Configuring for Ekiga Telephony

I finally got around to configuring Ekiga to work from my new location.

Actually, that’s not true. I got around to configuring my new location to work with Ekiga.

Ekiga is a free and open source client for Linux and Windows. It was working fine at my old house, but now I’m on a new network with a new router and I just hadn’t gotten around to configuring the router to allow sip calls.

Ekiga UI

I first set it up when I was in danger of blowing my cellphone minutes calling someone who was using another carrier; more about that later.

Ekiga comes installed on Ubuntu; it does not come installed on Slackware. I don’t know about other Linux distributions. Both Windows and Linux versions are available for download at the Ekiga website.

It includes a configuration “druid” to walk you through configuration settings; settings can also be changed through Edit–>Preferences.

Ekiga Configuration Assistant

The next screen asks for your name.

User Name

Then the “druid” asks for your VoIP account information. Since Ekiga was my first venture into computer telephony, I chose to set up an account with Ekiga dot net and entered my user name and password here. There is no charge for this service. You can enter a third-party account from Edit–>Preferences.

Enter Ekiga Account Information

The next screen asks for login information for your “call-out” account. If you want to call regular telephone numbers or send SMS messages, a third-party call-out account is required. The default choice is Diamond Card; since I wanted to call a cellphone number in another state, I set up a Diamond Card account and entered the information here (this may be entered at a later date).

Call Out Account Information

The initial deposit is small–I think $10.00, but it’s been over a year.

In the next step, you can choose your connection type:

Connection Types

In the next step is for choosing devices for the phone ring, for the input, and for the output. This step gave me the biggest heartburn posed the biggest challenge. The defaults did not work. I found myself having to change the selections in Edit–>Preferences until I found the combination that worked. Fortunately, I remembered my troubleshooting: Change one thing, test, change one thing, test, etc. (If you change two things, you don’t know which one did the trick.)

Audio Settings

In contrast, the “druid” had no trouble finding my webcam:

Video Input

The next screen is the last “druid” screen; it presents a summary of the settings and gives you a choice to go back, cancel, or apply them.

The preferences dialog allows you to change any of these settings and more. This picture shows the page I used to troubleshoot the audio devices:

Setting Audio Preferences Dialog

But that’s just part of the story. I needed to open ports in my router and firewall, since I lock incoming ports down by default. In my router, I had to open ports to receive incoming calls:

Router Ports

and then do the same thing in my firewall:

Ekiga Firewall Ports

The H323 ports are for the Diamond Card account.

For testing, I used numbers provided by Ekiga for testing connectivity:

  • [email protected] launches an echo test; you speak and the server plays back your words. This lets you test your incoming and outgoing audio.
  • [email protected] launches a call-back echo test; you call that number, than [email protected] calls you back. This lets you test both your availability and your audio.

Here’s a short video demo I made today. The was recorded with recordMyDesktop and transcoded with mencoder.

My next project is to get it working on my netbook. Ekiga is all configured, but the firewall needs work.

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