Skype crashes when 2-way video is activated.

Talk about how to use and get the most out of Activities for the XO.

Skype crashes when 2-way video is activated.

Postby overbyte » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:31 pm

I installed Skype according to the instructions on the wiki.laptop.org web page for Skype, and it works when I launch Skype as root from a Terminal, using the special command explained in that wiki page. I can make calls and receive calls, with 2-way audio. I can EITHER receive video OR send my camera's video over a Skype call, but when I try to do both, Skype crashes and I'm thrown back to the command line on the Terminal session from which I launched Skype. This crash happens no matter whether I first activate my video transmission and then the other person activates their camera, or whether I activate my video while receiving video. So, one-way video works, but 2-way crashes Skype on the XO. Any suggestions?
overbyte
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:13 pm

Re: Skype crashes when 2-way video is activated.

Postby Freemor » Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:04 am

This is probably a memory or speed problem (hard to say without the errormessage from skype) I'm guessing the either tying to encode/decode 2 video + 2 audio + conrtol channels is just too much for the less then 500mhz processor of the XO for then non techies that is .5Ghz or the machine is simply running out of memory (given it's limited 256MB of ram). If it is the second you could set up a swap file or partition on an SD card or usb to give it more room to work with. DO NOT put a swapfile on the internal NAND as it will shorten the life of the NAND considerably. (also there just isn't much space left for a swapfile on the internal nand)

If it is a speed problem you are most likely sunk.. you could try getting a developer key and try overclocking the XO but I doubt the modest speed increase would be enough to make a notable difference.

Hope this helps,
Freemor
Freemor
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:15 am
Location: New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Skype crashes when 2-way video is activated.

Postby overbyte » Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:45 pm

Thanks, Freemor. I took your suggestion and tried adding an SD card for swapping. I got a good deal on a 4 GB SDHC card (<$10) and following the wiki instructions to set up for a 1GB swapping partition on it, turned swap on. Swapping did not prevent the "Abort" which happens immediately when I try to activate my XO outgoing video while receiving incoming video on Skype.

I read some postings elsewhere which said the problem may be due to lack of 2 xv ports for video overlay windows. The command xvinfo reports various parameters of the video chip. On the XO, it reports that there is only 1 xv port available. When the Skype program crashes, the error output shows that the first video reported 1 xv port available, but there is a second line farther down reporting zero (0) xv ports available (perhaps after the incoming video window used the first port). I looked at the specifications for the AMD Geode video processor that's in the XO and didn't find any mention of more than 1 video overlay port in the hardware. So it seems logical that the lack of a second xv port could cause Skype to abort when it tries to display both video windows at the same time.

However, that theory doesn't hold up. I tried Skype on a desktop computer running Ubuntu 8.04.1. It was the same version of Skype (2.0.0.72) for Linux as I downloaded on my XO. The xvinfo command on the desktop also reports only 1 xv port available. I'm running Skype with a Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000. The video works perfectly when outgoing and incoming video are displayed, rather than aborting as the XO does. I didn't have to do the gstfakevideo pipeline trick on the Ubuntu system, unlike the XO where that trick is necessary to make the built-in camera work with Skype, as described on the Skype page of wiki.laptop.org. The camera just works out of the box: plug it into the desktop computer, launch Skype, and 2-way video works.

This shows me that the problem is not in Skype nor in the lack of more than one xv port in the XO's video chip. It's a software problem in the XO's OS or in the gstfakevideo trick. I don't think it could be the slowness of the XO processor as you suggested, because in my opinion that would result in poor performance (jerky video, delays, etc.) not an error message from Skype saying it was aborting. So, I still can't do 2-way video on my XO with Skype.
overbyte
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:13 pm

Re: Skype crashes when 2-way video is activated.

Postby Freemor » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:14 am

overbyte wrote:This shows me that the problem is not in Skype nor in the lack of more than one xv port in the XO's video chip. It's a software problem in the XO's OS or in the gstfakevideo trick. I don't think it could be the slowness of the XO processor as you suggested, because in my opinion that would result in poor performance (jerky video, delays, etc.) not an error message from Skype saying it was aborting. So, I still can't do 2-way video on my XO with Skype.


I can't see how it would be the gstfakevideo as that should only effect the video you are sending and if that were the problem it shoud crash either randomly when sending video or every time you tried to send. It would be nice if Skype gave a bit more information on why it crashed. Sadly skype doesn't have a "verbose" or "debug" output option either (or at least not well documented) .. just a thought here are you running skype under the "X Activity" (which give a more standard windows manager to the XO for non sugar apps) I'm just wondering if it is dying on you due to trying to have multiple windows open under Sugar. or perhaps matchbox/Sugar are causing the overlay problem.

Regards,
Freemor
Freemor
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:15 am
Location: New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Skype crashes when 2-way video is activated.

Postby ektoric » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:37 pm

overbyte wrote: I tried Skype on a desktop computer running Ubuntu 8.04.1. (...) The video works perfectly

Try downgrading your desktop's RAM to 256mb and try the test again to get a more accurate comparison.
ektoric
Support Team
 
Posts: 470
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:46 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Skype crashes when 2-way video is activated.

Postby jakew » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:31 pm

I am having the same problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
jakew
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:29 pm

Re: Skype crashes when 2-way video is activated.

Postby overbyte » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:33 pm

Here's an update:
I didn't overcome the problem with Skype running on the XO's operating system. I moved on for other reasons to using Ubuntu (actually a customized version of Xubuntu) 8.10 on the XO. I installed it on a 2GB SD card using my desktop Ubuntu system and then ran it on the XO, which works quite well, although slower than I'd like but as expected for the XO. I can do 2-way video and voice and interactive whiteboard simultaneously using www.vyew.com, which is a FlashPlayer-based web application, running on Firefox with FlashPlayer 10 plugin. However, when I try to activate the second video on Skype, Skype crashes. I'm thinking that the problem is with Skype, not video drivers on the XO. The Ubuntu version (built by user named Teapot as reported on OLPCNews forum site) uses the same kernel code as the Fedora used in the XO/Sugar native system, so I don't think it's a kernel problem but rather something that Skype does which blows on the XO. It must be accessing video differently than the FlashPlayer 10 does.
overbyte
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:13 pm


Return to Activities / Software

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests