5 years of Open Source Voice over IP

We celebrate this week the 5th birthday of the Ekiga project.

Ekiga is the first Open Source software to bring both Voice over IP/IP Telephony and video conferencing to the desktop, since 2001. It quickly became popular, among others thanks to the compatibility with the Netmeeting software.

Today, Ekiga has evolved into a mature and stable product which is not limited to Netmeeting anymore, in terms of compatibility. This was made possible thanks to the addition of another protocol, namely SIP.

But this is not the end of the story. Hereafter, you will find a retrospective of the key points of the history of Ekiga. It is probably a good idea to remember that Ekiga consists also of 5 years of spare time hacking and devotion to the GNOME desktop.

  • July 2nd 2001: GnomeMeeting 0.9 is released for the first time on the Internet.
  • September 2001: GnomeMeeting is officially included in the Mandrake, RedHat and Debian distributions.
  • January 9th 2002: The GnomeMeeting team announces the creation of a public ILS server. It has been the point of contact for many enthusiasts during several years and it has now been deprecated in favour of the ekiga.net platform.
  • February 27th 2002: We launch the 0.84 release of GnomeMeeting, featuring a new user interface, more corporate features and nice icons drawn by jimmac. GnomeMeeting is then one of the first GNOME programs to support the GConf system, creating headaches because of problems regarding our users.
  • May 4th 2002: GnomeMeeting is one of the first GNOME programs to be GNOME 2 ready. The 0.92.1 release made this port public at the end of the month.
  • February 24th 2004 : After several years of hard work, we launch the 1.00 release.
  • December 12th 2004: GnomeMeeting 1.20 is released. It is the first GNOME program to support integration with Evolution.
  • December 13th 2004: We start working on SIP support in order to satisfy more and more users who use SIP in their companies. We still ignore that SIP will be a major hit.
  • December 22nd 2005: We choose a new slogan “Free Your Speech!”. The reason is that Ekiga is influenced by standards and Open Source, not by companies and commercial interests.
  • January 18th 2006: We choose a new name “Ekiga”, inspired by an old communication system coming straight from Cameroon.
  • March 12th 2006: We release the 2.00 version of Ekiga which is by now the first Open Source software to support the 2 major standards in terms of Voice over IP and IP Telephony, namely H.323 and SIP. It is also our first release to bring DBUS support allowing other applications to use Ekiga for Voice over IP. We feared loads of bug reports due to the use of a fairly new library for SIP support, but our work was not so bad , considering that there were no real complaints. We must say that this release is a real success! Finally, we also release a beta version of the upcoming platform allowing users to get free SIP addresses usable with Ekiga.

We still have several surprises for the future. Thanks for your precious support and stay tuned!

24 thoughts on “5 years of Open Source Voice over IP

  1. Colin

    Congrats for all this hard work! Despite the heavy investment in time and energy, I’m sure that when looking back you don’t regret any hour you spent in front of your C editor 🙂

  2. Damien Sandras

    Indeed, I regret nothing and plan to continue coding a few more years 😉

  3. Alex

    Congrats – I’ve been following the project (at a safe distance ;-)) since its early stages, and I have to say that both the program and the development efforts are impressive!

    Bonne continuation Damien (et tous les autres bien sûr) !

  4. nonnano

    Congrats, Damien! Ekiga ROCKS. It’s dependable and high quality piece of software that I respect. Could you btw blog more on the possible future of Ekiga? What at least I’m interested about is
    – The status of possible Win32 port?
    – Will there be support for HD video?
    – Have you checked out the Telepathy stuff? Could Ekiga be part of that desktop integration sweetness?

  5. anonymous

    Bravo pour ce logiciel à toi et à l’ensemble des contributeurs. Ekiga est un apport de qualité pour le monde de la téléphonie et du logiciel libre.

  6. Paulo Matos

    Congrats for the 5 years… 🙂 Thanks for Ekiga and for your support to open source software. We need much more people like you.

  7. babel

    Congratulations!! All we know open source is not as “powerful” as others, but the phylosophy is so much better. tnx for all this

  8. harsh

    I want to use this fantasic software, but alas… can not reach create account/ login interface. I appreciate the advertisement and 5th anniversary issue of the blog, but i wonder if there could still be the login/ create account option in meantime.

  9. harsh

    hi, well i think there was some code error in linkin the page in “current” folder. i kept coming back to /blog page. i waded through the directory and finally reached the accounts page and openend a new account. it was allright. but just check the links.

  10. harsh

    Ah… menwhile you corrected it. Thanks.. GREAT to have such prompt response. Thank you Damien again.

  11. Brua Pierre


    Great work !
    I’m going to participate to the project a little bit to help get my webcam work with it.

    PS : The ekiga.org website seems down today.

  12. lion

    congratulations for your great 5 years.
    I have a small problem:can I use Ekiga for a VOIP meeting with more than 2 people?(it seems gnomemeeting does not support it)


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