What is the best way to run telegram on linux with support for secret chats?

This is what I tried already:

  1. run telegram desktop - works very well but no secret chats feature
  2. pack android telegram apk as chrome app using ARC. Worked, have secret chats, unfortunately crashes sometimes, no easy to update
  3. compile telegram-cli and write some python wrapper (too much effort, not so user friendly, not easy for updates)
  4. install android telegram apk on android-x86 running on kvm or virtualbox (kind of heavy solution for chat application)

I will appreciate also another alternative open source and trustworthy easy to use chat app with end-to-end encryption.

Thank you for your suggestions.


If you are a Pidgin user, there is a telegram-purple plugin: https://github.com/majn/telegram-purple

It is provided for Ubuntu by the webupd8 repository:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install telegram-purple
  • 1
    telegram-purple is no longer compatible with the secret chat function of Telegram. The planned replacement is called tdlib-purple which is intended to have secret chat functionality, but it is not ready yet. – karel Aug 27 '20 at 23:06

telegram-cli, although not the easiest to use, supports secret chats:

sudo snap install telegram-cli

but the pidgin plugin is easier from https://www.ubuntuupdates.org/ppa/webupd8?dist=bionic


If you can use another network, I'd suggest the Signal Desktop alternative. It's a similar Android app and now is more developed. Since April, end-to-end encryption was added.

SIGNAL DESKTOP https://github.com/WhisperSystems/Signal-Desktop

  • I'm now using this app on Debian Jessie. It works very well (does not have all TG features, but for only messaging is OK. You can set it to startup with the system, so it really seems an stand-alone app. – akupac Jul 22 '16 at 15:14

If you want to stay with telegram you can use cutegram. I use 2.7.1 on w64. It has some issues (1) - prbably fixed in git already - but secret chats are working. HTH

(1) Sometimes attachments do not upload - cross check with phone.


There exist also an other method for telegram: https://web.telegram.org/#/login

I don't know if you're able to use secret chats.With this options just try it :)

Try Tox, it's an open-source app with end-to-end encryption. Click on this link for further informations: official site Tox

It has a big community and the project is evolving fast

  • 1
    thanks Mario. web/desktop/chrome/firefox all lack secret chat feature. I am playing with tox, though android support is not so great yet, however linux app works fine both curses and qt version. – Michał Šrajer Feb 26 '16 at 14:14

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