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Skype for Business in Linux

When you use the Skype for Business connection in Linux, you can only use text capability (not audio or image capability).

Pidgin is pre-installed in Aalto Linux.

Other than Aalto Linux

The package you need in Ubuntu on your own computer are pidgin and pidgin-sipe.

Please note! The pidgin-sipe package needs a fix that is not (yet) included in Ubuntu’s official package. Aalto IT’s Ubuntu repository includes a fixed version that works from Ubuntu version 14.04 onwards. You can download it to your home directory with Kosh and from there to your own computer:

$ apt-get download pidgin-sipe
$ ls pidgin-sipe*.deb
pidgin-sipe_1.18.2-1+aalto1_amd64.deb

Further information about the fix is available at http://sourceforge.net/p/sipe/bugs/285/

 

Pidgin account settings

Basic

Login Options

    • Protocol: Office Communicator
    • Username: email.address@aalto.fi
    • Login: AALTO\username
    • Password: **********

Advanced

    • Server: sipdir.online.lync.com: 443
    • Connection Type: Auto
    • User Agent: UCCAPI/15.0.4420.1017 OC/15.0.4420.1017 (Microsoft Lync)
    • Authentication Scheme: TLS-DSK

 

Skype for Business via the Remote Desktop server (for staff)

The alternative method is to use the Windows remote desktop, i.e. use the xfreerdp program to make a connection to server RDS01. Skype for Business, two-way audio or video Remote Desktop servers are not officially supported with the Linux operating system, so the receipt of sound is available but its quality is poor.

The examples below are with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS operating system version via the rds01.org.aalto.fi server:

You can read more about xfreerdp’s plugins in the documentation, in freerdp’s wiki

Aalto-Linux: xfreerdp-x11 is pre-installed

Other Linux: Install a package, such as

sudo apt-get install freerdp-x11  

Starting Skype for Business from Remote Desktop - three different ways

Option 1. Open Skype for Business as a RemoteApp, so you can change the size of the window (recommended)

Open the Lync programme in the RemoteApp mode, so you can change the window size of the program, and the program window scales better during a negotiation, for instance. Copy/paste does not work between Skype for Business and your own computer in this alternative. This is the recommended method to use, if the lack of the copy/paste function does not bother you.

Remember to also change the correct username at item $USERNAME in the command prompt, if you are not using a Linux workstation in maintenance by the IT Services.

xfreerdp --app -u $USERNAME -d AALTO --app --plugin rdpdr --data "disk:ubuntu:${HOME}/Documents" -- --plugin rdpsnd --plugin drdynvc --data tsmf audin -- --plugin rail --data "||Lync" -- RDS01.org.aalto.fi

 

Option 2. Open a full Windows desktop and start Skype for Business from there

Open a full Windows desktop and the Skype for Business application from there. Open the Remote Desktop connection to a window of a specific size (90% of the area). Start the Skype for Business application on the server itself.

Remember to also change the correct username at item $USERNAME in the command prompt, if you are not using a Linux workstation in maintenance by the IT Services.

xfreerdp -u $USERNAME -d AALTO -g 90% --plugin rdpdr --data "disk:Ubuntu:${HOME}/Documents" -- --plugin cliprdr --plugin rdpsnd --plugin drdynvc --data tsmf audin -- RDS01.org.aalto.fi

Alternatively, you use the method described below. Note that you cannot use both methods at the same time: Log out (Logoff) of the remote server if you want to test another method, or exit the Skype for Business application Status (Available) -> Exit.  

Option 3. Open Skype for Business in a fixed-size window

Open a fixed-size window (such as 600x700) and the Lync application there (the desktop is not displayed). Open only the Skype for Business application in a window of a certain size. Skype for Business will start directly and work in instant messaging. The window does not necessarily scale if you are participating in a video conference and the other party shares a display, for example.

Remember to also change the correct username at item $USERNAME in the command prompt, if you are not using a Linux workstation in maintenance by the IT Services.

xfreerdp -u $USERNAME -d AALTO -g 600x700 --plugin rdpdr --data "disk:Ubuntu:${HOME}/Documents" -- --plugin cliprdr --plugin rdpsnd --plugin drdynvc --data tsmf audin -- -s Lync RDS01.org.aalto.fi

 

Closing Skype for Business and Remote Desktop

If you do not close Skype for Business manually, it will remain open on the rds01 server!

By default, Skype for Business starts every time you log in to the rds01 server. If you wish, you can disable the automatic start from the Skype for Business settings:

  1. Click Gear icon.
  2. Choose Tools and then Options.
  3. Click Personal and Automatically start Skype for Business when I log on to Windows.

Usually, you should not run two Skype for Business client programs with the same ID: contacts do not always end up in the client program desired by the user, but in the one that most recently updated its status to the server.

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Please send only feedback about this instruction. If you have IT-related problems, please send a request to servicedesk@aalto.fi