Free and Open Source Skype Alternative Ring 1.0 Released!

Brief: Ring, Open Source alternative to Skype, has reached its first stable release. Have a look at how to install and use Ring.

Ring is a free and open source cross platform software featuring instant messaging, free unlimited calling with call recording, media sharing with multiple audio codecs support and audio and video conferencing.

Ring 1.0 has been released officially after months of development and is available for GNU/Linux, Windows, macOS and Android. It’s one of the best alternatives for Skype for Linux systems. And yes, it is GNU certified free software.

Ring : An Open Source alternative to Skype
Ring : An Open Source alternative to Skype

Developed and maintained by Savoir-faire Linux, Ring does not rely on a centralized server to communicate and uses a distributed hash table where it creates its own network to distribute directory functions, authentication and encryption over the systems that are connected to it; much like BitTorrent network. This equips you with a layer of privacy where monitoring of your communication and keeping track of your activities within the software is not possible.

Ring features

Let’s see the main features Ring has to offer.

  • Ring works with 40 characters RingID which is used to connect with each other. No one without having your RingID can contact you. Once you create a Ring account, you can get the RingID and share it with your friends.
  • Ring acts as an instant messenger where you can connect with your friends and family and share media files.
  • It allows free unlimited audio and video calls with conferencing and call recording. Other features include automatic call answering and searchable call history.
  • Available in different languages: English, French, Russian, German, Chinese, Spanish, Italian and Vietnamese.
  • End to End encryption for messages, audio and video calls.

Other features include sending a file to the caller, sharing the screen, live written discussions, putting a call on hold and much. Ring provides the best alternative to Skype and in the next section, we will see how to install Ring in Linux and use it.

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How to install Ring in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions

Method 1: Graphical Method

Visit the page below and select your distribution from the list. Once done, you will need to download and install the Ring Daemon and then the Ring Client.

Download Ring for Linux

Once the installation completes, you can launch it from the Dash.

Method 2: Installation through command line

If you prefer the command line way, open Terminal and type in the following command to install Ring.

Installing Ring on Ubuntu

sudo sh -c "echo 'deb https://dl.ring.cx/ring-nightly/ubuntu_16.04/ ring main' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ring-nightly-main.list"
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys A295D773307D25A33AE72F2F64CD5FA175348F84
sudo add-apt-repository universe
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ring

Replace 16.04 with 17.04/17.10 for the Ubuntu version you are using.

Installing Ring on Fedora 25/26

sudo dnf config-manager --add-repo https://dl.ring.cx/ring-nightly/fedora_25/ring-nightly.repo
sudo dnf install ring

Installing Ring on Debian

su -
apt-get install dirmngr
sh -c "echo 'deb https://dl.ring.cx/ring-nightly/debian_9/ ring main' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ring-nightly-main.list"
apt-key adv --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys A295D773307D25A33AE72F2F64CD5FA175348F84
apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ring

Once the installation completes, launch Ring.

Ring app screen

Create your ring account and fill in all the details.

Ring account creation

Once the account creation is done, you will get your RingID which you can share with your friends to connect with you.

Ring Launch Screen
Ring Launch Screen

In the settings menu, you can select options to start Ring on login, show it in the notification area, bring it to foreground when you receive a call and enable notifications for calls and chats.

Ring is perhaps the best Linux alternative to Skype with an absolute focus on privacy and security. With instant messenger to video calls, Ring provides a full range of features. And with the “big brother” always watching, you would certainly need it.

What do you think about a free and open source software that gives all the features with complete privacy and security? Let us know in the comments. If you have not tried yet, time to install it and share your RingID with your friends!

Comments

  1. Would dearly like to try but only for Debian based and Fedora (not my favourite distro) Hope that openSuse will be included sometime in the future as the Skype beta has never worked for me, can’t find the mike …

  2. Is Ring in some way Skype-compatible or are there plans for a Skype gateway already or something like that? If not, I’m afraid that this is going to be Yet Another VoIP instant messenger with little chance to break Viber’s, Skype’s and WhatsApp’s dominance.
    The ideas behind it sound certainly impressive. Distributed blockchains seem to be a promising technology for building next generation IT infrastructure. I wish the team all the best! :)

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