Using Skype with two different accounts at the same time

Though it is not officially supported to run multiple instances of Skype there is a way to force the telephony software to allow the usage of two different accounts (e.g. private and work) simultaneously.

According to Skype’s error dialog, the main problem is—when running the Skype binary—it checks for already loaded instances, and when found one, it quits. In fact, the main reason is that it places a lock file under ~/.Skype, and if it is existing, obstructs the loading of another Skype. A solution to get rid of this is to create a folder e.g. .Skype2 under your home directory, and before calling Skype change the $HOME environment variable to point to it.

Windows users may follow the instructions described in the Multiple Skype Accounts on one computer? thread.

For the next step, create a script that handles the instances’ loading. So it goes in my Fedora box:

#!/bin/sh

if [ -n "`/sbin/pidof skype`" ]; then
    HOME="~/.Skype2/"
fi

/usr/bin/skype &

Save it and put it in your path. The only thing to do now is to update your Skype launcher’s target to the location of your freshly created script. Hack your way out of the system!