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Farsight is an audio/video conferencing framework that will allow you to have an Audio and/or Video with aMSN. This page will explain to you how to get aMSN working with Farsight, allowing you to make an Audio and/or Video Call.



Follow the SVN instructions to get the latest SVN version of aMSN. It should just work.


Universal binaries for Farsight should be available in aMSN 0.98... Just grab aMSN 0.98 from here and Audio/Video conferencing should work.


In order to make an Audio Call in aMSN, you will need to have the following dependencies installed on your system :

1 - glib 2.16 or newer

2 - gstreamer 0.10.23 or newer

3 - gst-plugins-base 0.10.23 or newer

4 - gst-plugins-good 0.10.15 or newer

5 - gst-plugins-bad 0.10.13 or newer

6 - gst-plugins-ffmpeg 0.10.8 or newer

7 - libnice - 0.0.9 or newer

8 - farsight2 - 0.0.13 or newer

Libnice and farsight2 can be obtained from : http://nice.freedesktop.org/releases/ and http://farsight.freedesktop.org/releases/farsight2/

Once you install (compile) all of these dependencies in the right order, you will need to get the latest SVN version of aMSN (revision 11123 or newer) and compile it :


This should tell you if the dependencies were correctly installed. If it is, then type :


You are now ready to make an Audio or Video Call.

If you want to test your installation, launch the audio/video assistant in aMSN which will verify that farsight is correctly loading.

Step-by-step compilation guide

This Step-bystep guide should help debian/ubuntu users get farsight2 compiled on their system. Note that you will need either debian unstable or ubuntu intrepid. If you have another distribution, use this guide as a hint to knowing what to do.

Please note before installing that you will need need to be checkout a copy of the SVN (http://amsn-project.net/wiki/SVN) version[/url] of aMSN. (Follow all the instructions until you configure/build/install aMSN from that page).

Then, the easy part...

Do a simple 'sudo apt-get update' to update your package list, then do this :

 sudo apt-get update 
 sudo apt-get install build-essential libgstreamer0.10-0 gstreamer0.10-plugins-base gstreamer0.10-plugins-good gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer0.10-plugins-farsight gstreamer0.10-tools gstreamer0.10-alsa

This should install gstreamer 0.10.20, gst-plugins-base 0.10.20, gst-plugins-good 0.10.8, gst-plugins-bad 0.10.7 and gst-plugins-farsight 0.12.9

Now you need to install libnice and farsight2, so first, you will need to install their dependencies :

 sudo apt-get build-dep gstreamer0.10-plugins-farsight 

This should install the dependencies for gst-plugins-farsight which are the same as the ones needed for libnice and farsight2.

You should now dowload the latest releases of libnice and farsight2 from here :


Extract both archives then go to the libnice directory and do :

 ./configure --prefix=/usr --disable-gtk-doc
 sudo make install 

Then go to the farsight2 directory..

 ./configure --prefix=/usr --disable-python --disable-gtk-doc 
 sudo make install 

Make sure you specify the --prefix=/usr in the ./configure options.

Finally.. the most important step otherwise it won't work... you have to do :

 sudo ldconfig 

Once you do that, in theory, everything should be great!

Now, you go over to amsn.. and do :

 svn update 
  make clean 
 make install

During the configure step, it should report to you that it found FARSIGHT2. If it doesn't, then you did something wrong... retry!

Now launch amsn, then go to the audio/video assistant (menu account->preferences->others->audio/video assistant) and in the last step it should check for farsight2.

In theory, it should all be working correctly at this point!!!!

If it doesn't.. follow these steps carefully!

  • read this guide
  • read this guide again
  • make sure you installed the CORRECT VERSIONS!!!! for example... if you installed gst-plugins-farsight 0.12.8 instead of 0.12.9, IT WILL CRASH...
  • Make sure you didn't forget anything... (--prefix=/usr or ldconfig..)
  • in the audio/video assistant, click on 'details' to see why farsight couldn't get loaded.
  • the error should tell you what's wrong, if it's something like "can't find shared library : libgstfarsight.so" it means you either didn't install farsight2 or you forgot 'ldconfig'
  • if it says "couldn't create fsrtpconference", then you might have forgotten the --prefix=/usr, if it says "can't find nicesrc element", then it means you didn't install libnice correctly (or forgot --prefix=/usr for it), other kind of errors might be because you forgot to install gst-plugins-bad or gst-plugins-farsight, etc...
  • If it's none of that, try to guess, maybe the error would be descriptive enough for you to guess what caused it
  • If you still can't find it, search the amsn forums to see if someone else already had that problem and I answered him.
  • if you REALLY don't get it.. post in the correct forum thread the output of of the 'details' and the output on the terminal (xterm terminal).. and tell me exactly what you did to get that error message...

That's it... hopefully, other distributions will follow in debian's footsteps in order to provide packages from the latest versions of gstreamer, etc...

In theory, when aMSN 0.98 will be released, this whole thing should become as simple as :

 sudo apt-get install farsight2-dev


Q : I get compilation issue when trying to build one of the dependencies, why?

A : Make sure you have glib2 version 2.14 at least with the associated -dev package

Q : When I try ./utils/farsight/farsight ... ?

A : Make sure you have the latest SVN version, there should be NO executable at ./utils/farsight/farsight anymore!!

Q : it's not working.. why ?

A : Make sure you have installed ALL THE DEPENDENCIES.. and that they are all WITH THE CORRECT VERSION NUMBER OR NEWER!

Q : aMSN crashed when trying to do an audio call, what can I do to help fix this ?

A : try posting in the forums the last output from aMSN when launched it from the command line (X terminal)

Q : I have some problems compiling/installing all of this.. where can I get help ?

A : Make sure you follow the step by step guide to the letter! if you still have problems, report it here : http://www.amsn-project.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4799

Q : I hear no sound and my contact doesn't hear me either, how can I configure my sound options ?

A : The configuration of the sound card for input and output will be added to aMSN UI soon, you will need to be patient in case you don't have one audio device and use alsa. You could however try running the command 'gstreamer-properties' from a Terminal and if that works, then configure your audio devices from there, and it should then work properly. If that command doesn't exist for you, or you are using mac or windows, then just be patient.

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