The 10 Best Instant Messaging Apps for Linux


Keeping in touch with family and friends is essential given the human need for socialization. Instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram and many more have changed the very essence of communication, and their immediate availability makes them a go-to option.

Given the innovations in digital communications, the Linux community is blessed with instant messengers, each gaining users on premium and open-source operating systems.

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 offers users multilingual support, standard VoIP features, call and contact log, among many other features.

Related: Is Signal the ultimate secure messaging app?

You can set timers for automatic deletion of old messages. Besides that, you can also create groups to chat and share files. Rest assured, because Signal has a fun list of stickers, alongside the standard emojis, to spruce up your chats.

To download: Signals

Linux Desktop Telegram

Telegram is a direct and instant messaging application for one-to-one and group communication on Linux and other desktop/mobile platforms. It is a top notch application that offers good VoIP services in addition to its text chat features.

It features a minimalist yet 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 business communications along the way.


One of its most reliable features is the automatic deletion of inactive accounts which ensures that your old unattended chats do not fall into the wrong hands.

To download: Telegram

Franz Desktop App

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

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

Franz lets you use it for personal and professional communication. With automation, you can schedule and streamline your discussions. With Franz, you can also set up multiple accounts and separate them into different workspaces for various work schedules, team members, and more.

To 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 provides global VoIP support for your contacts. You can also use your internet/data services via its native low-speed mobile/landline calls.

Related: How to get a Skype phone number

Thanks to its P2P communication features, Skype helps you organize conference calls and make secure and encrypted calls for personal and professional purposes. Skype has always been the standard bearer for quality VoIP calls with minimal data usage.

To download:Skype

Jami interface

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

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

Jami has superb VoIP functionality, with screen sharing, conferencing and privacy features. It also offers multi-account support for various workspaces.

To download: Jimi

discord running on linux

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

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

The most important advantage of Discord is its integration capabilities; you can connect 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 for chatting with your contacts on Windows, macOS, Linux, and smartphones.

To download: Discord

Gajim under linux

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

The application offers a highly functional user interface with its foundations of PyGTK GUI library. This lightweight and fast messenger has emoticons, URL grabbers, bookmarks, avatars, dictionary support and even search engine search to enhance your experience.

It distributes decentralized messaging over custom server configurations; you can log in through multiple accounts to use it as a separate workspace communication hub. In individual communications 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 augment your communications with Gajim’s vast library of plugins.

To download: Gajim

Wired Instant Messaging

You can sign up for 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 image drawing.

It is available in both free and paid versions, and continues to be executable as a web client while being a GDPR compliant application. Its sophisticated encryption stands out with support for WebRTC, PFS and Proteus protocols.

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

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

To download: Thread

Slack best instant messenger

Slack is a productivity and communication 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 business email and project management accounts to further streamline operations.

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

To download: soft

ICQ app on Linux

ICQ is a lightweight yet powerful chat client for your Linux desktop. It is part of the OpenSSL toolkit and can serve you with history synchronization, voicemail to storage conversions, live chat, high resolution video chats, and much more.

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

To download: ICQ

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