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Lync Clients and Options for Linux

I get this question now and again, We have some Linux users, how do they use Lync?

There isn’t really a great answer, there is no native Microsoft Lync client for Linux, but there are a few options.

Linux users can still have an IP Phone for Audio

Lync supports various IP Phones which a Lync user can use alongside their PC for Audio, but that only covers audio.

 

Run Lync in a windows VM

Many people choose to run Lync in a Windows VM on Linux.

 

Lync on Mobile/Tablet

While not ideal for full time use, Lync can be used on a Mobile or Tablet

 

2nd Small PC/Tablet for Lync

With Small PCs/Screens/Full Windows Tablets being so cheap, you could run a dedicated unit for Lync alongside your Linux workstation. Some of the small PC’s/Tablets can come in at a similar price to an IP Phone.

 

Skype Consumer for Linux and Federation

There is a Skype Consumer (not Skype for Business compatible) client for Linux

image

You could use this and Federation between Lync and Skype, but you will find some compliance and functionality limitations

 

Third party Lync Linux Clients

While not supported by Microsoft, there are a few third party Lync clients for Linux. These are not certified so I would test them extensively before any use and expect some limitations

Damaka:

http://damaka.com/damaka/news/03012013.1.html?KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=500&width=600

Fisil:

http://fisil.com/linuxlync.html

Pidign:

https://espace.cern.ch/mmmservices-help/InstantMessaging/Pages/UseLyncOnLinux.aspx

http://www.vmwareandme.com/2013/10/microsoft-lync-client-for-linux.html

 

Future, Plugin-less Web Client?

Today we have all the function lf Lync in a browser for meeting join, but it does require a plugin. Hopefully with a WebRTC/ORTC Future we’ll have solid options for a plugin-less browser experience supported on a Linux browser.

 

Using Lync with Linux? I’m interested in your feedback.

About the author

Tom Arbuthnot

A Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Master, Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Microsoft Collaboration specialists Modality Systems.

Tom stays up to date with industry developments and shares news and his opinions on his blog, Microsoft Teams Podcast and email list. He is a regular speaker at events around the world.

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Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 Collaboration news and opinions