Tor Messenger is an effort similar to Tor Browser Bundle, it uses the existing Instantbird messaging solution from Mozilla and routes the data through the Tor network. However, unlike the existing solutions like ricochet, which targets anonymity, Tor Messenger works with services you already use like Jabber (XMPP), IRC, Google Talk, Facebook Chat, Twitter, Yahoo, and others. It also enables Off-the-Record (OTR) Messaging automatically. As you are chatting with your existing contacts, you are not anonymous. However, the communication is encrypted and much more difficult to trace by a man in the middle. Continue reading Tor Messenger: secure chat with existing IM buddies
IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a highly popular medium of communication among open source devs. There are numerous IRC clients available and my personal favourite is Pidgin IRC plugin. Gnome has its own IRC client, Polari (aka “It’s Yoghurt. It’s French”), for a while now. Polari got an important update in Gnome 3.18.1, the ability to paste directly into Gnome’s home grown pastebin service. Continue reading Polari IRC client integrates Gnome Pastebin
Wire is from the same people who brought us Skype before Microsoft bought the service. One of the prominent backers is Janus Friis who was also the co-founder of Skype. Wire has some innovative features that makes it a possible competitor to Skype though it’s in the market quite late. Continue reading Wire: stunning Skype alternative
Matrix is a multi-platform free and open source audio video messenger. it uses WebRTC for transferring data. Matrix started off as an independent protocol and now there are several clients that work with it. You can also setup your personal Matrix server. Continue reading Matrix: free Skype alternative
Update: The project seems to be dead now.
WhatsApp now has an unofficial desktop client, thanks to the developer of Facebook Messenger. For people who use their laptop or desktop most of the time, this app will help to stay in touch with their WhatsApp contacts and receive notifications. WhatsApp desktop is a webapp packaged for the desktop. Continue reading WhatsApp desktop client
Skype for Linux is half-baked. The packages are still for x86 architecture and needs a lot of dependencies to work on a x86_64 Linux box. If you are looking for a Skype alternative that is maintained the right way, Ring might be the solution. Ring is a open source communication software and is similar to Tox. Continue reading Ring: P2P Skype alternative
ricochet is a third-party peer to peer instant messaging client taking advantage of Tor hidden services. It doesn’t reveal your identity, contact-list or communication. The login ID is your hidden service address and contacts connect to you directly (hence P2P) through Tor. Continue reading ricochet: P2P Tor based messaging
You can stay in touch with your Facebook friends using Pidgin but let’s face it, the experience in not very Facebook-ish. The new Facebook Messenger client for the desktop changes the game. It’s a third-party solution, but has in rich in features and in multi-platform. Continue reading Facebook Messenger for Linux
In addition to its third-party clients, secure and privacy-respecting messaging client Telegram officially released a desktop client last month. However, it seems that developers are obsessed with the messaging service. There is a new Qt based client ready for download.
The name Cutegram seems to be quite justified for the app. It uses the latest Qt libraries (version 5) and the most popular iconset (Faenza) available for Linux.
- File sending and receiving
- Secret chat (Experimental)
- Native desktop notification
- Customizable fonts
- System tray icon
- Modern GUI. Integrates with Unity. Gnome, KDE and other desktops.
- Drag and drop support to forward, delete messages and send files
- Twitter emojies
- Beautiful and smooth user interface using QML technology
- Packages for generic Linux and Ubuntu available
- Open Source and free
Packages are available for download on the Cutegram website.
If you haven’t heard about it, Telegram is a secure WhatsApp alternative. You can read more about Telegram from an earlier article here. Telegram exposes APIs for clients and a Pidgin plugin is available to use Telegram from the Linux desktop. However, the service was lacking a native client on Linux.
Telegram has now released its own Qt based native client on Linux, named Telegram Desktop. The look and feel closely follows that of the web client.
The package can be downloaded directly from the website (linked below).
Webpage: Telegram Desktop