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How can I install Whatsapp web app on Ubuntu? I found a similar question How to install WhatsApp?, but here I am asking for the WhatsApp desktop webapp so that I can directly access the application without opening a browser.

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  • WhatsApp Web is the only finest solution out of all as, whatsApp don't have their official distro for linux i.e ubuntu etc. Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 8:03
  • 1
    Its 2023 and I am still quite confused as to why they don't support Linux. It's not like Microsoft's situation who don't provide MS Office on Linux (as that can cause a loss of their market share). Commented Feb 19, 2023 at 6:11
  • I don't have sufficient rep. yet to put this in an answer so... If you do have Google Chrome installed you can: go to WhatsApp Web; open the Chrome application menu; click on "Install WhatsApp Web". This will give you a native application-like experience. Yes, it is still using Chrome under the bonnet, but WhatsApp is presented in its own, minimal window and behaves like an Ubuntu app in most other regards.
    – Holf
    Commented Aug 25, 2023 at 9:50

9 Answers 9

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💁‍♂️ You can create your own whatsapp app

🏗️ Creating Your Own Whatsapp Desktop App

  • 👨‍💻 Type terminal sudo -H gedit /usr/share/applications/whatsapp-webapp.desktop
  • 📋 Copy following text to opened screen

📣 This answer assumes that you have Google Chrome installed, and that it is at the path /opt/google/chrome/google-chrome which may not be the case for everyone (thanks ascendants)

  • 💡 İf you using Chromium, you need to change /opt/google/chrome/google-chrome with your Chromium path
#!/usr/bin/env xdg-open
[Desktop Entry]
Name=WhatsApp
GenericName=WhatsApp
Comment=WhatsApp desktop webapp
#Exec=webapp-container --store-session-cookies --webappUrlPatterns=https?://*.whatsapp.com/* --user-agent-string='Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/85.0.4183.83 Safari/537.36 Edg/85.0.564.44' https://web.whatsapp.com %u
Exec=/opt/google/chrome/google-chrome --app=https://web.whatsapp.com/
Terminal=false
Type=Application
StartupNotify=true
MimeType=text/plain;
# If you want icon, type path of icon
# Icon=
Categories=Network;Application;
Keywords=WhatsApp;webapp;
X-Ubuntu-Gettext-Domain=WhatsApp
StartupWMClass=web.whatsapp.com

📢 If anyone see 'update your browser' warning, you have to update --user-agent-string on line 6 respect to User Agent String (thanks Gangadhar Jannu)

⌨️ Making keyboard shortcut (Optionally)

You can follow the instructions below or just look my other answer about Making Shortcuts topic.

wmctrl command used for focus or create app, type sudo apt install wmctrl to install it

  • ➕ Open shortcut window, click + the bottom of the window
  • 🔨 Set name Whatsapp Chrome
  • 🚀 Finally, keyboard shortcuts to open | create
bash -c "wmctrl -xa web.whatsapp.com || /opt/google/chrome/google-chrome --app=https://web.whatsapp.com/"
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  • 7
    I wish I could +1 for every nugget that I learned from this post. I had no idea this system even existed in Ubuntu.
    – drmuelr
    Commented Jul 1, 2019 at 17:05
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    If you want to do this basicly from CLI, download this script drive.google.com/uc?id=1anlXv7obm3ahy7pJmsd7XC7EmN46iHYm , and if you want to make shortcut to open | toggle some app (with WM_Class), take a look my script which is stackoverflow.com/a/56327729/9770490 Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 6:16
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    well, only /opt/google/chrome/google-chrome --app=https://web.whatsapp.com/ this much is enough for me, Thanks Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 7:56
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    This should be the accepted answer! Commented May 3, 2020 at 20:25
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    If anyone see 'update your browser' warning, you have to update --user-agent-string on line 6 with the updated user agent string. Use useragentstring.com to get your current browser user string Commented May 3, 2020 at 20:27
61

NOTICE: It is NOT SUGGESTED to use this mechanism as this is not an official application and may be laden with adware or other malware.

The answer is left here for historical reasons however it is recommended that you DO NOT follow this answer's instructions.

Instructions:

  • Download the WhatsApp webapp DEB installation file from the link here

  • Double click on the DEB file to open and install with the Ubuntu Software Center, or from the command line with:

      sudo dpkg -i whatsapp-webapp_1.0_all.deb
    
  • Select WhatsApp from your Dash or Applications menu to start.

Imgur

  • Now Scan the QR code with your phone using the WhatsApp application.

reference here

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  • 16
    after some days, this becomes full of commercial adverts.
    – Débora
    Commented May 21, 2016 at 14:50
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    This is not an official distribution. Commented May 10, 2017 at 18:48
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    Unfortunately, this is exactly what Ravan does not want ("without opening a browser"). That WhatsApp command just starts Google Chrome. And, on top of that, Google Chrome is a Trojan Horse.
    – Papou
    Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 20:21
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    Do not install this, it's not official as well it's not open-source. Commented Dec 24, 2018 at 4:34
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    do NOT install .... who knows what this thing does
    – Mr.P
    Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 8:32
52

Best way I think is: https://web.whatsapp.com/ . It asks to open your whatsapp in your mobile and let it to scan the codebars to the phone. So, simply open your whatsapp in mobile> select the option whatsapp web > focus your phone camera to the monitor where the browser shows a codebar. That s all. Then Browser opens your whatsapp in itself. Nothing to install . Easy

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    Because the question specifically asks for a desktop app, not web browser :) Commented Jan 20, 2019 at 13:52
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    @Michael yeah, whatsapp is only a phone app. You cannot run WhatsApp without having a phone. Commented Dec 28, 2019 at 23:13
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    @NagabhushanSN - after trying for some time the desktop app (WALC, appimage), I find it much better than the web page; the former stays connected, while the latter disconnects often, asking for the phone app to be re-opened.
    – cipricus
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 19:51
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    @Michael actually, you may install whatsapp into an android-x86 virtualbox machine, then use your 'phone' to activate it via sms (whatsapp requires sms-verification), then use your webcam to activate web.whatsapp.com by scanning the qr code from browser into webcam attached to virtualbox - this works for me, no smartphone with camera needed - desktop with webcam is sufficient. this works even on ubuntu for me
    – whyer
    Commented Jul 20, 2020 at 10:16
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    @Michael see my comment above (i forgot to mention you when posting it). and also i want to mention that my method allows you not to have a phisical phone at all - you just need a phone number and the ability to receive an sms on it. some services allow you to buy virtual sim cards - this is sufficient for my method. this is why i put the word 'phone' in quotes
    – whyer
    Commented Jul 22, 2020 at 10:09
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I think the best alternative today is to use whatsapp-linux which is an Electron wrapper for WhatsApp's web: https://web.whatsapp.com/

You can find the latest version in the Release section of GitHub: https://github.com/cstayyab/whatsapp-linux/releases

It comes handily packed as an AppImage, so it's as easy as downloading, changing the execution permissions of the file and running it.

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  • For me this is the best option. Comes as apppimage, no new repo and no installation required. Works in my 18-04-based distro. Unlike the whatsapp web page, which disconnects and forces re-opening of the phone app very often in order to re-connect, this stays connected after the initial procedure.
    – cipricus
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 21:11
  • This has not facility of calling like whatsapp for windows
    – Raakh
    Commented May 19 at 15:57
3
Unknown Bug: This solution may result in high cpu load for a single thread

WhatsApp Web Application

On GNOME/Ubuntu Desktop without installing any additional software

enter image description here

The Web Application feature of Gnome Web (formerly known as epiphany-browser) can be used to create your personal container for WhatsApp.

  • Automatic icon generation
  • Separate container, window, app
  • Always up-to-date via package-manager

Steps to configure:

  1. Open Gnome Web and go to https://web.whatsapp.com
  2. Select 'Install Site as Web Application' from the burger menu
  3. Name the app as you like e.g. WhatsAppWeb or Whatsie

I recommend to log out from all devices, then open the created desktop app.

enter image description here

  1. Finally scan the QR code.

Remove WebApp:

Type about:applications in GNOME Web address bar to manage/remove Web Appliactions

Details:

By habit, mine is called "Whatsie" and the process creates the file ~/.local/share/applications/epiphany-whatsie-eeb...321.desktop

Official website: https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Web/

Official instructions: https://help.gnome.org/users/epiphany/stable/browse-webapps.html.en

Please, be careful installing apps from sources you don't trust!

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This is an old question but now I need to use WhatsApp in my Ubuntu environment, and I found this solution based on a third-party WhatsApp Linux Client called Whatsie. This client works for Debian 8, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and Linux Mint 18. Whatsie is a simple but helpful wrapper for WhatsApp Web, available for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows.

How to install Install Whatsie?

The recommended way to install it is through the latest deb package.

Ubuntu, Debian 8+

  1. Download whatsie-x.x.x-linux-arch.deb
  2. Double click and install, or run this command in the terminal:

    dpkg -i whatsie-x.x.x-linux-arch.deb

  3. Start the app with your app launcher or by running whatsie in a terminal

You can also use apt

  1. Open a terminal window, then download the gpg key to make sure the deb you download is correct:

    sudo apt-key adv --keyserver pool.sks-keyservers.net --recv 6DDA23616E3FE905FFDA152AE61DA9241537994D 
    
  2. Add the author’s repository to your sources list by running the following command. :

    echo "deb https://dl.bintray.com/aluxian/deb stable main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/whatsie.list
    

    Replace stable if you want to pick another channel like beta or dev (pick stable if you're unsure).

  3. Finally, update local package index and install Whatsie:

    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install whatsie
    

Once installed, you can start Whatsie from Unity Dash or Application Menu.

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  • 1
    The Whatsie github repository and release don't exist anymore. Commented Oct 27, 2018 at 11:30
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Some people face the problem that the App shows you some browsers you should install instead of working correctly. If that happens to you, this is the fix:

  1. Once logged in, go to:

    /.config/UnofficialWhatsApp/"Application Cache"
    
  2. Close the app

  3. Remove index file
  4. Change permission for Application Cache to make it inaccessible

    sudo chmod 000 "Application Cache"
    

Reference

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I used Applicationize.me to install WhatsApp web (and other web apps) as a Chrome apps.

Just enter the URL http://web.whatsapp.com/ into the field, and it will create a downloadable extension that you can drag to Chrome's extension window (chrome://extensions/).

You can find the newly installed app on Ubuntu's app launcher.

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General Notice: There is no official WhatsApp desktop app for Linux. That's why it is more secure to use one of your favorite browsers and create a web app using the official https://web.whatsapp.com service. Third-party apps from non-trusted sources may flood you with ads, hijack your session or introduce a backdoor to your client. Even if they currently don't, you can't be sure in the future. 📣 Please do not use the "accepted" answer! 📣

You might choose one of the following:

  • Web, the default Gnome browser (formerly known as epiphany), which would be my favorite, if someone fixes the cpu load issue. The WebApp feature is very advanced, e.g. you can configure cookies, tracking and ad blocking and even css style can be modified. Described in more detail here: https://askubuntu.com/a/1156446/45131

  • Brave, (Ungoogled-)Chromium, Chrome and Edge browser works exactly the same. No one is wondering, because under the hood they are quite similar. Go to the hamburger menu > More tools > Create shortcut and make sure you tick the checkbox "Open as window". This is also described here: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-create-web-apps-for-the-brave-browser/ Btw.: At time of writing Edge from flathub does not run on Fedora 38 using wayland.

The post with "most votes" is definitely overrated, because it is basically the same, explanined more complicated. Because in the past you had to create such .desktop files manually, which is no longer the case for browser shortcuts.

Firefox had an experimental feature, but they dropped it ( https://www.thurrott.com/cloud/web-browsers/mozilla-firefox/246039/tip-use-firefox-for-web-apps). If you can live without having a separate window you may pin the web.whatsapp.com tab and create and/or use a simple bookmark.

Of course you can do the same with other web sites. Although for other messengers you may better look for well-maintained linux clients, e.g. Signal, Threema, Element, Slack, ...

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