Has anybody setup Raspberry Pi as cheap desktop PC for their family?

I would like to do that but first think I stumbled is Skype. My sister studies abroad so she and my mother talk a lot on Skype, and there is no Skype version for Raspberry Pi (arm cpu).

Is there any other VOIP app that works as great as Skype and is easy for parents to use? Video is not a strict requirement but a nice to have feature...

There is some talk on Raspberry Pi forums that MAYBE Skype will be able to run someday, but not today - http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1891

  • 1
    Forget Skype, it's a broken insecure platform. IMO everyone should migrate to a better VOIP application anyway.
    – Jivings
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 10:51
  • 2
    What about Google Voice? Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 11:49
  • @Jivings which VOIP application do you suggest? It should be easy enough for regular users to use, not us geeks, I need something that I can give to my parents and sister...
    – valentt
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 13:06
  • I agree that skype shouldn't be used, because it can't be maintained by the community. But as concerns running skype: can't we take the Skype for ARM for Android or Maemo, and tweak the environment in the Linux system on Raspeberry PI so that it runs. There must be Skype builds for Android and for Maemo/Meego/Tizen/whatever. Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 17:01
  • 1
    @imz It would need to be built for armv6. Not as simple as it sounds.
    – Jivings
    Commented Aug 26, 2012 at 10:45

4 Answers 4


After looking long and hard it looks like Mumble is best replacement for Skype. It needs a server but it is much easier to configure than Asterisk.

  • 1
    Mumble (or Murmur) is a great service which is, in my opinion, better than Ventrilo, but is very similar.
    – earthmeLon
    Commented Oct 26, 2012 at 18:01


Asterisk is an open source PBX.

Someone has a blog with a Debian image on which Asterisk is installed. There is also some evidence on the forums it is working.

  • Asterisk is an overkill for this situation, and I don't know of anybody hosting free asterisk service :( It should be easy enough for regular users to use, not us geeks, I need something that I can give to my parents and sister...
    – valentt
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 13:05
  • Don't you just need a SIP trunk? Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 13:06
  • Since Skype was bought out by Microsoft, the Asterisk Skype gateway implementation has been stopped. But yes- using the likes of voipcheap is a great alternative to skype and you can use a SIP client on your smartphone to call the world at extrelly low cost.
    – Piotr Kula
    Commented Oct 23, 2012 at 11:55

I think that Linphone may be worth consideration, especially as it is also a videophone, and is still actively maintained.


I would use UV4L for two-way audio/video in the browser. Screenshot 1. It works with Jitsi Meet too.

  • This is the best way for Rpi indeed
    – strumpet
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 9:38
  • This answer is rather useless without any hints on how to set this up. Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 7:44

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