Google Adds Phone Calls to Linux Gmail Use

Five days after the announcement of Voice and Video Chat service in Gmail for Debian-based Linux distributions, Google unveiled a Gmail phone call service for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Rather than having both parties tied to their computers and logged into their Gmail accounts, one user can now call anyone in the US and Canada with telephone service. Google states that rates will remain free for the rest of the year and very low for international calls.

Google continues by saying that dialing from Gmail is just like using your phone. Just click "Call phone" in your chat list and dial the number on the number pad that appears. One could even use a contact name if there is a phone number associated with it. The browser plug-in has been tested extensively internally by Google and found to be quite useful. While Google Voice isn't required, it will provide certain benefits such as Caller ID and the ability to receive phone calls from inside Gmail.

Interested Debian derivative users can find and install the plug-in from


Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of


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us and them

akaSassinak's picture

U.S. only.

Privacy concern

blobfish's picture

Did you notice in the fine print that Google retains the rights to all the phone numbers you use?

great stuff

apexwm's picture

Just another example that Google is committed to providing cross platform solutions (in their best interest). It's good to see companies like this releasing useful software. Unlike Microsoft which is so closed door.


Anonymous's picture

Great article. Great news from Google too.

RPM - Fedora\RHEL

Thomas Berisford - Tampa's picture

Shoot it! What Repo are going to put it on?

What about RPM-based distros?

Ben C's picture

I don't think it would have been that hard for Google to package an RPM. In fact, later today I'll be building both Debs and RPMs of the same package!

You could just convert the

Cycron's picture

You could just convert the package to rpm with alien.

New RPMs up this morning

David Lane's picture

Looks like Google heard the complaints...RPMs are available...

And no joy...installed them and it is still prompting for the plug-in...

David Lane, KG4GIY is a member of Linux Journal's Editorial Advisory Panel and the Control Op for Linux Journal's Virtual Ham Shack

Works on Slackware too

Sam Albuquerque's picture

I repackaged the deb package for slackware using a Slackbuild script that I tailored and it has been working fine here as well. It's just that Google guys are a bit lazy to package for anything other than Debian.