Authenticator: A Simple Open-Source App to Replace Authy on Linux

Authy is a popular app for storing and managing two-factor codes. It is a cloud-based service that gives you convenience with industry-grade security. Unfortunately, it is not open-source.

Would you consider using a more straightforward (and open-source) authenticator app on your Linux desktop?

Well, of course, you cannot cloud sync here. But you can generate a backup for the two-factor authentication codes. Keeping that in mind, let me tell you more about Authenticator.

authenticator app ft

Authenticator: Generate Two-Factor Authentication Codes

When you enable two-factor authentication with online services, most services give you a token/QR code that you can add/scan to generate codes.

Authenticator is one such app for Linux that lets you add two-factor authentication codes.

authenticator ui
Authenticator UI

It is a free and open-source app with essential features to add a variety of tokens and websites that support two-factor authentication.

Recommended Read: Best Password Managers for Linux Desktop

Features of Authenticator

authenticator auto lock
Locking the authenticator app

Some of the essential options that you get with it include:

  • QR Code scanner using a camera or a screenshot
  • Protect the app using a passphrase
  • Autolock the app
  • Support for different algorithms (SHA-1/SHA-256/SHA-512)
  • Time-based/Counter-based/Steam computing methods supported
  • Backup/Restore options (FreeOTP, Aegis, andOTP, Bitwarden, and Google Authenticator)

You get customization options and the ability to add a custom provider as per the support provided by the service. One can add a custom icon for the provider to help you distinguish between the authentication codes.

authenticator custom provider

For the most part, the default settings should work with websites. However, you might want to check the exact details with the provider if it does not work.

The app also features multiple providers out of the box, like Google Drive and Proton Mail. So, you do not need to add custom configurations for every entry you add.

Installing Authenticator on Linux

authenticator add new code

Authenticator is available as a Flatpak. So, you can install it on any Linux distribution.

Just type in the following command to get it installed:

flatpak install flathub com.belmoussaoui.Authenticator

You can head to its Flathub or GitLab page to explore more.

If you are new to the Linux world, refer to our Flatpak guide to set it up. Your software center might already have Flatpak integration enabled out of the box. You can search for it to get it installed in such a case.

Use Open Source Authenticator App For Security and Reliability

We often depend on cloud-powered tools for everything. Sure, it is convenient.

However, sometimes desktop apps are more helpful. If you are in the same boat and thinking of making a switch, Authenticator can be an excellent app to have installed for two-factor authentication codes.

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  • I wish you’d at least name alternatives like KDE’s Keysmith, in casesome of your viewers aren’t GNOME users but still want FOSS app for Linux for the same purpose. Would even be a good idea for all app introductions, too, to name a few alternatives at the end.

  • I’ve thought about changing away from Authy a few times since they are SNAP only. But I’ve gotta have it on multiple devices which means it needs a mobile app or cloud sync or both. Hopefully they will make either of those soon

  • My go to for 3FA codes is bitwarden. Buy premium or selfhost it :)
    You get sync in all devices + a password manager