One of the questions raised in a workshop last week was “We have quite a few Ubuntu and Santos Linux machines. How would we use Lync in those OS’s”.
The answer is that neither are there any official Lync clients, nor does Microsoft support any third-party clients on Linux as it is an unsupported OS (in Option 1, 2 & 3). But there is always hope as there are a few workarounds.
Option 1 – Xavy
Updated 10-06-13 – As Michael pointed out, it seems Damaka has removed xavy for Linux from their site. I cannot find any reference to it either. I have asked Damaka and will update when (if ) I get a response.
Updated 12-06-13 – Response from Damaka – Xavy for Linux will definitely be back. I can’t give an immediate time table, all I can say is we took it down as some big things are happening. I will provide an update as soon as I can (this may take a few weeks).
(Updated 22-05-13) Xavy claims that it is the only full-featured Lync & OCS client for Ubuntu Linux in the industry today. Xavy is a client that allows the full feature set of Microsoft Lync 2013, 2010, and OCS R2 to be experienced on Mac, Linux, and mobile devices (iOS, Android). Instant messaging, audio, video, conferencing, whiteboards, application sharing, desktop sharing, and scheduled meetings are some of the key features now available on Linux platforms. No additional hardware or software is required. Above all, for $5, what could go wrong ?
Option 2 – SIPE
SIPE is an open source project (You can tell that I’ve not been anywhere near Linux, right ? ) and can be used to register with Lync Front End Registrar. It can be used for basic IM & Presence and flaky audio / video / File transfer. Instructions on how to set it up can be found in the following blog – http://blog.dataforce.org.uk/2012/04/microsoft-lync-on-linux/
Option 3 – Pidgin + Pidgin-SIPE plugin
Another method of connecting to Lync FE registrar is by using Pidgin - a universal chat client but with a “Pidgin-SIPE plugin”. Above two can be used together to register with Lync Front End for basic IM & Presence and audio / Video (to some extent). Instructions on how to set it up can be found in the following blog – http://mytricks.in/2011/08/microsoft-lync-client-for-linux.html
Option 4 – Citrix XenApp (The best one of the lot – but requires Citrix deployed)
As the heading says, this option is the best one of the lot as it provides the most functionality, but it requires you to have a Citrix XenApp infrastructure deployed (minimum of XenDesktop 4.0 and XenApp 6.0 or later). In this option, voice is available through USB headsets as XenApp can re-direct USB to the virtual session / desktop. Another good news is the fact that should you require Microsoft support, it will be on a ‘best effort’ basis which is better than no support at all. More information can be found in the following Citrix KB article – http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX132979.
Option 5 – Wync / Fisl.com
Wync from fisl.com seems to be another client that can be connected to Lync. Though fisl.com seems to very prematurely built site, if the video is true, then we might have another client to play with. It is also available as a free app in iTunes store. Haven’t heard of anything else about it, so might best to try it out to test it completely.
hope that helps…