WhatsApp is an amazing messaging application that is used by over a billion people all over the world. It provides a very secure and reliable way to make voice and video calls, both locally and internationally, with a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection.
WhatsApp is available for multiple devices, like computers, tablets, and phones. You can use WhatsApp on your computer, but only if it’s a Windows or MacOS platform, at least officially.
In this article, we will show you how to install and use WhatsApp on Ubuntu. The guide is applicable to older versions of Ubuntu and many as well as Linux distros based on Ubuntu, such as Linux Mint or Pop! OS.
WhatsApp first released their Web interface way back in 2015. Using any web browser of your choice, you can access WhatsApp on your computer without actually installing the app. The web version is limited to a few basic feature set, but enough for regular messaging/calling.
In order to use WhatsApp Web, head over to https://web.whatsapp.com/. Next, scan the displayed QR code with your phone to log-in and you would be able to access your messages.
WhatsApp Web is a great way to stay connected with friends and family from a computer, but some users would prefer a dedicated desktop client that offers more handy features such as notifications and minimized to tray.
WhatsApp for Linux
WhatsApp for Linux (whatsapp-for-linux) is an unofficial WhatsApp desktop application written in C++. It’s basically a wrapper for WhatsApp Web rendered using
webkit2gtk library, but with added features such as native system notifications.
WhatsApp for Linux features
- Features come with WhatsApp Web except audio and image capture.
- Fullscreen mode, zoomable interface, system tray icon.
- Autostart on boot.
- Show/Hide headerbar by pressing Alt+H.
- Spell check in system language. You might need to install the corresponding dictionary to get this working i.e.
aspell-enpackage for English.
- Open chat using phone number.
Install WhatsApp for Linux
We will be using snap to install WhatsApp for Linux. If your Ubuntu version is higher than 16.04,
snap is already installed and ready. But in case you’re running legacy Ubuntu versions, as well as Ubuntu flavours that don’t include snap by default, snap can be installed by following instructions at Snapcraft page.
Once you have Snap installed, run the following command to install WhatsApp for Linux :
sudo snap install whatsapp-for-linux
WhatSie – Qt-based WhatsApp client
WhatSie is a lightweight, feature rich WhatsApp web client for Linux. What makes it different is it’s written in Qt and not Electron like the others. If you hate to see Electron apps popping up everywhere, this application may be your choice.
- Dark theme included, automatic theme switching which depends on system time.
- Customizable, native Ubuntu notifications
- Support for custom keyboard shortcuts
- Built-in download manager
- Mute Audio, Disable Notifications
- Built in Spell Checker (with support for 31 major languages)
Suppose that you have snap installed, run the following command to install WhatSie :
sudo snap install whatsie
Franz – all-in-one messaging application
Franz is an all-in-one messaging app which brings mutliple platform such as WhatsApp, Slack, WeChat, Messenger, Telegram, Google Hangouts, Skype, Zendesk, etc. into a single interface. You can find the full list of services that Franz supports in Franz services page .
- Supports 70+ messaging and social platform.
- Native desktop notification.
- Built-in dark mode
- Users can create workspaces which are sets of services for private, or business related communication.
- Granular control over how you want to get notified for each service.
- Multiple languages support.
- Cloud Sync function which allows synchronized messages and accounts between devices.
- Third party plugin support.
- Works on Windows, Mac and Linux.
- Built in spell checker.
- Service Proxies which allows for individual service protection against man-in-the-middle attack.
In order to install Franz on Ubuntu, first you need to install several dependencies using the following command:
sudo apt install libx11-dev libxext-dev libxss-dev libxkbfile-dev -y
Code language: CSS (css)
sudo dpkg -i franz_5.8.0_amd64.deb
As an alternative, you can download Franz-5.8.0.AppImage, give the file permission to execute and run it directly without executing any command.
WALC – Electron-based WhatsApp client for Linux
WALC is available for install through Snap Store. In order to install WALC, run the following command :
sudo snap install walc
Alternatively, you can download WALC AppImage and run it directly without executing any command.
We hope that the information above helped you successfully install WhatsApp client on your Ubuntu system. You may be interested in our other Linux software roundups, including 8 Best Open Source CMDB software, Best Linux Video Converters or Best Python Graphics Libraries. If you have any suggestion, please feel free to leave a comment below.