Hooking up Skype to Asterisk via SIP

by Matthew Gast

So far, the success of Skype within their walled garden of VoIP has been quite impressive. One of the more interesting things I've learned from my travels is that Skype is extremely popular in Asia (at least outside of Japan) so much that in many places, "Skype" is synonymous with "VoIP." However, there is benefit in using a standards-based approach, especially if that helps us to integrate Skype's network in with the rest of the telephone network. This has long been a point of interest; Stuart Henshall wrote about Skype/SIP interactions more than a year and a half ago.

I've spent a good bit of my free time in the last month investigating three small-scale Skype to SIP integration packages. You can read the details at the link. Of the three that I looked at, ChanSkype was the most promising. It had a complex setup, but by far the best sound quality and it was also the easiest to integrate into the dialplan. A new version was released last week, but I haven't been able to try it yet. Stay tuned...


2006-10-30 20:56:15
That's a bit misleading, Matthew. ChanSkype is most definitely NOT hooking up Asterisk to Skype via SIP. It's launching Skype clients and routing the audio as virtual soundcards!
2006-11-02 16:02:54
Hi Matthew,

Good article. Just a thought: SIPphone's Gizmo Project - offering voice, IM, presence, etc. similar to Skype - has built in Asterisk support. It could be a good starting point for SMBs looking to save money and gain flexibility with their IP PBX systems. www.gizmoproject.com/asterisk

Thanks, Kevin

2007-01-21 15:21:02
I agree, ChanSkype is really not a sip method for asterisk. Besides, it requires way too much screwing around and is not cheap. By screwing around I mean loading other stuff on your PBX.
2007-09-13 03:18:15
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Michael Williamson
2008-07-12 14:27:19
I got excited reading about chanskype, but I really think it sucks to be limited to using the API of Skype's fat client and having to contend with the overhead of X/Qt. Why the hell can't Skype release a console-based client with an open and documented API? This would greatly help out those of us wanting to run asterisk on a minimal system, not to mention embedded systems.