How to Install Signal Private Messenger App in Ubuntu 20.04, 22.04 & Debian 11

Last updated: February 12, 2022 — Leave a comment

This simple tutorial shows how to install the desktop app of the Signal private messenger in Ubuntu and Debian in 2 official ways. It should also work on their based systems, e.g., Linux Mint, Elementary OS, Kali Linux, and more.

Method 1: Install Signal Desktop via Apt Repository:

The desktop app has an official apt repository that contains the software packages for 64-bit Ubuntu and Debian based systems.

1. Get the gpg key:

Firstly, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open a terminal window (or search for and open it from start menu). Then, run the command below to download the key:

wget -O- https://updates.signal.org/desktop/apt/keys.asc | gpg --dearmor > signal-desktop-keyring.gpg

Install wget downloader via sudo apt install wget if it’s not installed on your system.

Next, put the key into ‘/usr/share/keyrings’ directory via command:

cat signal-desktop-keyring.gpg | sudo tee -a /usr/share/keyrings/signal-desktop-keyring.gpg > /dev/null

2. Add Signal apt repository:

Now add the apt repository by creating new config file signal-xenial.list under ‘/etc/apt/sources.list.d’ directory. And, add source URL and specify arch and signed key.

All this can be done via the single command below:

echo 'deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/signal-desktop-keyring.gpg] https://updates.signal.org/desktop/apt xenial main' | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/signal-xenial.list

NOTE the package works on all Ubuntu/Debian releases, though it publishes packages through ‘xenial’ release.

3. Install Signal:

Finally, update package cache by running command in terminal:

sudo apt update

And then install the app package via command:

sudo apt install signal-desktop

After installation, search for and open the app from overview screen, and scan the QR code via your phone to login:

Method 2: Install Signal Desktop as Flatpak:

If you’re OK with the universal Flatpak package, things can be a bit easy. However, it takes more disk space due to run-time libraries!

Firstly, open terminal and run command to install the flatpak daemon:

sudo apt install flatpak

Next, install the messenger as Flatpak:

flatpak install https://dl.flathub.org/repo/appstream/org.signal.Signal.flatpakref

How to Remove Signal Desktop:

To remove the apt package, use command:

sudo apt remove --autoremove signal-desktop

For the apt repository as well as the GPG key, remove the associated config file via commands:

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/signal-xenial.list
/usr/share/keyrings/signal-desktop-keyring.gpg

To remove the Flatpak package, use this one instead:

flatpak uninstall --delete-data org.signal.Signal

And remove unused run-time libraries via flatpak uninstall --unused.

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I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu in 2007 and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please comment to remind me outdated tutorial! And, notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me via [email protected] Buy me a coffee: https://ko-fi.com/ubuntuhandbook1

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