Unofficial Skype Api wrapper
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skype – library to talk to the Skype API


This library is a simple wrapper for Skype's dbus-based Linux API.

Currently, it has the following capabilities:

  • Get a list of your chats,
  • send chat messages,
  • receive chat messages,
  • use the raw Skype protocol via Skype::Api#invoke and Skype::Api#on_notification. More information about the protocol at


In order to work with the skype gem, there are a few requirements:

  • You need to be on Linux
  • You need to have Skype running
  • You need dbus installed (e.g., via apt on Ubuntu)
  • You need the ruby-dbus gem:
  • You may want Xvfb (if you want to run Skype head-less)

Verify your installation

To confirm it's working, start skype and sign in. Then, open an irb session and:

require 'dbus'
bus = DBus::SessionBus.instance
skype_service = bus.service("com.Skype.API")
client_to_skype = skype_service.object('/com/Skype')
api = client_to_skype["com.Skype.API"]
api.Invoke("NAME ruby-skype")

If everything is set up correctly, Skype will now ask whether "ruby-skype" should be allowed to connect.


There are a few examples in examples/ that should give you an idea of how to use the gem.

Head-less skype

Say you want to be running an app that connects to skype on a box that won't have a display attached. For this use case, Xvfb is quite handy:

"Xvfb or X virtual framebuffer is an X11 server that performs all graphical operations in memory, not showing any screen output." (wikipedia)"

In examples/start_skype, there's a shell script that shows how to start Skype and Xvfb.

You can safely ignore warnings about missing fonts, but if they bother you, try:

 sudo aptitude install xfonts-100dpi xfonts-75dpi xfonts-scalable xfonts-cyrillic

If Xvfb won't start at all, more drastic measures may be required:

 sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-core

small print

This product uses the Skype API but is not endorsed, certified or otherwise approved in any way by Skype.