Skype Channel Driver for Asterisk

by Daniel Raffel

Instant Solutions recently launched ChanSkype the first Skype channel
driver for Asterisk. One would assume that they leveraged the work done
to reverse engineer the Skype protocol but they actually went a more
legit, albeit, low-tech route to get the job done. Earlier today I
spoke with Paulo Mannheimer, a programmer on the project. He described their
implementation which instantiates a Skype client for each call and,
using proprietary kernel space drivers and X automation, enables
Asterisk to communicate with the Skype network.

Currently, this supports calling Skype users and PSTN numbers (using a
SkypeOut balance), bridging SIP channels, and offers the ability to make
simultaneous calls. They're about to launch the ability to accept Skype
In calls and will soon be exposing presence information in the dialplan.

Licensing is on a per-channel basis, and they've tested it on up to 60
active calls on a Dual Xeon 3.0 GHz machine with 6 Gb of memory with
"no significant performance impact."

I've been wanting to hook Asterisk up to Skype for awhile and can't wait
to give this a try and report back.


Bruce Stewart
2006-10-13 11:32:58
That's very interesting news! After Mark Spencer's keynote at this week's ITExpo he was asked if Asterisk would ever support Skype channels, and he hemmed and hawed and didn't offer a definitive answer but he did say something along the lines of he knew that there were some people that were doing some interesting work along those lines. I bet he was talking about Instant Solutions.
Ray Seals
2006-10-17 06:42:52
Noticed the use of the term IVSP. I was wondering, what other IVSP could you recommend or have you posted your previous experiences (other than Skype). I currently use Vonage but I'm using them with my Asterisk PBX (on FreeBSD) via a Digium TDM400P card with an FX0 card. So basically I'm using it as a POTS line. It works well, but I have been looking for other IVSP's that would offer either SIP trunks or IAX trunks and if I could get 2 DID for the price of what I'm paying for Vonage, then all the better. But, I don't mind paying a little more to have 2 lines.

The interesting thing about using the SkypeOut is that you can do multiple outbound sessions. I've been a little leary of jumping on the Skype bandwagon and I'm not really sure why.

Kanti Purohit
2006-10-29 07:11:42
There are literlly countless alternatives to Vonage to hook up Asterisk with a VoIP line without the need to use them as a POTS line. Using Vonage as a POTS line is inherently inefficient - you are taking an VoIP line, converting it to a POTS line and converting it back to a VoIP line with an FXO card.

My favorites are and

You may also want to take a look at a very helpful site for Asterisk users:

2007-07-27 15:52:42
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