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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Starting Skype in invisible mode

I recently installed Audio Recorder which has a very cool feature: to automatically start recording Skype calls. So that I don't waste time or forget about it, I set Audio Recorder to automatically start when I log in. There is one downside: when Audio Recorder starts, it automatically starts Skype, which starts with its last online status. This is very annoying, as it shows me online in Skype right away I log in Ubuntu, even if I don't want to be online or I don't want to be visible.

After googleing a bit, I run into this Skype forum thread of users complaining about this feature (or lack of feature to set startup status). One of the posts explains how to manually change the SQLite database that Skype uses for accounts. I tested that and worked great so in order to integrate this into Audio Recorder, I wrote the following bash script located saved as ~/bin/skype:

sqlite3 ~/.Skype/YOURSKYPEIDHERE/main.db 'UPDATE Accounts SET set_availability=6'
/usr/bin/skype $*

Note that ~/bin/skype has to be executable and ~/bin/ has to come in $PATH before /usr/bin for this to work.