For years we have been using Skype, and then Hangout, for peep to peer communication. Ring, however, is a new, free, open-source, and cross-platform communication solution built by Savoir-Faire Linux. You can use this software for instant messaging, voice and multimedia calls, from one computer to another over the internet. Its most remarkable features include:
- Unlimited peer-to-peer calls
- Call holding and call recording
- Automatic Call answering
- Audio and Video Call Streaming
- Call history management where calls can also be searched
- Attended call transferring, and automatic call forwarding
- End to end encryption for all multimedia communication
However, the most important feature is the privacy and freedom that you get with Ring, that the big names of the market lack.
Ring Over Skype
If you have always used Skype on Linux, you might know by now that Skype for Linux is pretty terrible. It is just a fancy, but poorly maintained version of the Skype web application. Many developers and companies have tried to come up with a reliable alternative to Skype but only Ring, so far, is the most polished solution.
The worst thing about Skype is that all your data, call history, and account information is stored on a centralized server and your privacy can thus be compromised. Ring, however, works on a distributed network where services use non-centralized hash tables for communication. So why not use Ring with all those features that only Skype offered, without worrying about the ‘Big Brother’ watching?
In order to install Ring on your Ubuntu system, first open your command line, the Terminal, either through the system Dash or the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut.
Now let us use the following echo command as sudo in order to add the new repository to Ubuntu through which we will install Ring:
$ sudo sh -c "echo 'deb https://dl.ring.cx/ring-nightly/ubuntu_18.04/ ring main' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ring-nightly-main.list"
The next step is to add the gpg key for the above-added repository, through the following apt-key command:
$ sudo apt-key adv --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys A295D773307D25A33AE72F2F64CD5FA175348F84
Next, you need to enable the Ubuntu Universe repository from which Ring will be able to access the dependencies it may require. Use the following command to do so:
$ sudo add-apt-repository universe
Now, update your Ubuntu’s repository index with that of the internet repositories through the following command:
$ sudo apt-get update
Finally, it is time to install Ring on your system through the following command as sudo:
$ sudo apt-get install ring
The system will prompt you with a y/n option in order to confirm if you want to continue with the installation procedure. Please enter Y and then hit Enter in order to continue, after which Ring will be successfully installed on your system.
Once you have installed Ring on your Ubuntu, you can access it through the system Dash as follows or directly from the Applications list:
Ring will launch in the following view:
You can create a new Ring Account through this Window and also link your Ubuntu system to an already existing Ring account. When you click the Create Ring Account button, the following window will open through which you provide information to create a new Ring profile.
When you click the Next button after providing all the necessary information, you will be logged in to Ring and you will get a Ring ID. You can view this Ring ID in the following window:
When you want to connect with other people over Ring, all you need to do is share this Ring ID with them.
If you want to customize the Ring settings according to your preferences, simply click the settings icon from the above window. The following window will open:
Here, you can make some General, Media and Account related settings for Ring. For example, in the General tab, you can enable or disable starting Ring on login, enable/disable various notifications, and configure history settings etc.
In case you need to remove Ring any time from your system, simply run the following command as sudo:
$ sudo apt-get remove ring
The system will prompt you with a Y/n option in order to confirm if you want to continue with the uninstall. Please enter Y and then hit Enter in order to continue; after which Ring will be uninstalled from your system.
Through this article, you have learned how to install Ring on your Ubuntu system. You can now use an open-source communication application without worrying about the confidentiality and privacy of your data and calls. We have also explained how to set up a Ring account. Through which, you can communicate with others only by sharing your Ring ID. In case you want to remove the application from your Ubuntu, get back to this article and uninstall it through one simple step. Happy ‘Ringing!!