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dugan 10-31-2017 02:23 PM

Standalone Signal Desktop

Signal Desktop is now available in a new, standalone form, and the Chrome App has been deprecated.

The new desktop version of Signal runs independently of your browser. If you’re a Firefox or Safari user, you don’t need to install Chrome to send and receive Signal messages on your computer. If you’re a Chrome user, having your browser open will no longer be synonymous with having Signal Desktop open.

We are launching our standalone app with support for these platforms:
  • Windows 64-bit: 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
  • MacOS 10.9 and above
  • Linux distributions supporting APT, like Ubuntu or Debian

Standalone Signal Desktop

sntnlz 03-25-2018 06:41 PM

Temp workaround for non-debian or apt -based systems
As Open Whisper Systems work on refining their signal-desktop and the direction to move toward a universal platform-independent version which is now in the making. There's a very very very low tech and quick temporary workaround which you have to do every time a new version of signal-desktop becomes available or when yours tells you that it's too old to run and requires you to upgrade. I'll describe what I do, and if you follow these steps, you acknowledge that you do so at your own risk and peril and that if your machine melts down or blows up in your face, you will be the only person responsible and won't come back here cussing and fussing.

What do you need?
1- First, you obviously have to make sure that you have all the libraries required for signal-desktop to run. At the time this entry was posted, these were lib64indicator, lib64dbusmenu-glib4, lib64dbusmenu-gtk4, lib64appindicator.

2- Have the live version of a Debian-based apt using system, bootable image USB drive or CD/DVD disk.

What to do?

1- Boot up the live Debian-based system
2- Follow OWS instructions for installing signal-desktop with one change (as described below)
3- Copy the deb package to the system where you want signal-installed
4- Run signal

Now to the actual steps to follow after you boot up the Debian-based system. Remember, these are the official steps described by OWS on their website for installing signal on a Debian-based system. I will note where you must make a small change and why.

1- From within the Debian-based live system that you just booted, open a terminal window and execute the following commands (newbies, don't type the $ sign, this is the terminal line prompt):


$ curl -s | sudo apt-key add -

$ echo "deb [arch=amd64] xenial main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/signal-xenial.list

In this next step, add "-d" to tell apt that you only want to download the package, but not decompress or install it. Also, you probably won’t need to do anything with sudo because live systems normally log you in as root or ‘live’ user with system administration privileges.

$ sudo apt update && sudo apt install -d signal-desktop
2- Locate your downloaded signal-desktop deb package. The default location where apt normally downloads packages is:

3- Copy to a flash drive [or email to yourself, or send via KDEConnect or Bluetooth, etc.] the package that you just downloaded whose name starts with "signal-desktop" followed by whatever the version number is and with a 'deb' extension.

4- From the flash drive or your user's home where you placed a copy of the deb package, extract the signal-desktop package. Ignore all but the 'data' archive in the extracted archive.

5- Extract the 'data' archive.

If you're blessed with sudo powers in your system, you'll need them here. If you're not, then add yourself (your user) to the sudoers list before you continue.

6- With your sudo powers, browse to the 'signal' directory which is located in the 'opt' directory inside the 'data' directory that you just extracted and copy it to you root's '/opt' directory. After doing this, you should have a '/opt/signal' directory which contains everything that the original from the extracted 'data' archive included.

7- Again with your sudo powers still intact, browse into the 'usr' directory inside the 'data' directory that you just extracted and copy the contents of its sub-directories into their counterparts within your system directories (these are: '/usr/share/applications/' '/usr/share/doc/' '/usr/share/icons/hicolor/') After doing this, you should have a directories which contain everything that the originals from the extracted 'data' archive included.

8- Lastly, if you want, create a signal desktop launcher on your desktop to run signal. Make sure that this desktop launcher is executable for your user and that (ignoring the brackets) it points to and runs: ["/opt/Signal/signal-desktop" %U]

9- To run signal, just run the desktop launcher that you created or in the case of KDE, 'krunner' will find it when you begin to type the word "signal" because you had added signal to the system folders in the previous steps.

Don't be apprehensive, typing up these steps took longer than actually following the steps. That is of course aside from putting a live Debian-based system on a flash drive if you don't already have one. Because that will obviously take more time.

That's it. Happy signaling.

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