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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. 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 🙂

  2. 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


  3. 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.

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

    Has anyone tried to install this on PCLinuxOS?

  5. 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?

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

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

  7. 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!

  8. 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.


  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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?

  13. 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…

  14. 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…


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

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

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

    Skype version supports SMS natively in the GUI now!

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

    Worked first time – thankyou very much! 🙂

  18. 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?