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Ubuntu: How to send Text Messages with Skype for Linux

SkySentials for Linux Skype

For several reasons, I often prefer sending text messages to making a call – Text messages often give me a sense of privacy and discreetness especially at work. Being a huge Skype user, the absence of this feature for the Linux version of Skype has always been a problem…

Skype is neither open source nor open-protocol – it is one of those applications that when you get used to, you hardly let go, however with the Skype API for Linux, you can integrate third party scripts, services and build applications for the Skype community.

However pre-built API wrapper libraries like Skype4Py make it easier for third party script intergrstion.

Skype4Py is multi-platform(works on Mac, windows and Linux) Python wrapper for the Skype API, around which you can wrap your python scripts without having to modify them each time you use a different platform.

[How to use Skype4Py API wrapper with SkySentials (Essentials for Linux Skype Client) python scripts to Send short Text Messages or SMS with Skype for Linux]

Get Started: Test was done on Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
System requirement to install Skype4Py;
– Python 2.4 or later – > use [python – – version] to verify your version
Skype Client preferably Skype 2.0+

Installation of Skype4Py
Download Skype4Py

Extract and Install
$ tar -zxvf Skype4Py-x.x.x.x.tar.gz
$ cd Skype4Py-x.x.x.x
$ sudo python setup.py install

Adding Skysentials
Download Skysentials that bundles 6 python scripts, unto your desktop.

Unpack and Install
$ tar -zxvf skysentials-x.x.x.tar.gz
$ cd skysentials-x..x.x
$ sudo chmod a+x skysentials.py

With Skype running do $ ./skysentials.py

Now you’ll be asked to allow Skype4Py and SkySentials to connect to Skype – you have just a few seconds todecide.

If all goes well you’ll find Skype4Py and SkySentials at Skype -> Options -> Public API

When the SkySentials for Linux Skype window opens, you are then ready to send your first Skype for Linux text message.

SkySentials pulls your Skype numbers into the “Phone Number” drop-down menu in the Send SMS tab. If you manually write down the phone number, make sure you include the countries telephone code.

All SMS sent, will be listed in the “SMS List” tab with their status.

You can transfer calls in the “Transfer Call” tab or register your SkypeIn number in the “Register Phone” tab.
Remember; to sends text messages with Skype you need to have credit. Control SMS text rates.


  1. Pete
    12:17 am on February 7th, 2009

    Wow, many thanks man, you’re saved me a few pounds

  2. Sister
    12:19 am on February 7th, 2009

    Me too, I have always wanted a quick tool to get Skype Sms thru..

  3. MarcoBR
    11:11 am on February 8th, 2009


    Very well explained.

    Thank you!

  4. Martin Kaba
    12:06 am on February 13th, 2009

    @MarcoBr; Thanks Marco, you’re welcome

  5. Derrick Young
    11:48 pm on February 17th, 2009

    Thank you Very much,I am So new at this, once a friend told me what to put in replace of x.x.x. worked like a dream Thank you again , Derrick

  6. eric davis
    4:52 pm on March 17th, 2009

    Want to do some freelance development?? I need a few Skype examples written. I am running LAMP and want to do some messaging to Skype.

    Let me know if want some more details. I am going to post the job on Elance tomorrow 3/18


  7. JItka
    6:36 am on April 7th, 2009

    Thank you for the work. I’m not very experienced and having done everything in the instructions I don’t understand how to make the application run. The Skype4Py doesn’t appear in the list of the public api allowed programs.Unless I run the setup everytime I want to use the program I have no idea how to start it.
    Anybody’s help would be appreciated.

  8. Martin Kaba
    9:47 am on April 7th, 2009

    @JITKA; I thought i made it simple :-) Nonetheless let me outline a few things
    1) You’re on Ubuntu/Debian
    2) You’ve got Skpye for Linux installed
    3) You need your terminal
    4) Install Skpye4Py — follow instructions above
    5) Run from terminal Skysentials — follow instructions above
    6) That’s all.

  9. Andras
    7:12 pm on April 13th, 2009

    Should this work on slackware 12.1 or only debian/ubuntu?

  10. Martin Kaba
    12:22 am on April 14th, 2009

    @Andras: I’m not sure… being a KDE. If you get it done on Slackware let me know. Thanks

  11. Captain_Tux
    7:03 pm on April 14th, 2009

    I’m surprised you’re not getting more traffic because this is an awesome add-on to Skype… thanks a bunch, mate!

  12. Martin Kaba
    7:17 pm on April 14th, 2009

    @Captain_Tux: I doesn’t really matter :-) ; Traffic comes and goes… often it comes around when you least expect.LOL. Thanks for appreciating.

  13. Andrew Ampers Taylor
    10:14 pm on April 14th, 2009

    As a fairly inexperienced and very old user I have a small problem.

    The first part went without a hitch. But there are two files on the website for downloading skysentials, they are very different inside. Which one do I download ? As there are only instructions for setting up one of the files I presume I only download one of them?

  14. Martin Kaba
    10:59 pm on April 14th, 2009

    @Andrew Ampers Taylor: Download the most recent; that is skysentials-1.0.1.tar.gz and continue with this guide. I hope you get it done.

  15. Andrew Ampers Taylor
    10:17 am on April 15th, 2009

    Thanks, I managed to get to the next stage.but when I run
    sudo chmod a+x skysentials.py
    Apart from entering my password nothing seems to happen.

    Should the x be something else?


  16. Tim183
    10:39 am on April 15th, 2009

    Martin and others,

    does this work worldwide?


  17. Martin Kaba
    12:14 pm on April 15th, 2009

    @Ampers: chmod a+x means that the execute bit should be set (+) for all users(a). (owner, group and the rest of the world).
    So nothing should happen – -“nothing-visually-happens” but the file’s permissions change. More here [Chmod Tutorial]. So go ahead and run skysentials with ./skysentials.py

  18. Martin Kaba
    12:17 pm on April 15th, 2009

    @Tim183: Yes it does — Skype does.

  19. Mika
    6:03 pm on April 29th, 2009

    With K8.04 anyone? I installed succesfully, but Skype4py didn’t appear on Public API list and no messages was received.
    Here is some code:
    $ ./skysentials.py
    Exception in thread Thread-1 (most likely raised during interpreter shutdown):
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “/usr/lib/python2.5/threading.py”, line 486, in __bootstrap_inner
    File “/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/Skype4Py/API/posix_x11.py”, line 225, in run
    File “/usr/lib/python2.5/threading.py”, line 368, in wait
    File “/usr/lib/python2.5/threading.py”, line 209, in wait
    : ‘NoneType’ object is not callable
    mika@linuxkone:/home/mika/Desktop/py/skysentials-1.0.1$ ./skysentials.py
    Exception in thread Thread-1 (most likely raised during interpreter shutdown):
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “/usr/lib/python2.5/threading.py”, line 486, in __bootstrap_inner
    File “/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/Skype4Py/API/posix_x11.py”, line 225, in run
    File “/usr/lib/python2.5/threading.py”, line 368, in wait
    File “/usr/lib/python2.5/threading.py”, line 209, in wait
    : ‘NoneType’ object is not callable


  20. Shuren
    11:51 am on April 30th, 2009

    Tried right now in Slackware -current. Works great, many thanks.

  21. Martin Kaba
    12:23 pm on April 30th, 2009

    @ Shuren: —“it works on Slackware”: This is good news man. Spread the word. Tweet, Digg, stumble :-)

  22. zazip
    12:54 am on May 7th, 2009

    Hey thanks Martin Kaba foor the detailed instructions…the SMS package works for me, but there some odd things: I only once saw the SkySentials and Skype4py programmes show up in the API list, like the first time I ran it…per instructions.

    Now I no longer see them in the API list, but SMS so far still works fine….makes skype all that much more useful!

    Oh yeah I’m a Slackware user, fyi


  23. vyk
    12:59 pm on May 7th, 2009

    Thanks a mill been using the commandline send_sms tool. It works but it’s a pain in the hole. I was thinking of doing a gui my self but you saved me the trouble. Plus you have a host of other features here too. You rock.

  24. Captain Tux
    4:33 am on June 13th, 2009

    Has anyone tried to install this on PCLinuxOS?

  25. Captain Tux
    4:53 am on June 13th, 2009

    Sorry for the double post!

    How about Jaunty (9.04)… has anyone gotten this to work on Jaunty?

  26. Martin Kaba
    9:00 pm on June 13th, 2009

    @Captain Tux: It works on Ubuntu 9.04, on PCLinuxOS Gnome it should…

  27. Captain_Tux
    9:36 pm on June 14th, 2009

    Hi Martin –

    Thanks for answering my posts.

    Not having any luck on Jaunty… I get the following error upon running ./skysentials.py:

    xxxxx@laptop:~/skysentials-1.0.1$ ./skysentials.py
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “./skysentials.py”, line 13, in
    import Skype4Py
    ImportError: No module named Skype4Py

    Any help you provide will be greatly appreciated… thanks!

  28. Neeraj
    8:06 am on June 20th, 2009

    Hey people.

    Got this error:

    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “./skysentials.py”, line 13, in
    import Skype4Py
    ImportError: No module named Skype4Py

    Please let me know how to resolve.


  29. Martin Kaba
    4:45 pm on June 20th, 2009

    @NEERAJ; @CAPTAIN_TUX: Sorry for the late reply. I decided to make a new post to resolve skysentials issues on Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope: How to send Text Messages with Skype for Linux on Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope. I hope it helps.

  30. Cedric
    10:57 am on July 19th, 2009

    Also works on Acer Aspire One Linpus Lite. First run failed – I hadn’t set the checkbox ‘remember this selection’ or clicked the subsequent requests quickly enough. Registering your mobile gives a reply-to number in the message. Thanks for all the work – I don’t need to borrow anyone’s Windows computer now.

  31. David Goss
    6:57 pm on August 17th, 2009

    Hi! All went well until I typed ./skysentials.py
    and I got this:
    “Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “./skysentials.py”, line 6, in
    import gtk
    ImportError: No module named gtk”
    an you tell me where I get gtk and what to do with it?

  32. Tiaan
    4:38 pm on September 23rd, 2009

    Had the same problem Skysentials worked well on Fedora8. I upgraded to Fedora11 and now it does not run with the gtk problem. Where do I get this module?

  33. Martin Kaba
    4:48 pm on September 23rd, 2009

    @TIAAN: I’m not sure you need this anymore cause Skype 2.1 Beta for Linux now supports SMS Sending.
    Downloads are available for Fedora 9 and Fedora 10+
    Let us know…

  34. aw76
    1:39 pm on December 5th, 2009

    Hi, thanks for the info….i managed to get it all done and got the sms window to pop up for texting…however, once i close it, i do not know how to get it back again? the only way i could get it back was to go through the install again…not sure if that has to do with the public API options or not, but in that category, only skysentials is listed, but not the skype4py one…

    im a bare minimum user of ubuntu, and am struggling to figure this out…any help would be appreciated…


  35. aw76
    1:59 pm on December 5th, 2009

    disregard, as I am assuming now that it can only be run from terminal….thanks

  36. smalc
    2:22 pm on January 15th, 2010

    Skype version supports SMS natively in the GUI now!

  37. Simon
    10:25 am on March 9th, 2010

    Worked first time – thankyou very much! :)

  38. zankar
    12:06 pm on June 6th, 2011

    I have done all above process but while i’m running script as,
    ./skysentials.py it give error as
    segmentation fault. please give me solution what i do?