How to install Discord on Debian

Discord is a voice and text chat app originally designed for gamers, but now used by tens of millions of people around the world to communicate with their friends and communities. It is one of the most popular chat apps with over 200 million registered users. Users can communicate with voice calls, video calls, text messaging, media, and files in private chats or as part of communities called “servers.” Discord is available on Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems.

Assuming you’re familiar with the basics of the Linux shell and how to send commands to it, we’ll move on to discussing how to run terminal commands as root user safely and securely using sudo.

In this article, we’ll show you how to install Discord on Debian. While demonstrated on the latest version – Debian 11 Bullseye, the guide is also applicable to older versions such as Debian 10 Buster, as well as many other Linux distros based on Debian such as Ubuntu, Zorin OS or Kali Linux.

Discord on Debian

Install Discord on Debian using snap

Snap is the new way of installing software on Linux systems, introduced by Canonical, who owns Ubuntu. With snaps, you can install all of an app’s dependencies with a single command, and updates are automatic and resilient. Plus, apps run in their own isolated sandbox, thus minimizing security risks.

Since Ubuntu is a Debian-based operating system, snap can also be installed and used in Debian.

First, you have to install snapd on your Debian 11 Bullseye using apt. The snapd is the primary daemon which manages all “snaps” on your system.

sudo apt install snapd

If you are installing snap for the first time, it is advised to install the core package to make sure that all the basic features of snap works fine. In order to do that, run the following command in any terminal window :

sudo snap install core

You will see something like this

core 16-2.51.4 from Canonicalinstalled
Code language: CSS (css)

Now that snap is properly set up, all you need to do to install Discord is running the command below :

sudo snap install discord

The output may look something like this :

discord 0.0.16 from Snapcrafters installed
Code language: CSS (css)

While having advantages on security and require less dependencies, snap packages are often complained to take up a huge amount of disk. The reason behind this is that every depencies of a program must be grouped up in the snap package, so for example, if you’re installing multiple programs that requires Python 3.x, you would have multiple Python 3.x binaries on your disk. This problem is not present in programs installed using apt or using the deb file, as they call the same dependencies on the system instead of managing them separately.

Install Discord on Debian using apt

Update all packages

Before installing any new package or software application, it is suggested that you refresh your system cache. To do this, run the below-mentioned command to update the apt packages list of the Debian repository.

sudo apt update

Install Discord

After updating all the packages, you can move on to installing the Discord.

Usually, installing a .deb package on Debian is straightforward; however, Discord requires just a bit more work, as one of its dependencies, libappindicator3-1 is not available in the latest Debian version – Debian 11 Bullseye repository. In older Debian versions, such as Buster and Sid, the aforementioned package is available. The change is by purpose, as Debian is using libayatana-appindicator as the successor of libappindicator in newer versions..

Now, we have two options. You can still manually download the Debian 10 (Buster) version of libappindicator3-1  and install them with apt. Go to Debian — Package Download Selection — libappindicator3-1_0.4.92-7_amd64.deb to download the DEB file of libappindicator3-1 .

The more secure option is to directly patch the DEB file so that in points to libayatana-appindicator3-1 instead of libappindicator3-1 . The section below will show you how to install Discord and its dependencies the this way.

Step 1 : Go to Discord official website and grab its installer for Ubuntu/Debian. You can go directly to this URL to start the download. Alternatively, you can open up a Terminal window and run the following command to download the installer and save it with the filename discord.deb.

wget -O discord.deb "https://discord.com/api/download?platform=linux&format=deb"
Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

Step 2 : Unpack the discord.deb installer we’ve just downloaded by running the following commands.

dpkg-deb -x slack-desktop-4.19.2-amd64.deb unpack dpkg-deb --control slack-desktop-4.19.2-amd64.deb unpack/DEBIAN

Step 3 : Open the file ./unpack/DEBIAN/control and replace libappindicator3-1 with libayatana-appindicator3-1. You can do that manually using a text editor, or use sed to quickly replace all instances by running the following commands.

sed -i 's/libappindicator3-1/libayatana-appindicator3-1/g' ./unpack/DEBIAN/control
Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

Step 4 : Repackage the modified directory into a new, patched DEB file by running the following command.

dpkg -b unpack discord_fixed.deb
Code language: CSS (css)

Once you see dpkg-deb: building package 'discord' in 'discord_fixed.deb, you can safely run sudo apt install ./discord_fixed.deb to begin the installing the patched DEB file we’ve just created.

We hope that the information above helped you successfully install the Discord on your Ubuntu system. We’ve also covered other software installation for Linux, such as How to install CMake, Airflow, Cura and ADB/fastboot on Ubuntu, in case you’re interested. If you have any suggestion, please feel free to leave a comment below.

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