The 10 Best Instant Messaging Apps for Linux

It is essential to keep 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 essence of communication, and their easy availability makes them an indispensable option.

Given the innovations in digital communication, the Linux community is blessed with instant messengers, each of which wins users over to premium and open source operating systems.

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

Signal is an open-source, cross-platform application with top-notch end-to-end encryption facilities. The messenger provides users with multilingual support, basic VoIP functions, call and contact register and many other features.

Related: Is Signal the Ultimate Secure Messaging App?

You can set timers to automatically delete old messages. In addition, you can also create groups to chat and share files. Rest assured, Signal has a nice list of stickers, in addition to the standard emojis, to spice up your chats.

To download: Signal

Telegram is a direct, instant messaging application for one-to-one and group communications across Linux and other desktop/mobile platforms. It is a top-rated app that offers high-performing VoIP services in addition to its text chat functionality.

It features a minimalistic yet intuitive UI/UX. You can use Telegram for encrypted messages and use the fun sticker packs to spice up your communication. Telegram helps users on the go with business communications.

One of the most reliable features is the automatic deletion of inactive accounts which ensures that your old unattended chats don’t fall into the wrong hands.

To download: Telegram

Franz is an open-source messaging app that you can use on your Linux desktop. It makes a very secure messaging service with extensive features.

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

With Franz you can use it for personal and business communication. Automation helps you plan and streamline your chats. Franz also allows you to set up multiple accounts and separate them into different workspaces for various business calendars, team members, etc.

To download: Franz

Skype is arguably one of the oldest known apps on this list, which is still a supported instant messenger for Linux. It provides worldwide VoIP support for your contacts. You can also use your internet/data services via the low cost mobile/landline calls offered natively.

Related: How to Get a Skype Phone Number

With its P2P communication features, Skype helps you conduct conference calls and secure, encrypted conversations for personal and business purposes. Skype has always set the standard for high quality VoIP calls with minimal data usage.

To download: skype

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 efforts to quickly become an open-source alternative to Skype.

With Jami, you can seamlessly interact with your contacts across a variety of desktop and mobile platforms. It enables end-to-end encryption and authentication functions for your communications with its distributed hash table.

Jami has excellent VoIP functionality, complete with screen sharing, conferencing and privacy features. It also supports multiple accounts for various workspaces.

To download: jami

Discord works equally well on Linux, Windows, and smartphones. It lives to improve your cross-platform gaming and non-gaming related communication on Linux.

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

The main advantage of Discord is its integration capabilities; you can connect it to 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 get in touch with your contacts on Windows, macOS, Linux, and smartphones.

To download: disagreement

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

The app provides a highly functional user interface 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 distributes decentralized messages across custom server configurations; you can login through multiple accounts to use it as a separate communication hub for the workspace. In one-to-one communication and group conversations, you can share files, images and videos with this application.

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

To download: Gajim

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

It is available as a free and paid version and remains executable as a web client while being an AVG compliant application. The advanced encryption is distinguished by the support of WebRTC, PFS and Proteus protocols.

Wire gives you a security edge by storing your data locally compared to its contemporaries. But there is a tradeoff in security with 2FA security support still missing.

Nevertheless, you can use Wire on Linux for its useful voice memos and location sharing features.

To download: Wire

Slack is a productivity and communication app that you can use on Linux. The intuitive interface organizes your business tasks, simplifies contact management and displays VoIP extremely clearly.

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

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

To download: flaccid

ICQ is a lightweight yet powerful chat client for your Linux desktop. It is part of the OpenSSL toolkit and can help you with history synchronization, voice message conversion for storage, live chat, high-resolution video chat and much more.

ICQ allows you to send a limited number of free text messages to mobile users from the desktop application. ICQ’s dynamic and easy-to-use contact book, greeting cards, contact syncs and smart notification systems make it one of the best multilingual, cross-platform SMS apps for Linux.

To download: ICQ

Stay connected with friends and family on Linux

Linux is home to some of the best desktop apps for texting. Stay in touch with your loved ones by using the best apps single-handedly from your Linux desktop.

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