Google has added support for voice and video chat in Linux operating systems to its Gmail webmail service.

Although both features have been around for some time for Windows platforms, Google has now made them available for Ubuntu and other Debian-based Linux distros.

The company also pointed out that RPM support would be on the way 'soon'.

Same punch

"Since sometimes reading "lol" doesn't deliver the same punch as actually hearing your friend laugh at your jokes, you can now use voice and video capabilities in your Gmail, iGoogle and orkut chat," says Google's information page.

"From within these services, you can have an actual conversation with someone (seriously, out loud), or even chat face to face over video."

You can download the plugin from http://www.google.com/chat/video.