It is possible if I use Windows. Can I do the same thing in Ubuntu ?

In windows all I have to do is :

In the Run window, enter the following command (include the quotes) and press OK:

"C:\Program Files\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe" /secondary

I know you can use pidgin or empathy but I want to do this feature using the official Skype account.


6 Answers 6


Run this command on terminal:

skype --secondary
  • 1
    That worked like a charm!!! Thanks for sharing!! Commented Mar 21, 2015 at 17:56

I am using Ubuntu 17.04 and have Skype beta version and I could not run the second instance via terminal using the skype --secondary command.

The new skype application is now called skypeforlinux, therefore I used this command:

$ skypeforlinux --secondary

If skypeforlinux is not found you can try using the full path:

$ /usr/bin/skypeforlinux --secondary

If you don't see the skypeforlinux application in /usr/bin/ directory, then it is probably not installed correctly on your machine.

Hope this helps you on newer versions of Skype.

  • Only problem now is that it has autologin so even launching a new one logs into the same
    – mjs
    Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 13:10
  • @momo you can logout and login into another account, while remaining active in the primary version. no issues whatsoever.
    – aitchkhan
    Commented Apr 8, 2018 at 14:43

skype --help gives me this:

Usage: skype [options]
  --dbpath=<path>       Specify an alternative path to store Skype data files.
                        Default: ~/.Skype
  --resources=<path>    Specify a path where Skype can find its resource files.
                        Default: /usr/share/skype
  --disable-api         Disable Skype Public API.
  --callto <nick>
                        These commands allow Skype links handling.
  --pipelogin           Command line login. "echo username password | skype --pipelogin"
  --version             Display version information and exit.

So you can use skype --dbpath=<path> to start another instance.

EDIT: Updated my answer according to the comment given by Pavel.

  • Thanks !!I used the --dpath method. Didn't know how to use --pipelogin :-S this is the command : skype --dpath ~/Desktop/
    – Suhaib
    Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 23:00
  • skype --dbpath ~/Desktop/AnotherSkype
    – Suhaib
    Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 23:30
  • @Axel, pipe login simply allows to forward username and password to skype as shown in the help example. It does not however allow to start another instance, so I'd advise you change your answer to "..--dbpath should to id.." instead of "perhaps --dbpath is even better" since it is the only right solution. I mean your answer is marked Accepted, so let's make it a bit more accurate. Thank you for understanding.
    – Pavel A
    Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 13:57

If you use skypeforlinux you can have multiple sessions at the same time that keep their login after a restart by using different folders for the --datapath parameter

For example:

skypeforlinux --datapath=/home/user/.config/skypeforlinux.account1

skypeforlinux --datapath=/home/user/.config/skypeforlinux.account2

  • 1
    In case of snap packaged skype, command will be: /snap/bin/skype --secondary --datapath=<your favourite location> The location of .desktop file installed from snap package on ubuntu 20.04 will be '/var/lib/snapd/desktop/applications/skype_skypeforlinux.desktop'.
    – Shiv
    Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 11:48
skype --secondary &

is a slightly more convenient way to start it in terminal. In this case you will be able to close the terminal window easily ::)


Press Alt+F2 and type skype --secondary

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