Platform independent Python wrapper for the Skype Desktop API





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Last Commit

5yrs ago







BSD License



.. contents:: :local:


Skype4Py is a Python library which allows you to control Skype client application.

It works on Windows, OSX and Linux platforms with Python 2.x versions.


Support and issues on Github <>. Skype4Py is not a Skype™, not associated with Microsoft or Skype. For questions you can also use with skype4py tag <>. Do not go for for support.

Orignal author: Arkadiusz Wahlig <>_

Maintainer: Mikko Ohtamaa <>_


Everything that you should ever need is available as aliases in the Skype4Py package. Import it using the standard form of the import statement:


import Skype4Py

Importing the whole package into your script's namespace using from Skype4Py import * is generally discouraged. You should also not access the modules in the package directly as they are considered an implementation detail and may change in future versions without notice.

The package provides the following:

  • Classes

    Skype4Py.Skype, an alias for

    Skype4Py.CallChannelManager, an alias for Skype4Py.callchannel.CallChannelManager

  • Constants

    Everything from the Skype4Py.enums module.

    platform, either 'windows', 'posix' or 'darwin' depending on the current platform (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X).

  • Errors

    Skype4Py.SkypeError, an alias for Skype4Py.errors.SkypeError

    Skype4Py.SkypeAPIError, an alias for Skype4Py.errors.SkypeAPIError

The two classes exposed by the Skype4Py package are the only ones that are to be instantiated directly. They in turn provide means of instantiating the remaining ones. They are also the only classes that provide event handlers (for more information about events and how to use them, see the EventHandlingBase class.

Every Skype4Py script instantiates at least the Skype4Py.Skype class which gives access to the Skype client running currently in the system. Follow the reference to see what you can do with it.

Warning! While reading this documentation, it is important to keep in mind that everything needed is in the top package level because the documentation refers to all objects in the places they actually live.

Quick example

This short example connects to Skype client and prints the user's full name and the names of all the contacts from the contacts list:


import Skype4Py

Create an instance of the Skype class.

skype = Skype4Py.Skype()

Connect the Skype object to the Skype client.


Obtain some information from the client and print it out.

print 'Your full name:', skype.CurrentUser.FullName print 'Your contacts:' for user in skype.Friends: print ' ', user.FullName

Sending Message

This short example shows how to send a message to a user. Credit goes to @amazpyel


import Skype4Py
import sys

skype = Skype4Py.Skype()
user = sys.argv[1]
message = ' '.join(sys.argv[2:])
skype.SendMessage(user, message)

Note on the naming convention

Skype4Py uses two different naming conventions. The first one applies to interfaces derived from Skype4COM <>_, a COM library which was an inspiration for Skype4Py. This convention uses the CapCase scheme for class names, properties, methods and their arguments. The constants use the mixedCase scheme.

The second naming convention is more "Pythonic" and is used by all other parts of the package including internal objects. It uses mostly the same CapCase scheme for class names (including exception names) with a small difference in abbreviations. Where the first convention would use a SkypeApiError name, the second one uses SkypeAPIError. Other names including properties, methods, arguments, variables and module names use lowercase letters with underscores.

Projects using Skype4Py

Below are projcts using Skype4Py library

  • Sevabot - A Skype bot supporting integration with external services written in Python <>_

  • Hubot-Skype - A Skype adapter for Hubot (CoffeeScript) <>_



If you get segfault on OSX make sure you are using 32-bit Python <>_.

Debugging segmentation faults with Python <>_.

Related gdb dump::

Program received signal EXC_BAD_ACCESS, Could not access memory.
Reason: KERN_INVALID_ADDRESS at address: 0x0000000001243b68
0x00007fff8c12d878 in CFRetain ()
(gdb) bt
#0  0x00007fff8c12d878 in CFRetain ()
#1  0x00000001007e07ec in ffi_call_unix64 ()
#2  0x00007fff5fbfbb50 in ?? ()
(gdb) c

Program received signal EXC_BAD_ACCESS, Could not access memory.
Reason: KERN_INVALID_ADDRESS at address: 0x0000000001243b68
0x00007fff8c12d878 in CFRetain ()

Skype4Py on for OSX 64-bit (all new OSX versions)

Currently Skype4Py must be installed and run using arch command to force compatibility with 32-bit Skype client application.

To install::

arch -i386 pip install Skype4Py

Also when you run your application using Skype4Py prefix the run command with::

arch -i386

Crashing on a startup on Ubuntu server

Segfault when starting up the bot::

  File "build/bdist.linux-i686/egg/Skype4Py/", line 250, in __init__
  File "build/bdist.linux-i686/egg/Skype4Py/api/", line 40, in SkypeAPI
  File "build/bdist.linux-i686/egg/Skype4Py/api/", line 254, in __in                                    it__
Skype4Py.errors.SkypeAPIError: Could not open XDisplay
Segmentation fault (core dumped)

This usually means that your DISPLAY environment variable is wrong.


export DISPLAY=:1


export DISPLAY=:0

depending on your configuration before running Sevabot.

New-style 'cloud' chats don't work - must use old-type 'p2p' chats

The default chats/groups created by current Skype versions can't be interacted with by Skype4Py. You'll get something like::

SkypeError: [Errno 105] Invalid chat name

You can check group type with /get name in the chat.

new cloud-type gives e.g.::

old p2p-type gives e.g.::


The workaround is to use /createmoderatedchat in any skype window to create a p2p-type chat which will work fine. More info at; thanks to @adampiskorski and @Reiner030 for the key info.

Problems connecting to Skype on Windows

MS might have removed support for Skype4Py on the windows version. Install an older, or use linux.

If you want to create a bot you can use: Skype bot preview developer program.

Running unit tests

Here is an example::

virtualenv-2.7 venv  # Create venv
source venv/bin/activate
python develop  # Install Skype4Py in development mode
cd unittests
python  # Execute tests

Making a release

Use zest.releaser <>_


virtualenv-2.7 venv  # Create venv
source venv/bin/activate
# Bump version in
python develop  # Install Skype4Py in development mode
pip install collective.checkdocs
python checkdocs # Check .rst syntax
easy_install zest.releaser

Trademark notification

Skype™, associated trademarks and logos and the “S” logo are trademarks of Skype. Skype4Py Python project is not affiliate of Skype or Microsoft corporation.

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