Installing Google Talk plugin for voice and video on Fedora Linux

With recent news of Google adding support for telephone calls from GTalk, I thought it was time to finally setup voice and video plugin on my system.  The good thing is that Google provides the Linux version of the browser plugin.  The bad news are that the plugin is only packaged for Debian-based systems, while I am a Fedora Linux user.  But thanks to a couple of Google searches, the solution is known and is quite simple in fact.  Here is what I had to do.

  1. Download the browser plugin-in (.deb file, 6 MB).
  2. Extract the content of the google-talkplugin_current_i386.deb file, using ark, or file-roller, or, like me, using Midnight Commander.
  3. In the extracted files, you’ll see data.tar.gz .   Extract it to your system folders (/opt, /usr, /etc).  In fact, you can skip /etc part that sets up a cron job to update the plugin daily.  It relies on apt, which you probably won’t have installed and configured on your Fedora system.
  4. Try running the plugin in command line, using: /opt/google/talkplugin/GoogleTalkPlugin
  5. If you see the error like “/opt/google/talkplugin/GoogleTalkPlugin: error while loading shared libraries: libssl.so.0.9.8: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory“, fix it by creating a symbolic link: cd /usr/lib && ln -s libssl.so.1.0.0a libssl.so.0.9.8
  6. If you see the error like “/opt/google/talkplugin/GoogleTalkPlugin: error while loading shared libraries: libcrypto.so.0.9.8: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory“, fix it by installing Adobe Reader: yum install AdobeReader_enu-9.3.3-1.i486 , and then creating the symbolic link: cd /usr/lib && ln -s /opt/Adobe/Reader9/Reader/intellinux/lib/libcrypto.so.0.9.8 .  If you don’t have adobe repo configured or want an alternative to having Adobe Reader on your system, examine the output of “yum provides libcrypto.so.0.9.8“, which will tell you which other packages have the required library.
  7. Restart your browser.
  8. Check that the plugin is installed and enabled by looking at “about:plugins” or a similar page of your browser.

Now you should be able to use voice and video chat in GTalk.  Here is a screenshot I made of a video chat after I did all of the above steps.

If your browser still complains about not having the plugin installed, or plugin crashes for some reason, just run it from the command line (step 4).  Examine the output and act accordingly.  Usually everything should just work, and pretty much the only scenario when it doesn’t is when you don’t have required libraries installed on your system, or you have them installed in a different path than the plugin expects them.  Symbolic links should fix the path issue.  Yum should help you with locating any missing library.

Enjoy!