How to Install and Use WhatsApp on a Linux Desktop
WhatsApp is a messaging app that is available for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS. Due to the lack of an official WhatsApp client for Linux, users have been left wondering if they can use WhatsApp on a Linux desktop.
Yes, the simple answer is yes. Although you can run WhatsApp on an Android emulator, there must be a better approach that does not need emulation. As a result, in this post, we will go through how to utilize WhatsApp on Linux.
1. Using the Web Version of WhatsApp
If you don’t need a separate software to use WhatsApp on Linux, WhatsApp Web, an official web client that runs within a browser, would suffice. Go to web.whatsapp.com to get started.
Launch WhatsApp on your smartphone and hit the three-dot symbol in the top-right corner. Scan the QR code shown on the Linux desktop and choose Linked Devices > Link a Device.
WhatsApp will load your messages instantly and display them in a simplified interface, with contacts on the left and a chat window on the right.
While you won’t be able to make calls or join video conferences, WhatsApp Web is still useful if you want quick access to your messages on a Linux desktop.
Please keep in mind that this is the only official method to use WhatsApp on Linux. Other approaches discussed in the next sections make use of third-party clients created by Linux app developers.
2. Using Third-Party WhatsApp Clients
Several unauthorized WhatsApp applications have been produced throughout the years thanks to the open-source software community. It’s worth noting that, like WhatsApp Online, you won’t be able to make calls using these desktop applications since they just serve as a wrapper for WhatsApp’s web version.
WhatsDesk is, unsurprisingly, an unofficial WhatsApp desktop client. All major Linux distributions, including Debian, Ubuntu, Arch Linux, and Fedora, are supported by the app.
To begin, install WhatsDesk on your machine by performing the relevant instructions shown below.
WhatsDesk is accessible as a snap package, and it can be installed on any machine that supports snap, regardless of operating system. Please keep in mind that you must first install snap on your system before running the following command:
sudo snap install whatsdesk
On Arch Linux, you may install the software using an AUR helper such as Yay:
yay -S whatsdesk
Launch the program from the Applications menu after it has been installed. At first look, you’ll see a QR code and some instructions for logging in.
To begin, launch WhatsApp on your smartphone and choose the three-dot menu symbol. Then, go to Linked Devices and click Link a Device.
Once you scan the QR code on your desktop, all of your conversations will show on WhatsDesk, just as they do on WhatsApp Web.
Franz is a messaging platform that allows you to manage your discussions on WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram, and Slack. Franz also supports a number of additional services, including but not limited to HipChat and Hangouts.
To begin, you must install Franz on your machine. Navigate to the Franz download page and choose the AppImage download from the list of available alternatives. Simply double-click the downloaded file to activate Franz.
For Ubuntu and Debian users, the Franz DEB package is also available. To install the software, first download it to a suitable location. Then, using cd, travel to the directory and execute the following command to install Franz:
sudo dpkg -i franz-*.deb
In addition to the AppImage, Arch Linux users may get Franz from the AUR by typing Yay:
yay -S franz
Launch Franz from the Applications menu or the terminal after installation. When you launch the app, you’ll be given the choice to log in or create a free account. Create an account if you’re new to Franz by clicking Create a free account. If not, click Login to your account and enter your account credentials.
To continue with establishing an account, enter your information in the respective areas and click Create Account. Franz will now inquire as to which services you want to link. To proceed, choose WhatsApp and click Let’s go.
Franz will open the WhatsApp Web window and show the QR code automatically. Scan the QR code with your smartphone by going to WhatsApp and pressing on the three-dot symbol, then Linked Devices > Link a Device.
Your messages and conversations will begin to load in the same manner as WhatsApp Web. The contacts view is on the left, while the chatbox is on the right.
You may connect additional services to Franz in addition to WhatsApp by clicking on the Plus symbol in the bottom-left corner of the screen.
3. Running WhatsApp on an Android Emulator
If none of the aforementioned ways work for you, you may try installing WhatsApp on an emulator; however, this should be your last choice. You may use Anbox or Genymotion to install WhatsApp on an Android computer running Linux.
It’s worth noting that logging in to WhatsApp using an emulator will lock you out of your smartphone account. This is mostly due to the fact that running WhatsApp on an Android emulator is the same as running it on an actual Android device, and WhatsApp only enables you to use the program on a single device at a time.
Access Your WhatsApp Chats on Linux
Nobody wants to turn to their smartphone while working on a computer only to check emails or new messages. On Linux, you may view your WhatsApp messages on the desktop by using WhatsApp Web or third-party desktop programs such as Franz and WhatsDesk.
If you consider yourself a Linux power user and prefer to execute most operations via the command line, you may try WhatsCLI, a terminal-based WhatsApp client that includes the majority of the capabilities included in the standard WhatsApp program.
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