How to Install WeChat Desktop Client in Ubuntu Linux

Brief: This quick tutorial shows you how to install WeChat desktop client on Ubuntu Linux. 

WeChat is a popular micro-messaging cross platform app supporting text, image/videos, group chats with over 900 million active monthly users, mostly in China. Along with the basic messaging facilities, it also provides payment services in China to pay bills, order goods and services, transfer money and much more.

I won’t call it one of the best messaging apps for Linux because it doesn’t provide the official desktop client but in Linux world, we can always find a way around.

WeChat in Ubuntu
WeChat in Ubuntu

There is a third party client called electronic-chat that allows you to use WeChat in your Linux Ubuntu system by scanning the QR code just like WhatsApp Web. electronic-chat is a third party open source client for WeChat hosted on github. In this article, we will see features and how to install WeChat client in Ubuntu.

Features for eletronic-chat client

  • Modern UI and includes all features
  • Group chats and allows mentioning
  • Drag and drop to send photos
  • Stickers support
  • Block message recall

The electronic-chat app is available for Ubuntu via Snappy store, or you can download electronic-chat files from its GitHub page and launch it. We will see both the process.

Caution:

  • Although the app mentions it’s available in English, I was not able to find the option to switch from the default Chinese language. However, it does support communication in English so that’s okay for me. I would update once I find the option to switch the display to the English language.
  • Your phone must be connected to the internet to use the desktop client.
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Install Facebook Messenger Desktop App In Linux

Method 1: Installing WeChat on Ubuntu Linux via Snap

Snap makes it easier to install WeChat unofficial client in Linux. Before you can install electronic-chat, you will need to install snapd and snapd-xdg-open. Run the below command to install it:

sudo apt install snapd snapd-xdg-open

Once done, type the following command to install it.

sudo snap install electronic-wechat

This will install WeChat client. Once done, launch it from the terminal by typing:

electronic-chat

When you launch it for the first time, it will ask you to scan QR code.

login_screen_QR_code
Scan QR Code

Select the option to Scan QR code from the app and you can use it from your Ubuntu system.

WeChat homescreen
WeChat home screen

If at any moment, you are not satisfied and would rather prefer your phone to keep using WeChat, you can uninstall it using below command:

sudo snap remove electronic-wechat
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Method 2: Installing WeChat on Linux via GitHub

The second option is to download the electronic-chat files from github website.

Select the appropriate version, and download it. I had downloaded linux-x64.tar.gz for my 64-bit Ubuntu system. Open terminal and head over to the download directory and type the below command to unzip it:

tar xvf linux-x64.tar.gz

Once it’s extracted, run below command to launch it.

./electronic-chat

This will launch the client and ask you for QR code. The method from here is same as above.

electronic-chat is a good enough tool to use WeChat on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. If you hate typing on your phone and would rather prefer a keyboard like me, it will serve your purpose.

Comments

  1. I followed this instruction at Ubuntu 17.04 and it works, but only chinese. I hope to find a way for changing the language.

  2. I’m trying to attach a screenshot. It says:
    1203For account security, newly registered WeChat accounts are unable to log in to Web WeChat. To use WeChat on a computer, use Windows WeChat or Mac WeChat at http://wechat.com

  3. When I followed the instructions I got a “snap not found” error when trying to use it to install the wechat client.

  4. not useful if you have no smartphone use wire on the moment to replace skype, and it works but no auto updates and limited notification under linux .

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