Installing Skype on FreeBSD

If you want to run Skype, you need a working sound card and a mic. You also need to configure it correctly. The FreeBSD handbook does have enough information on how to do that. Have a look at

for more information. There is no native implementation of Skype for FreeBSD. But FreeBSD is able to run linux application via an emulation layer. To use this emulation layer, you need to install a linux base system into /compat/linux. For information on how to do and configure the linux binary compability, have a look at the handbook at

As of now, the default linux base system is Fedora core 4 which runs on a 2.4 kernel. But the skype port as of today does require a 2.6 kernel. You therefore need to upgrade you linux_base port to at least linux_base-fc6 (i used linux_base-f8 insteed). /usr/src/UPDATING does have information about how to do that:

AFFECTS: users of net/skype net/skype-devel

For FreeBSD versions 7.0 and above:
It is required with both skype and skype-devel to update to linux_base-fc6.
Please do the following:

1. Make sure there are no running linux applications.
2. Unmount linprocfs (umount /compat/linux/proc)
3. Uninstall your current linux_base port
4. Set appropriate sysctl (sysctl compat.linux.osrelease=2.6.16)
5. Install emulators/linux_base-fc6
6 Remount linprocfs (mount /compat/linux/proc)
7. Add compat.linux.osrelease=2.6.16 to etc/sysctl.conf
8. Add OVERRIDE_LINUX_BASE_PORT=fc6 to /etc/make.conf

Note: These instructions also apply to linux_base-f8, please use the same

For FreeBSD versions 5.x and 6.x:
Please use the legacy version net/skype12

portupgrade -o net/skype12 net/skype

So you need at least FreeBSD 7.0 for running Skype 2.0, all other users have to use Skype 1.2. After upgrading the linux_base, you can install the Skype-Port from /usr/ports/net/skype.

cd /usr/ports/net/skype

make install clean

Now run skype and have fun.


If you get the message “Problem with Audio Playback” whenever you try to call someone, please make sure that you correctly upgraded your linux_base.

If you cannot hear anything during a phone call or your partner cannot hear you, then check your mixer settings using mixer(1). Make sure the settings “mic, vol and pcm” are at a high level.