Now your more tech savvy friends (or non conformists) have an official Gmail video chat plugin for their Linux machines. Then again; if they were in the more tech savvy category they likely long ago found a work around or have been using a different service.
"If you’ve been wanting to use voice and video chat on Linux (our top video chat request), then we have good news for you: it’s now available! Visit gmail.com/videochat to download the plugin and get started. Voice and video chat for Linux supports Ubuntu and other Debian-based Linux distributions, and RPM support will be coming soon."