VoIP

12 Best Free Linux Voice Over IP (VoIP) Software

Voice over IP (VoIP) software enables telephone-like voice conversations across IP based networks. A VoIP phone service is often cheaper than a traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) phone service and removes geographic restrictions to telephone numbers.

SIP is the most popular VoIP protocol. This protocol enables two or more people to make phone calls to each other using the Internet to carry the call. SIP to SIP calls on a broadband internet connection are high quality, always free regardless of distance, and offer additional functionality such as free voicemail to email and phone numbers, caller ID, 3-way conference, speed dialing, call forwarding, simultaneous ring, call waiting, call return, caller ID block, and anonymous call rejection.

Softphones are user based clients for making and receiving voice and video communication over the IP network, usually permitting integration with USB and IP Phones instead of a computer’s microphone and speakers (or headset). This article selects the best softphones available for Linux.

For enterprise or business markets, VoIP enables the enterprise to manage a single network (the IP network) instead of separate voice and data networks, while enabling advanced and flexible capabilities to the end user. With the credit crunch still to take full effect, it’s even more important for small businesses to minimize their costs. One way to reduce expenditure is to switch from a normal telephone contract to using VoIP. Calls made using VoIP work and sound like normal telephone calls, but cost significantly less. Public Branch Exchange (PBX) is a private telephone exchange which routes calls internally and provides call queuing, hunt groups, conference calling, voicemail and more. The PBX enables many phones to use a single VoIP connection.

Ratings chart for best free and open source VoIP software

We have excluded Skype, Discord, and TeamSpeak from our recommendations. While these applications are all available for no-charge, they are not released under a freely distributable license. They are therefore not ‘free’ software.

Let’s explore the 12 VoIP software at hand. For each application we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, screenshots (where relevant), together with links to relevant resources. Start making free calls today.

VoIP Software
JitsiInnovative open source voice and video conferencing
MumbleVoice chat application for groups
JamiSIP-compatible softphone and SIP-based instant messenger
GNU GatekeeperFeature-rich project that implements an H.323 gatekeeper.
LinphoneVoice over IP softphone, SIP client and service
FreeSWITCHTelephony platform for voice and chat driven products
AsteriskComplete PBX system
WireEncrypted instant messaging client
KamailioBuild large platforms for VoIP and realtime communications
EkigaVoIP and video conferencing application for GNOME
qToxChat, voice, video, and file transfer IM client
EmpathyInstant messaging and voice over IP client
Best Free and Open Source SoftwareRead our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.

There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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Daniel
Daniel
6 years ago

… and you forgot for the most secure one? Signal.
https://www.signal.org/

Sven Carlsen
Sven Carlsen
6 years ago
Reply to  Daniel

Signal is a great instant messaging chat, and while it has voice and video calling functionality, that’s not where its strengths lie. For a great VoIP client, try Blink.

Brent C
Brent C
6 years ago
Reply to  Daniel

Actually, Signal is the gold winner of the Instant Messaging Software https://www.linuxlinks.com/linux-means-business-instant-messaging-best-free-software/.

The key is that Signal is excellent at instant messaging, but it’s not a great soft phone. I don’t actually think the author forgot Signal as you contend.

Phil Scrotty
Phil Scrotty
11 months ago
Reply to  Daniel

The Signal website states

“To use the Signal desktop app, Signal must first be installed on your phone.”

So not much use unless you have a portable personal electronic tracking device otherwise known as a cellphone.

Also Signal is written mainly in Typescript. TypeScript is a free and open-source high-level programming language developed by Microsoft.

Yet another Microsoft language trojan. No thank you,.

William P
William P
5 years ago

Is it just me but I really loathe Electron based software.

MattyF
MattyF
5 years ago
Reply to  William P

Mate, there are some really great Electron apps out there. A few of my favorites are Atom, Discord, and Light Table.

Andriy Makukha
Andriy Makukha
5 years ago
Reply to  William P

True. Some of the Electron software is just pathetic. For example, Ubuntu client for OnSIP. Not only it is huge (almost 600 MB), but also works with significant lag! It is a good example of the Wirth’s law: ” software is getting slower more rapidly than hardware becomes faster”.

MichelK
MichelK
5 years ago

I do think ring deserves a look

MattyF
MattyF
5 years ago
Reply to  MichelK

Ring isn’t bad but it’s better at instant messaging than as a soft phone.

Carl
Carl
5 years ago

I had been using Yate, which could place outgoing phone-calls through the server at gmail.com.
It quite working, though, Can any of these clients connect through the gmail or skype servers to the telephone network?

Vinny
Vinny
5 years ago
Reply to  Carl

I’m pretty sure Skype can connect to Skype servers.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
5 years ago

I use Google Voice from inside GMail on my Ubuntu 18 laptop and it still works just fine as long as I am logged in from Chromium. Free to US and Canada

vance
vance
4 years ago

I have a Samsung Note 4 I would like to put a Linux smartphone distro on. I would like to use it for phone calls over internet. Recs RE best OS for this and best “phone” app to dial phone calls to regular phones? Many thanks in advance.