Hello readers! This post is a list of soft phones available for Linux. It is not an all inclusive list, more of a list of those I’ve installed or tested. These are just a handful of them, there are probable way more available that I’m not aware of. Some of these are cross platform and are listed if they are available in Ubuntu and Fedora’s repositories as of the time of this writing. Use the comments to let me know of any good ones or which ones you’ve used or recommend!
If I’m correct, this one comes on a few live cd disks. On first launch, it walks you through setup and ask you if you wish to sign up for ekiga service (I always skip). After that you will find it has a nice user interface that is similar to pidgins with some tabs for contacts, dialpad and call history. It also has a quick dial box at the top. Ekiga is a gnome based softphone capable of voice and video through the sip or H323 protocols. When closed it sits in the background nicely by using a tray icon.
I kid you not, from Fedora’s info command: “Linphone is mostly sip compliant.” With this said, it has worked with my Asterisk setup. It is a lot smaller in filesize than many other clients. There is no “buddy list” feature like Ekiga, but it does have an address book feature. It also sits in the background by using the system tray. What is neat about linphone is the command line client. You can set up your configuration parameters at runtime with the command line, or store them in a .linphonerc file in your home directory.
Qutecom, the softphone formerly known as WengoPhone. Based off of qt, this softphone reminds me a lot of Ekiga, except based on Qt. Its a pretty decent softphone but what I don’t get is why it is not included in Fedora.
Ubuntu-Yes, Fedora-No (production/stable)
The one everyone has heard about, the commercial peer to peer internet phone service from ebay. Yes, it works on Linux. Asterisk also has a channel for using Skype as a trunk if you wanted to go that route. While I like and use Skype it has never ran as good as some of the true open source sip phones.
Ubuntu-Yes, Fedora-Yes (commercial)
Twinkle. It has a little star as the tray icon. It doesn’t have the nicest interface, but you can adjust and it does get the job done. What is neat about Twinkle is the scripts. Basically you can write scripts that do useful things. If you have a voip account, but don’t have access to the PBX its self you can use it to do some basic things. I like to compare the functionality to e-mail filters.
I have used this softphone in the past and have had no problems with it, some of you might for the fact it is not open source. The Windows / MacOSX version always seems to be one version ahead, which I guess is good because its fairly stable. It doesn’t work with all chipsets but has worked on my Laptop which has an Intel chipset.
Ubuntu-No, Fedora-No (not open source)