Developed by Eion Robb, the Skype4Pidgin developer, SkypeWeb Plugin for Pidgin has a major advantage over the old Skype4Pidgin plugin: it doesn't require Skype to run in the background.
According to its GitHub page, the plugin supports Live email address logins (as well as regular logins), group chat, file transfers, and allows setting "mood" messages. Unfortunately I couldn't find a complete list of features.
Voice and video calls support might be added later on, after the developer finishes implementing this in another plugin he's working on, Purple Hangouts (which allows using Google Hangouts in Pidgin, with extra features compared to the XMPP interface).
Install SkypeWeb Plugin for Pidgin
To make it easier to install, I uploaded the latest SkypeWeb Plugin for Pidgin (Git) to the main WebUpd8 PPA. Add the PPA and install the plugin in Ubuntu 16.04, 15.10 or 14.04 / Linux Mint 18 or 17.x by using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8 sudo apt update sudo apt install pidgin-skypeweb purple-skypeweb
For other Linux distributions and Windows, see the instructions on the SkypeWeb Plugin for Pidgin GitHub page (binaries available for Windows and packages for Fedora, CentOS/RHEL, Arch Linux along with instructions for building it from source).
Once installed, to add your Skype account in Pidgin select Accounts > Manage Accounts from the menu, click "Add", and from the Protocol drop-down, select "Skype (HTTP)":
Then simply enter your Skype username and password.
Report any bugs you may find @ GitHub.
More Pidgin plugins in the main WebUpd8 PPA:
- Use Google Hangouts With Extra Features In Pidgin With Purple Hangouts Plugin (Ubuntu PPA)
- Add Telegram Support To Pidgin With Telegram Purple