Telegram is a cloud-based messaging app that focus on security and speed. Its primary competitor is WhatsApp, which cares more about money than users’ privacy. Telegram is free, open source, and cares about the user.
You can find a Telegram app for every mobile platform: Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Ubuntu Touch too (unofficial). Thanks to its openness, we could use it on desktops too, thanks to third party apps like Webogram (Chrome extension), Sigram (Linux native client), and others. Recently the team released the official desktop apps: a web version along with native clients for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.
SaperBramate tells us more about Telegram, a good read before installing it!
Install Telegram for Linux
You can download Telegram for Linux from the official website. It will detect the operating system you use and offer you a download button that suits your needs.
Once downloaded, you can see that you don’t have a package (
.rpm, or whatever), but a compressed archive (
.tar.xz). If you extract the archive, you see two executables: Telegram, the application itself, and Updater, unsurprisingly the executable that lets you update the application. This means that you can’t have an application for Telegram, but only a precompiled binary.
How to use Telegram for Linux as an application
Being on Linux means that, if you know how to do it, you can do whatever you want. And this is a case in which things are easy, although they might seem scary.
We will make Telegram for Linux available to our user only, to make things easier (i.e. avoid problems with permissions). I also assume that you are using GNOME or Unity, as things will change with other desktop environments.
First of all, extract the archive you downloaded previously from the Telegram website and place it in your home directory. Than open a terminal window and create the only file needed for our desktop environment to recognize Telegram as an application:
This will open the nano editor to create a new file. The contents of the file are like the following:
[Desktop Entry] Encoding=UTF-8 Name=Telegram Exec=/home/username/Telegram/Telegram Icon=/home/username/Telegram/telegram128.png Type=Application Categories=Network;
Let me explain this a little bit. First of all, we’re adding a new Desktop Entry of Application type. We’re calling it Telegram (the
Name property) and setting the path to the executable (
Exec) and icon.
But man, I don’t have any
telegram128.pngin my Telegram folder!
I know, but you can download it here:
Now, download the icon, save it into your Telegram folder, replace username with your own username in your desktop file’s paths, save it with Ctrl+O, confirm the name with Enter, then exit with Ctrl+X.
You’re done! Easy enough, wasn’t it? Check it out yourself!