchroot -d skype-wrapper.sh' - user2
where “user2” is your secondary account.
You can make it an alias or put it in a one-line shell script to save some typing each time when you want to run Skype.