Linux Apps

WhatsApp Desktop – An Unofficial WhatsApp Desktop Client for Linux

WhatsApp Desktop Client for Linux
Written by Martins D. Okoi

If you don’t know about WhatsApp by now then you have been living under a rock – and that is highly unlikely. But just in case that probability comes through, WhatsApp is a free instant messaging cross-platform application for smartphones.

2017 saw the arrival of its desktop clients for the Windows and Mac platforms, but not for Linux. Sad as that might be, trust the open-source heroes to come to the rescue and one such open-source solution is WhatsApp desktop.

WhatsApp Desktop is an open-source unofficial WhatsApp desktop client for Linux built with Electron. It offers all the features its contemporary clients do including native desktop notifications and support for keyboarded shortcuts, as well as extra options e.g. support for custom CSS stylesheet.

Features in WhatsApp Desktop

  • Cross-Platform: available for Linux, Windows, and Mac.
  • Support for native desktop notifications.
  • Badge icon with notification count in the dock/taskbar.
  • Animation: dock icon bounces on the entry of a new message.
  • System tray icon.
  • Open links in the browser.
  • Auto-launch on login along with the option to start minimized to the tray icon.
  • Support for custom CSS stylesheets.
  • Access to phone information i.e. battery status, software version, e.t.c.
  • Search (with a contact in focus) via CTRL+F or CMD+F.
  • Customization – toggle and settings options include:
    • Option to set avatar visibility.
    • Option to preview of the message’s visibility.
    • Set media thumb size.
    • Proxy settings for connecting to WhatsApp web.
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WhatsApp Desktop also features logging system with which you can log to console and check out userData/log.log.

Because it is built with Electron (which is known for draining memory), some people will just stick to using WhatsApp Web (myself included). But even though Electron apps may not be your cup of tea how will you know whether you like the app if you don’t try it out?

Download WhatsApp Desktop for Linux

What’s your take on WhatsApp Desktop? Is it worth the download or will you just wait until Facebook releases an official client for Linux? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Special thanks to Pat Migliaccio for suggesting WhatsApp Desktop on our list of the 20 Must-Have Ubuntu Apps in 2017.

Update

WhatsApp Desktop has been discontinued due to WhatsApp’s copyright policy. Here is a note from the developer:

Due to the copyright DMCA that WhatsApp/Facebook is sending to all projects that are using “Whatsapp” in their names, and the lack of time to counteract any changes that WhatsApp team is doing in order to make the development of this project hard, I’m abandoning this project.

You can find the latest code in the history (the commit before this), at least until Facebook asks for the removal.

I strongly suggest to switch to another IM client.

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About the author

Martins D. Okoi

Martins Divine Okoi is a graduate of Computer Science with a passion for Linux and the Open Source community. He works as a Graphic Designer, Web Developer, and programmer.