Monday, July 26, 2010

MSN video chat in Linux

Most computer users use Windows, and most of them use MSN for messaging. So how do you talk to them in Linux? Pidgin works fine for chatting over the MSN network in Linux (Gnome), but nothing works with video chat with sound.
Yesterday my wife asked me to set up a video chat with her friend (who uses Windows). This I had done previously by booting into Windows and using Live Messenger, but recently I deleted my Windows partition. I tried something I'd heard about previously: Meebo, "the web platform for IM on any network or site."
Frustratingly, I could see my wife's friend's webcam, but my own remained inactive. Embarrassingly, I had to concede that I couldn't set up video chat.
Later, I was Googling for an answer and came across this information:
You need to allow meebo access from the settings manager, go here. Look for set to always allow. This works on a few other websites too. The problem is when you set it to allow while in the website for whatever reason it doesn't actually do it.

Also after setting it to allow restart Firefox
I've allowed Meebo in Flash player privacy settings, now I'm just waiting for an opportunity to test video chat.

UPDATE: Success!

Update: It looks like Flash 10 may not be able to access webcams because of a bug. Of course that bug may or may not have been fixed by the time you're reading this. If you follow the steps above and still can't see your webcam in Meebo, try here.


  1. HI, thanks for your post, it just goes through a big problem I also have, running Linux Mint and never being able to videochat with people using MSN..

    I do have some doubts on your explanation: do you chat using meebo or tokbox? Do I have to subscribe a Tokbox account?
    Going to my website privacy setting panel in Flash Player, I couldn't allow "" simply because I couldn't navigate to that URL, but just to the tokbox website...
    Could you please write a step-by-step HowTo about it?
    Thanks a lot...

  2. Thanks for visiting.

    Tokbox the the 'backend' to the Meebo service- you just need to enter your IM account details on the Meebo page.

    After doing this, you should see a couple of Tokbox URL's in the Flash player control panel. Select 'Always allow' for both of these (I only did so for one in the screenshot- I think that's the essential one, but enable both just to be sure.)

    Be sure to restart Firefox before using Meebo.

    If you're still having problems, leave another comment and I'll do a step-by-step guide.

  3. Tokbox [is] the backend, I should have written.