Reference Manual


skype - interact with a running Skype Application (Version or earlier)

Microsoft Corporation plans to discontinue the Skype API in future versions of the Skype software.

skype [exit | attach]
startd skype [attach]

When invoked with no argument, command skype prints version details and status information of the running Skype Tool. Argument attach connects a running Skype Tool to the Skype Application, while argument exit terminates the Skype Tool.

The Skype Tool itself is started as:

startd skype [attach]

The start command creates a window within which it runs the Skype Tool.
The Tool then prompts the user for commands and displays asynchronous notifications from the Skype Application in blue text.

The following commands are presently implemented:

quit        terminate client
exit        terminate client
caller      caller name
answer      answer the call
video       video on
novideo     video off
hangup      hangup the call
help        show help
web         show web help
attach      attach to Skype API
disconnect  disconnect from Skype API
status      show status information
clear       clear connection

All other commands are sent directly to the Skype Application.
When invoked as start skype attach, the Tool also attempts to attach to the running Skype Application.

If the attach operation was successful, all Skype status messages (asynchronous notifications) are displayed in the window as they become available, and all Skype Public API Commands can be issued.

If the Skype Application issues a CALL xxxx STATUS RINGING message, NAT32 will execute the script file fb_ring, which makes all telephones connected to the FON 1 port of a FritzBox ring. The script file can easily be modified by the user to target other FritzBox devices (e.g. the ISDN, DECT or FON 2 devices). Once the user answers the Skype call, the script fb_hangup will execute and the ringing will cease.

The Skype Application MUST be run at the same privilege level (or higher) as the Skype Tool.

In some cases, the Skype Application will prompt the user for permission to attach:

Skype Authorisation

If you ever refuse permission, the Skype Application will note the refusal and deny all further connection attempts. To restore access, run the Skype Application and then navigate to:

Tools, Options, Advanced, Manage other programs' access to Skype

The Skype Public API is documented here. The command set is extensive and allows almost all actions associated with a Skype call to be carried out.

The software has been tested with a 7390 Fritz Box configured to use password-secured access to its web interface. That password must be specified in the NAT32 fbpwd environment variable.

Recent versions of the Skype Application will display advertising, even to users who have already paid for services. Fortunately, NAT32's DNS Redirector can easily respond to unwanted name resolution requests by redirecting them to the NAT32 Honeypot, which honours the requests by serving small, safe files of the requested type to the requesting application. The names to add to the dnsrd blacklist are disclosed in the Skype Privacy Policy.
Prudent users will have disabled "automatic" (i.e. hidden) updates for all software (including Windows Update) on their machines. To disable Skype updates, BE SURE this DWORD Registry Value exists and is equal to 1:
If you are ever asked to allow a Skype update, BE SURE to cancel and then delete this file:
To update user status: get user ... onlinestatus
To search for a user: search users ...
To test your camera: open videotest
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