P2P internet telephony company Skype Technologies has launched the first beta version of its client software for Linux.
Skype said that its Linux offering retains the same core features of the established Windows and Pocket PC versions, including free Skype-to-Skype worldwide telephony.
The software sends voice traffic across the internet and can handle conference calls with up to five people. It also offers instant messaging and access to the Skype Global Directory.
"We've had strong demand for a Linux version of Skype since debuting the Skype beta 10 months ago," said Niklas Zennström, chief executive and co-founder of Skype, in a statement.
"Linux itself is built on collaboration and the free exchange of comments and criticism. We look forward to hearing from this community to help us continue to improve our product."
Skype for Linux requires a computer running at least a 400MHz processor, 128MB Ram, 10MB free hard drive space, sound card, speakers, microphone and an internet connection.
The software can be downloaded for free from the Skype website here.
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