Setting up Empathy for SIP usage (example: Sipgate)

I recently signed up for a sipgate base account. If you choose the basic tarif you can get a free landline number without paying anything, as long you don't use it to call out. This handy for people with have a phone flat to call landline phones.

Sipgate uses standard SIP technology to forward calls to VoIP clients. Hence you can actually use it with any client soft- and hardware supporting SIP (s.th. which wouldn't be possible with Skype). Sipgate has a own windows client you can use if you use windows, which is already pre-configured for the use with sipgate. If you use other plattforms you have to set it up yourself.
For Linux there are two major SIP apps. One is Ekiga* and one is Empathy (relying on the telepathy framework). If you want to use Empathy for SIP, you should first install the telepathy-sofiasip package from the repository. Otherwise nothing happens when you add a new SIP account.
In debian based Distros just use: apt-get install telepathy-sofiasip

After that you can just add a new SIP account with Empathy, using your details from the login area of sipgate. See Screenshots (in my case it's sipgate.de for Germany):

Sipgate Account details
Sipgate login area -> settings.

Note: It's important that you don't use your login data for the sipgate web login, which is not the same as your SIP login! Use SIP-ID when asked for usernames and SIP-Password for the password.

Empathy account dialog
Empathy SIP dialog (Edit->Account->Add->SIP)

This way you have your SIP account directly included in your standard IM app. So if you are online with Empathy you can just receive calls from your landline number as well as chats and calls over other protocols (like Jabber,MSN,ICQ...). Cool huh?

If you wish to use Ekiga anyways. Maybe because you can add contacts to roster, which is not yet possible for SIP contacts in Empathy, it's quite easy too. Just add a new account with the SIP-ID as your username like this:

Ekiga account dialog
Ekiga account settings (Edit->Accounts->Accounts->Add a SIP account)


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*Ekiga is the more sophistacted SIP app of course, though in some versions it can be a bit buggy
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  1. andy: *ATTENTION!

    Some distros might still come with Empathy 2.26 or 2.28, on which I had absolutely no success in getting things going.

    Not until I installed 2.30.2 everything worked fine. So be warned to not tear out your hair in getting this to work on those said older versions.

  2. t: *Hi Stefan,
    just added a new SIP account to empathy :-)
    SIP account directly included :-)
    So if online with Empathy can just receive calls from landline number ...
    Aber das kann's ja noch nicht gewesen sein ???
    Was mach' ich denn, wenn ich raustelefonieren will ?

    Liebe Grüße (unter uns Deutschen)
    Thomas


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