Free SIP on Leopard exists after all!

So it’s been a few weeks since Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) came out.  One of the major things that immediately hit a lot of people was that every known third-party SIP client stopped working.  I work from home.  I have an extension number at work that rings on a Polycom phone in my home office, thanks to the magic of VoIP.  This same VoIP technology (namely SIP) has allowed me (up until I upgraded to Leopard) to run a “soft phone” program on my laptop to allow me to connect to the same phone system when I was out of my office.  With the help of a set of headphones, a laptop actually makes a halfway-decent phone.

The two free (as in beer, not freedom) products previously available that I knew of were SJPhone and X-Lite.  Both of these broke on Leopard.  SJPhone hasn’t been updated in years, and the material on their website makes it look like the Mac version was an afterthought anyway, so I don’t hold high hopes for them ever updating it.  X-Lite is a pared down version of a commercial product called eyeBeam.  eyeBeam just got updated for Leopard this last week.  An X-Lite update is expected “by the end of the year”.  The obvious reason for the delay is to encourage people who are frustrated enough to throw money at it to upgrade to eyeBeam instead of waiting. 🙂

There *are* two free products that have been updated for Leopard which do SIP to a generic PBX of your choosing. Those are SightSpeed and Gizmo Project.  Unfortunately, both of these require you to register with their service, and sign in on their service, and your generic-PBX-of-your-choosing account is a secondary login (if you don’t log into their service, your generic one won’t connect either).

The world is in really dire need right now of a good open source solution for SIP on the Mac.   If any of the above programs were open source, I would bet we would have had patches posted somewhere within days (if not hours) to make them work on Leopard.

UPDATE: I was going to post this hoping to get some discussion going and/or someone to point out something that works that I missed.   But before I could post it, I found one!  XMeeting not only works on Leopard (it apparently didn’t break — there hasn’t been a release since July), but it also supports DTMF (touch tones) during the call, which is the one thing that’s been missing from all the other free stuff I’ve tried so far.  Touch tones during a call are pretty important for things like entering the password for a conference call.  XMeeting supports video, too (and so does Mozilla’s phone system).

34 Replies to “Free SIP on Leopard exists after all!”

  1. Ekiga should be also compilable on MacOSX as it supports a generic (ie without gnome) GTK build. Not sure how complete the GTK on 10.5 is. And the underlying OPAL/pwlib has support for OSX. I think its the same underlying libraries the XMeeting is based on.

  2. Xmeeting seems to lack a way of generating touch tones in the application. In the Gizmo Project, you have a keypad to generate tones. Within XMeeting, once I am in a system, there is no way to press ‘1’ that I can find (for example).

  3. XMeeting sure does have a dialpad, that’s one of the reasons I liked it. 🙂 Click on the little hammer icon in the call window, then it’s on the center tab in the window that opens.

  4. Fantastic! After having been through all the other options mentioned here on my own over the last couple of weeks, looks like you have provided me with the solution to my problem. Thanks!

  5. Yeah, it’s been working for me in 10.5.1, with one caveat: I have two accounts set up in it, one that connects to Mozilla, and one that connects to my phone system at home (I run asterisk at home as well). It *always* fails to connect to Mozilla when I first run the application. If I switch to my home account and then switch back to Mozilla, then it works fine. No clue why. Seems pretty strange.

  6. Lanny: wow, so it does! 🙂 SJPhone works on 10.5.1 for me also. And although XMeeting worked from home on 10.5.1, I couldn’t get it working from the hotel I’m in last night. But SJPhone works just fine in the hotel. (I resorted to running X-Lite on XP under Parallels last night)

  7. I downloaded SJPhone when Xlite stopped working and haven’t had any issues with it. (Yet another Leopard “upgrade” victim…) The UI for SJPhone isn’t great but is functional. I’d really like to see an “all-in-one” app that can do voice, video, app/desktop sharing, IM, etc. – Is there such a thing? Somebody pointed my to Microsoft Live Communication Server but I’d rather steer clear.

  8. Express Talk on 10.5 ? The preferences window is a complete mess with fields overlapping each other making it totally unusable. Didn’t you suffer from the same ?

  9. I tried using Express Talk, but the UI was so garbled that I could not enter information…

    X-Lite 2.0 works for me, but only once. If you make a call – it works fine until you hang up and then it dies a horrible death. The same thing happens with incoming calls (works fine until you hang up – then crashes).

    I use Gizmo from my cell phone all the time and love it! But it wont work with my VOIP provider so I keep some money loaded on it for cell phone VOIP calls.

  10. Someone posted a comment here pointing out Zoiper, however, they did so by linking not to Zoiper itself, but to a blog which appeared to have been set up for the sole purpose of linking to Zoiper (and didn’t mention Zoiper in their comment, only to “see my blog to find out”). Since it was obviously an SEO scam I didn’t bother approving the comment.

    I had tried Zoiper back when I was first searching, and couldn’t even get it to register with Asterisk. To give him the benefit of the doubt I just tried it again with the new version, and it still won’t even register with Asterisk. The symptoms are the same as the broken X-Lite. It just times out when you try.

  11. My Express Talk works.
    In Preferences press the tab to the left of Q to get to Name and server and sip number and password. Press OK. Then it works for me (and you?)
    Zoiper201 also works for me in Leopard.

  12. Xmeeting works great on my mom’s new(er) 10.4.x machine. Xmeeting does not work at all on our recently-updated-to-10.5.1 machine (from 10.3.9, on which it didn’t work either). Anyone who has Xmeeting working on 10.5.1 – clues for the rest of us? I can’t find a fix anywhere.

  13. I got SJphone and Xmeeting to both work with the Asterix server at my job but ONLY if I use VPN to tunnel into the work network. Otherwise, I get the same error messages that other applications get.

  14. Hey hello!

    I got SIP working with an older version of X-Lite, version 2.0!

    I tried XMeeting, Openwengo and Express Talk softphone.
    Those didn’t work at all on my Mac OS X 10.5.1 MDD G4 system.

    Anyway, X-Lite 2.0 works with no problem at all over here.

    When ya want a copie of that version, mail me!


  15. The reason why I really need SIP working:

    I need SIP software so I can use my Voipbuster account to make very cheap telephone calls with my computer.

  16. Probably depends on what server you’re using it with. I tried Zoiper a while back with our Asterisk server at work and couldn’t get it to work. X-Lite on the other hand (before Leopard, and the new version that just came out) works fine. XMeeting still seems to work fine for me, too, though I know others that have had problems with it.

  17. Same here.. For the past 2 years (not sure how many new versions are out in this time), every time i try it, it crashes when i launch it… Useless.

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