The 10 Best Instant Messaging Apps for Linux

It’s essential to stay in touch with family and friends, given the human need for socializing. Instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, and many others have changed the very essence of communication, and their ready availability makes them a must-have option.

Given the innovations in digital communications, the Linux community is blessed with instant messengers, each winning users across premium and open-source OSes.

Here are some of the best instant messaging apps to use on your Linux desktop.


Signal Desktop login screen on Ubuntu

Signal is an open-source, cross-platform application with top-notch end-to-end encryption facilities. The messenger provides users with multilingual support, standard VoIP features, call and contacts registry, among many other features.

Related: Is Signal the Ultimate Secure Messaging App?

You can set timers for auto-deletion of old messages. In addition to that, you can also create groups for chatting and file-sharing. Rest assured, as Signal has a fun list of stickers, alongside the standard emojis, to spruce up your chats.

Download: Signal


Telegram Desktop Linux

Telegram is a direct, instant messaging application for one-on-one and group communications across Linux and other desktops/mobile platforms. It’s a top-rated app that offers well-performing VoIP services alongside its text chat functionalities.

It features a minimalist but intuitive UI/UX. You can use Telegram for encrypted messaging and use its fun sticker packs to liven up your communications. Telegram helps users with its happening business communications on the go.

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One of its most dependable features is auto-deletion for inactive accounts that ensures your old unattended chats don’t fall into the wrong hands.

Download: Telegram


Franz desktop application

Franz is an open-source messaging app that you can use on your Linux desktop. It renders a highly secure messaging service with rich features.

Franz is not a standalone messaging app though. Instead, it brings together premium services like Slack, Messenger, Telegram, Skype, Zendesk, etc. in one place and provides a common platform to communicate to the users.

Franz allows you to use it for personal and business communication. Using automation, you can schedule and streamline your chats. With Franz, you can also set up multiple accounts and segregate them into different workspaces for diverse business agendas, team members, etc.


Download: Franz


Skype running on Linux

Skype is perhaps one of the oldest known apps on this list, which continues to be a supported instant messenger for Linux. It dispenses global VoIP support for your contacts. You can also use your internet/data services through its natively offered low-rate mobile/landline calls.

Related: How to Get a Skype Phone Number

With its P2P communication features, Skype helps you conduct conference calls and place secure, encrypted calls for personal and business purposes. Skype has always been the standard-bearer in quality VoIP calling with minimal data usage.

Download: Skype


Jami interface
 

Formerly known as GNU Ring/SFLPhone, Jami is a peer-to-peer softphone and SIP-based IM application. The application has evolved through a combination of developer and community-maintained efforts to rapidly become an open-source alternative to Skype.


Jami allows you to seamlessly communicate with your contacts across diverse desktop and mobile platforms. It renders end-to-end encryption and authentication features for your communications with its distributed hash table.

Jami has superb VoIP functionality, complete with screen-sharing, conferencing, and privacy-centric features. It offers multi-account support for diverse workspaces as well.

Download: Jami


discord running on linux

Discord runs equally well on Linux, Windows, and smartphones. It lives to enhance your cross-platform gaming and non-gaming-related communications on Linux.

Its social media-like, channel-based group messaging system allows you to interact with users not on your contact list, based on interest groups.

Discord’s most significant advantage is its integration capabilities; you can plug it with many applications to enrich its instant messaging services.

You can also run Discord as a browser-based client. Discord is the perfect messaging platform to engage with your contacts on Windows, macOS, Linux, and smartphones.

Download: Discord


Gajim on linux

Gajim is a GTK-based, open-source, Jabber/XMPP chat client you can use on Linux. It doubles as a multilingual, business productivity, and networking application, making it an instant hit with the masses.

The app offers a highly functional UI with its PyGTK GUI library foundations. This light and fast messenger has emoticons, URL grabbers, bookmarks, avatars, dictionary support, and even search engine lookup to enhance your experience.

It dispenses decentralized messaging over custom server configurations; you can log in via multiple accounts to use it as a segregated workspace communications hub. In one-on-one communications and group conversations, you can share files, pictures, and videos with this application.


Gajim secures your communications with OMEMO, OpenPGP, and PGP encryption certificates. You can augment your communications with Gajim’s extensive library of plugins.

Download: Gajim


Wire instant messenger

You can register on Wire with your number or email for an open-source, secure messaging space with system-wide encryption. Wire comes along with features like GIF messages and in-app picture drawing.

It’s available as a free and paid version, and continues to be executable as a web client while being a GDPR compliant application. Its sophisticated encryption stands out for supporting WebRTC, PFS, and Proteus protocols.

Wire offers you a security leg-up by locally storing your data when compared with its contemporaries. But there is a trade-off in its security with a still-missing 2FA security support.

Nonetheless, you can use Wire on Linux for its nifty voice memo and location sharing functions.

Download: Wire


Slack best instant messenger

Slack is a productivity and communications app that you can use on Linux. Its intuitive interface organizes your business tasks, simplifies contact management, and renders VoIP with extreme clarity.

It allows you to create an independent workspace to collaborate with your team members and create isolated channels to discuss different topics with exclusive members. You can integrate Slack with your email and business project management accounts to streamline operations further.

Slack allows you to automate your task management and communication strategies for responsive business management. You can easily share rich content over Slack with E2E encryption security to protect your communication hub.

Download: Slack


ICQ app on Linux

ICQ is a lightweight yet powerful chatting client for your Linux desktop. It’s a part of the OpenSSL toolkit and can serve you with history synchronization, voice message conversions for storage, live chatting, high-resolution video chats, and much more.

With ICQ, you can send a limited number of free SMSes to mobile users from the desktop application. ICQ’s dynamic and user-friendly contact book, greeting cards, contact synchronizations, and smart notification systems, make it one of the best multilingual, cross-platform text messaging apps for Linux.

Download: ICQ

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