WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging applications which is available on mostly all Operating Systems because it offers a web interface and can run directly in the web browser. However, the web version requires you to launch a web browser and although you can set up a Web App if your browser supports it, there is no ‘native’ client available on any platform other than Android or iOS.
In this tutorial, we will take a look at an unofficial WhatsApp client which you can install on your Linux Desktop, which uses WebKit of the Safari browser in the background and is written in C++ language.
Features of WhatsApp Desktop Client on Linux
This application has the following advantages over any ‘web’ log in:
- Supports Zoom In/Out at any Interface.
- A system tray icon for notifications.
- You can enable autostart so that you won’t have to start this application manually after every boot.
- A full-screen mode in case you want a distraction-free experience.
- A spell-check is also available if you install a dictionary in your native language.
- If you remember the phone number or if you want to chat with a person whose number is not saved in your contacts, then you can also initiate a new chat with their phone number.
- You can also show or hide the header bar by pressing Alt+H on your keyboard.
Installing WhatsApp Desktop on Linux
WhatsApp can be installed on different operating systems using Flathub, Snap store, or AUR.
- For the Fedora workstation, install the Flatpak version.
- For Arch Linux, Manjaro, or Endeavor OS, install the AUR version.
- For Ubuntu or similar systems, install the Snap version.
Choose the method you prefer and type the corresponding command.
# If you have flatpak and Flathub enabled on your system: flatpak install flathub com.github.eneshecan.WhatsAppForLinux
You can install it from the Snap store by typing the following commands:
sudo snap install whatsapp-for-linux
From the AUR, you can install it using your favorite AUR helper, such as Yay or Paru:
# Yay users can type the following command: yay -S whatsapp-for-linux # Paru users can type: paru -S whatsapp-for-linux
WhatsApp is owned by Meta and although it claims to be end-to-end encrypted, the application or its back-end is not open source and hence there is no way to verify the claim of encryption. It is recommended that you use an open-source application such as Signal to communicate with your loved ones because it is completely open-source, and it can be verified that no one snoops on your conversation. If you still want to use the application, perhaps this WhatsApp Linux native client can improve your experience.