Although I’m not really a friend of Skype for security and privacy reasons I am almost forced to use it because it seams to be most widely spread. Unfortunately, there are not many alternatives for simple users.

Installing Skype onto a 64 Bit Linux system is not straight forward because Skype does not offer a true 64 Bit version of Skype. There are 32 bit versions and multi-architecture versions which are also 32 bit releases that use the 32 bit compatibility libraries of 64 bit systems. I don’t have any idea why they do not offer real 64 bit version. Anyway, I’d like to honorably mention that they do offer Linux versions compared to many other vendors which are ignorant in respect to Linux.

In the following the installation on Debian Linux is explained. It is tested on the current Debian Wheezy running the Linux kernel 3.2.0-4-amd64.

Download the recent package Debian 7.0 (multiarch) from the Skype download page. Before installation you have to add the foreign architecture i386 to your system. You can check if it probably exists already with dpkg:

$ dpkg --print-foreign-architectures

If it does not list i386 add it and update the local package repository (as root) with the following commands:

# dpkg --add-architecture i386
# aptitude update

Now you are ready for a first try to install Skype and don’t worry because most probably it will fail. Change into the directory where you downloaded the package to and run the following command:

# dpkg -i skype-debian_4.2.0.11-1_i386.deb

It will output a lot of information but finally it will fail due to missing dependencies.

Errors were encountered while processing:

You can now advise the package manager to automatically download and install those missing package dependencies with the following command:

# apt-get -f install

Finally, you can reinstall the Skype package with the same command as above:

# dpkg -i skype-debian_4.2.0.11-1_i386.deb