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Jitsi: a viable replacement to Skype
Wed 04 December 2013 — download

My girlfriend ex-girlfriend complained because we both bought a webcam (Logitech e350, cheap and runs well on GNU/Linux), and we're not using them: time to find the right software!

Constraints

  • She's got a low-end laptop (Thinkpad X21)
  • She likes fancies interfaces
  • We're both using Debian-derivatives
  • I like crypto
  • I like Free softwares

Rejected candidates

So we decided to give a try to Jitsi.

Jitsi

Positives points

  • No funky installation process
  • No cryptic mandatory configuration wizard
  • No exotics dependencies
  • No goats sacrifices and voodoo magic to get the webcam recognized
  • Clear interface, straightforward to use
  • Opportunistic encryption (Can also be forced, of course)
  • Multi-platform

Negatives points

The only real annoyance is the 1990's looking interface (thank you Java).

Usage

  1. Download and install it
  2. Add/create an XMPP account
  3. Add/import some contacts
  4. That's it: you are using OTR for the chat, and ZRTP for audio and video, by default!

Conclusion

In less than 15 minutes, I was having an encrypted videocall with a non-technical (but still loved) person: this is impressive.