Getting video in Skype to work with openSUSE 11.1+

Although I prefer to use free and open source software, but sometimes you cannot get around proprietary software. One example is Skype. Lots of people are using it and luckily Skype took the effort to create a Linux version. Being at version 2.0, Linux support seems not to be a priority, when the version for Windows is at 4.1. But at least you are not forced to run it under Wine.

Unfortunately, upgrading from openSUSE 11.0 to 11.1, my Logitech webcam stopped working with Skype. It worked without any problems in 11.0. After some searching, I found that Skype is using the video4linux (v4l) library.

[Update] This also applies to openSUSE 11.2 + 11.3.

Recommended steps were:

  1. Install v4l with: sudo zypper install libv4l
  2. Start Skype with: LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/v4l1compat.so skype

To me starting Skype from the command line seemed a bit to cumbersome. So I looked for a more user-friendly and system-wide solution. I did not like to change the menu entry, because it is part of the (un)install procedure. Knowing that you can set environment variables in user profiles, I started to look in /etc/profile.d and quickly found the answer.

Create the script:

/etc/profile.d/skype.sh

Put in the following rule:

export LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/v4l1compat.so

Logout of your openSUSE account and login again and you can use Skype as before.