Update: This app doesn’t exist anymore and the app website now redirects to a scam website. This is the reason why I am removing all the links to the website. Please use the WhatsApp Web or an application like Franz.
Hugely popular messaging app WhatsApp surprisingly doesn’t provide a desktop client. Until recently, there was no way you could have used WhatsApp on desktop, be it Linux or any other OS. WhatsApp launched a web version a few months back and with this, you can access WhatsApp on the desktop using Google Chrome and your phone’s network connection (either phone data or WiFi).
This WhatsApp on web provided more opportunities for developers and Alexandru Rosianu did not waste time to come up with an unofficial WhatsApp desktop client for Linux, Windows and OS X. If you remember, Alexandru has previously developed Facebook Messenger for Linux desktop, which is quite popular among Facebook Messenger users.
Install WhatsApp desktop client in Linux
As stated earlier, this unofficial client is available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. There are .deb binaries available for Debian based Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, elementary OS etc. You can use the link below to download it:
Download executables for WhatsApp desktop client
For other Linux distributions, you can get the source code for WhatsApp for Desktop client from the GitHub repository:
Download source code of WhatsApp desktop client
Using WhatsApp desktop client in Linux
Using it is very easy. You just have to double click on the .deb file to install the program. Once installed, just search for it in Unity Dash (for Ubuntu Unity).
You’ll see a screen like the one below to scan the QR code. This is similar to what you would have to do to use WhatsApp on web.
You’ll get a desktop notification for new messages.
The unofficial WhatsApp desktop client is merely a wrapper for WhatsApp Web. So, you’ll have to keep your phone connected to internet anyhow to use it on the desktop. Audio calling is not available on the desktop but that’s also the case for WhatsApp Web. It does provide you desktop notification but I think one can get the same by enabling desktop notification in Chrome.
In my opinion, if you do not use Chrome browser, this unofficial desktop client for WhatsApp could be a good deal for you. Even if you do use Google Chrome, why not give it a try and see if you like it?
In a related post, you can see these instant messaging applications for Linux that have an official native desktop client.