Free Your Speech!

New Name

We have finally chosen a new name. I would like to thank all people who have proposed names, there have been a bit more than 500 propositions. The final choice goes to Ekiga.

When communicating using drums, the sender will identify himself at the start of the transmission with the specific notes corresponding to his personal moto, and those of the other correspondant in order to draw his attention. This technic is also used in another communication language, without drums, called Ekiga, which consists in reproducing the notes, without words, emitting the syllable “ke” in a falsetto voice, and repeating it with the corresponding tones.

The Ekiga was used to communicate quickly when no drums were available.

It sounds a bit like what H.323 and SIP are doing, and it is pretty original. So, watch out, Ekiga 2.00 is around the corner!

New features

I have added several new features to OPAL, the Ekiga underlying library. Among others :

  • Several echo cancellation and denoizer fixes
  • Speex Wideband support, you can finally hear your correspondant with a 16 kHz sampled voice, for a maximum quality
  • New NAT binding refresh technics. Ekiga can now be transparently reachable behind most NAT implementations (including Linux) without any port forwarding. I have discussed with Harald Welte from the Netfilter core team so that the UDP binding time is by default increased for the Linux kernel, allowing Ekiga to refresh the binding less often
  • Many other SIP fixes and features…

All the above features have been added to Ekiga. There have been many contributions to the source code lately:

  • Some more WIN32 porting, and DBUS implementation and many other things thanks to Julien Puydt
  • Several UI fixes and deprecated widgets removed thanks to Jan Schampera
  • The avahi patch was kept up to date thanks to Sebastien Estienne
  • I largely improved the chat window
  • I added sound level monitors in the audio panel
  • I removed unused and unuseful settings from the preferences
  • I also rewrote parts of the address book so that it works better with our LDAP directory
  • There was a major code reorganisation

Among the other noticeable contributions, Luc Saillard fixed the V4L2 plugin, and Cedric Parent worked on SER/OpenLDAP integration. There are now LDAP white pages to find the SIP addresses of other Ekiga users who accept to see their address published. That is how you can find that my SIP address is and that you can call me at any time using it.

We plan to publish a BETA release this week or next week, and seeing the increasing number of new signups and happy users is more than encouraging.

Here are a few pictures:

Address Book

Chat Window

Main window

GnomeMeeting was the first widely available and used softphone for Linux, 5 years ago, the story will go on with Ekiga.


Fabrice Alphonso created a Frappr community. Feel free to join if you are a GnomeMeeting/Ekiga user.


A few more speakers have been confirmed. Our tracks are already complete, we are just waiting for some more bio’s and interviews. Check regularly the website for news about that big event.

40 thoughts on “Free Your Speech!

  1. Luis Menina

    That rocks Damien πŸ˜‰
    Hope to see the Win32 port soon, to spread it among all my contacts πŸ˜€
    Ekiga will join the group of the VOIP-apps-that-have-5-letters-in-their-name-and-an k-as-second-letter, hopefully with more success than the other one app of this group ! :-p

  2. Alan Horkan

    Well the name isn’t awful and maybe it will grow on me. I do hope the name was cleanly refactored out, not find and replaced, just in case it ever needs to be changed again.

  3. Charles Goodwin

    That is such a poor choice of name. It portrays nothing about the application, is not easy to say, and requires an explanation for most users as it is in a minority language.

    Really, I thought the Internet boom and all the fads that came with it were over years ago. Evidentally not.

  4. Damien Sandras

    To Charles: It is obvious that we wanted a name that didn’t depict anything about the application, just because people limit the use of the application to what its name reflects. Btw, you could have proposed a better name…

  5. Jonita

    Well, this is my comment to the previous reaction.

    Ekiga portrays nothing about the application. Ok, however, have you ever thought about names such as “Evolution”, “Ubuntu”, “Skype”, “Firefox”, “Nautilus”? Do they have one single thing in common with the application? Of course, not. Despite that, they are quite popular.

    Choosing a name is quite hard. We had to find a name for which the main domain names are still available. On the other hand, having a name with “voice”, “meeting”, “cam”, “talk” or whatever, restricts pretty much the aspects of the application, since it includes all these names. But you cannot find a name including all these concepts at the same time. Moreover, it is not very original. For instance, my name is “Jonita”. I am not called “girl something”, if you see what I mean πŸ˜‰

    Now, all that is very subjective. As you can see in the comments above, there are several people who seem to like it. I think that it would be a very hard task to find a name that would satisfy everybody.

  6. Aldo "Xoen" Giambelluca

    Hmh…Ekiga…It’s strange to say…but it seems to be cool…probably it’s not seems a verb…OK nevermind, it will rock πŸ˜‰

    I hope in a release πŸ˜‰ …Someone knows if exists a gentoo ebuild somewhere?

  7. jean-michel

    thank for your work
    ekiga does not look good for me
    but that s not important

  8. colin macdonald

    I like it! I’m glad you didn’t choose any of those vox* names that people were suggesting.
    Also, what is the correct way to pronounce Ekiga?

  9. Alan Pater

    Ekiga sounds good to me. My first impression was a bit “what is that?” But it quickly grew on me, and you know what? That first impression was probably a good thing. It made me pay attention. a boring name like “talk” or “meet” or “watch” would not do that. A good choice, I think.

  10. Paul

    My first thought was *Yuk*. Now that I’ve adopted a pronunciation (right or wrong) it’s not so awkward. I had come here to post a suggestion. I’m too late, but just in case: “vFone” It doesn’t make a whole lot of difference since the gnome menu is using meaningful verbs rather than non-obvious program names (except FC4 that has all those stupid xxxx items). Anyway, what’s the correct pronunciation?

  11. SKrionius

    Where to post bugs? Using a connection twice, sound doesnt work. Also chat is echoing things twice.

    Ekiga name is good.

  12. Moon Silk

    I think Ekiga is a good name. With no previous meaning attached to it, “Ekiga” is easy to remember and spell. A good choice.

  13. niv

    Just posted in gentoo forums – requesting an ebuild for it.
    had bad luck installing programs outside portage.
    hope it comes in soon.

  14. tanari

    Thanks a lot!!!!!!!

    Some questions:
    1) Can I talk with Skype users?
    2) Can I have video chat with Skype users?
    3) Can eKiga send and receive files?

  15. Aldo "xoen" Giambelluca

    Same questions of tanari but with the MSN Messenger…

    An ebuild request is here (, I will try this ebuils as soon as possible πŸ˜‰

    I’ve seen the, I know you know already it is terrible πŸ˜‰ but I want to make the same a suggestion, probably a wiki (like or ;)) it’s the “best” solution.

    PS: The name is cool, I’ve preferred something similar to a verb, but we will love it the same πŸ˜‰

  16. Yiannis

    Yes, I think a WIKI would be a good idea… Furthermore, the project I think is already a success at least under the linux world… But, for newcomers it needs the followings:
    1. Clear explanations to what you can do… To most people protocol names mean nothing… but something like you can video-voice talk with your friends in MSN Messenger, Skype, etc. is way more useful.
    2. Clear instructions on how to install it…
    3. Clear instructions on how to setup a connection.
    4. Port to win32 wouldn’t hurt especially for those dual-boot users that need need to work on both…

  17. AG

    Will there be Ekiga pkgs for slackware? I imagine that FreeRock Gnome and others would be happy to create packages for you.

  18. edmond

    Sorry to bother and thank’s for the good job. I’m a first user and I’d be glad if anybody could help me to find an ils server. (there is nobody connected to the default one of gnomemeeting, Is there a very large comunity like for skype? Where can I find it? In advance, thanks, Edmond.

  19. mangoo

    Hm, strange name, really πŸ™‚

    I wonder if anyone was considering IAX2 support, too? It should provide better audio quality on slow links.

  20. Jorg

    The Ekiga web page should have some info on which codecs, both audio and video, are supported. Speex and iLBC would be nice, as would H.263 and H.264 (tricky of course, but could link against x264 if available).

    It would also be nice with some info on which other SIP/H.323 clients Ekiga has been tested and found to work (for example eyeBeam and kphone).

  21. Jon "maddog" Hall

    Having lived through the “is it pronounced ‘Lynix’ or
    ‘linnuchs'” era, I suggest that you use the audio portion of Ekiga to ‘pronounce’ the word as it is initialized. Or you could have this as part of the “about” button.

    Thanks for continuing to improve a great program

  22. Jiel

    Now, people will think that eKiga is a software from the KDE project πŸ˜‰

    Anyway, i like the new name. Long life to Ekiga!

  23. kerberos


    can i use this ekiga in a LAN because we have
    asterisk in our LAN and i want to make a video
    conversation from this ekiga to windows messenger,
    is it possible? ekiga to windows messenger and vice
    versa exclusively in LAN through asterisk PBX?

  24. giorgio

    any chance to see ekiga running on mac os x? not by fink but natively I mean… we mac users don’t’ have a decent software to video call other linux or windows users…

  25. John

    Ekiga is a pretty good name with no previous meanings attached to it. Will we be able to communicate with Skype users?


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