Multimedia components and proprietary programs

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Skype and Google Video

Even the new version 4 of Skype is in the Canonical Partners repository. Apart from videotelephony, it also provides desktop sharing: To make collaboration easier, your conversational partner can peek at your desktop. Thanks to the new version, the image quality of Skype for Linux is gradually matching that of the Windows client.

As an alternative to Skype, check out Google's Hangout video platform, which also allows calls among multiple participants (Figure 5). You'll need a Google account, so register at the Google website and go to the left at the top of the Google+ profile. In the right-hand column, select Start Hangout and install a video plugin for your system. You can simply download the corresponding DEB package and double-click in the file manager.

Figure 5: Like Skype, Google Hangout provides video chat capability.

Google Earth

Even friends of Google Earth [6] can partake in Ubuntu 13.04. Just download the corresponding Debian package for your architecture, then go to Software Center and install the lsb-core package. Double-clicking the Google Earth package loads it on the computer, which can take a while, mainly because the package grabs additional files from an online server. Be sure you have enough free space reserved. Then, you can start Google Earth by entering goog in the Dash. Be forewarned, however, Google Earth is no fun without proper 3D acceleration.

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