I'm interested in running Skype on a sandbox. I don't want to use a virtual-machine however, since it's overkill just for a program.

I don't need Skype's video or voice capabilities to work, chat only is ok.

So ya, how do I run Skype in a sandbox?

  • I don't understand what you mean. There is a Skype client for Linux. Dec 27, 2014 at 18:10
  • Since skype is closed-source, it could be used as an attack-vector. I'm interested in running it in a sandbox.
    – iamatrain
    Dec 27, 2014 at 18:26
  • 1
    No video, no voice, just chat... How about just use Pidgin? Then use an account on aim, &/or facebook, &/or gadu, &/or google, bonjour, groupwise, icq, msn, yahoo... a bunch of others too
    – Xen2050
    Dec 27, 2014 at 19:10
  • @Xen2050, the point of using Skype is to talk to users who also use skype. I cannot get them to move to something else (such as tox.im).
    – iamatrain
    Dec 27, 2014 at 19:39
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    @Xen2050, I want to use skype to talk to people I know who use skype and are not up to use something else. It's that easy. That's why I created this thread. If I could make them use something else, I would have. Thank you.
    – iamatrain
    Dec 27, 2014 at 20:04

1 Answer 1


In fact, a whole VM just for Skype would be a good sandbox.

The greatest sandbox that you could get is to use another computer.

If you don't want to use any of the methods mentioned, you still have another choice but I wouldn't call it "sandboxed" even when it is a good security step.

If you're running over an admin account, you may consider running it over a less privileged user different than yours. For instance if you create the user foo, you can start Skype by doing:

sudo -u foo -H skype

By default the user foo doesn't have access to the X display. To add it run:

xhost +SI:localuser:foo

You can learn about this and more on this excellent article by Mike Cardwell.

However, everything comes down to your panic level.

  • What if the user "foo" is not sudoer? How do I run skype from a user not in the sudoers file?
    – iamatrain
    Dec 27, 2014 at 19:44
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    That's the idea, foo should NOT be a sudo user. That is why it is less privileged.
    – Lucio
    Dec 27, 2014 at 19:54
  • you still need access to a sudo user, am I correct? Anyway, your command will not run I am afraid. It's essentially the same as going on foo and doing "skype", right? It'll give an error: "No protocol specified"
    – iamatrain
    Dec 27, 2014 at 19:58
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    Both of your assertions are correct. Added solution to your issue on the question.
    – Lucio
    Dec 27, 2014 at 20:25
  • skype doesn't work with your solution. After writing the user/password and waiting a while (long while!), it either says "skype is already running on this computer" or "skype can't connect".
    – iamatrain
    Dec 30, 2014 at 19:34

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