The secure and private Wire messenger app with end-to-end encryption is a great open source alternative for Whatsapp, Skype, Viber, WeChat, FB Messenger, Telegram. You don't need a cell phone number to login. These feature were attracting me and I can use it on almost all platforms (Linux. Android. iOS. Mac. Windows.) inclusive within the most common browsers.

There is also a standalone desktop version/client. How do I install the wire desktop client in Ubuntu?

  • 1
    An alternative to Skype too. – pomsky Oct 14 '17 at 20:08

As Wire is getting more popular, there are more possibilities by now and as the updates are usually done within the Desktop app, it probably does not matter much which one you choose:
1. Install via Debian repository, instructions see below.
2. Snap package from the Ubuntu Software Center (gnome-software) or type in a terminal: sudo snap install wire. Thank you mook765 for the hint, please vote his answer up, too.

Install it directly from the Wire homepage. Click on Details below the Linux option/penguin and choose Deb package (Ubuntu 64Bit) or AppImage:
3. Deb package (64bit).
4. AppImage (64bit).
5. You can also get the source code directly.

Wire for Linux is still a beta so you should expect bugs and crashes. Be sure to file feedback and point out problems on the Wire GitHub page.

To install via Debian repository (works on Ubuntu):
To add the Wire repository and PGP key run these commands in a new Terminal window.

  1. First install apt-transport-https to fetch packages over HTTPS

    sudo apt install apt-transport-https
  2. Import the Wire PGP signing key to verify installed packages:

    sudo apt-key adv --fetch-keys http://wire-app.wire.com/linux/releases.key
  3. Add the Wire repo to your Software Sources list

    echo "deb https://wire-app.wire.com/linux/debian stable main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/wire-desktop.list
  4. Finally, update Ubuntu’s list of available packages and install Wire for Linux on Ubuntu with this command combo:

    sudo apt update && sudo apt install wire-desktop

If you get the error N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'main/binary-i386/Packages' as repository 'https://wire-app.wire.com/linux/debian stable InRelease' doesn't support architecture 'i386, follow this answer's advise. In a terminal:

  • Open the source list of Wire Desktop to edit it in gedit:

    sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list.d/wire-desktop.list

  • Add [arch=amd64]to the one line so it looks like this:
    deb [arch=amd64] https://wire-app.wire.com/linux/debian stable main

Source: Wire APT announcement, OMG Ubuntu.


Wire is also available as a snap and can be easily installed with

sudo snap install wire

or alternatively, install it using gnome-software, which will provide a simple way to configure the snaps permissions after installation.


You may try Rambox, an Electron based

Free, Open Source and Cross Platform messaging and emailing app that combines common web applications into one.

Wire is among the available services along with WhatsApp, Messenger, Viber, Telegram, Google Hangouts, Gmail, Twitter etc. There is also an option to add services manually.

To install Rambox, first download the deb package right for your system from their official GitHub page, for example 64 bit package or 32 bit package of the latest release (v0.5.13). Then run the following command in Terminal

sudo dpkg -i /path/to/the/package/package-name.deb

For example if you have downloaded the 64 bit package linked above to your Downloads folder then run

sudo dpkg -i ~/Downloads/Rambox_0.5.13-x64.deb

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