How would I go about running Whatsapp on Librem5?

Same here. It’s just totally unrealistic to expect everybody else to switch to accomodate one person’s wishes.

Facebook hopes so.

Maybe the world will get lucky and Facebook will be forced to divest itself of WhatsApp. :wink:

Yes, maybe, Would be nice. But, meanwhile we are faced with the facts of (postmodern) life. No Whatsapp equals social isolation. (At least over here in Western Europe.)

It is quite special for you. I have no problems at all to be without WA in Northern Europe. Of course here you can also find people who “would die” without WA but fortunately not so many. We also have people who consider it a blessing to be without any mobile phone at all. Personally, I would be content with a Linux mobile without any snooper apps from Google and Facebook. W#e have a Synology NAS server with mobile apps (Android) serving most of the needs. It will be interesting to find out if we can replace it with Librem5.

Switching folks away form spyware like whatsapp is a slow gradual process, switching one person at a time, talking to them, explaining what it does, etc. Always surprises me how many have no idea what fakeboo/twatter/whatsapp/instagram et al all do. Most here, I’m sure, already know the drill on how to explain it to folks.

Most of my contacts now are on Signal, and it was a process over the last two years. Eventually more were on than not, and many used Signal along with 2-3 other apps until their own friends made the switch as well. And there are a few other left that know that if they wish to contact me, it’s that, Wickr, or call me.


To use the browser version you need that your mobile app is always connected, otherwise the browser version goes offline…

Well that’s just… special…


This is probably the central privacy question of our times - how to secure oneself when one’s network cannot be bothered due to apathy, ambivalence, or ignorance. All legitimate attributes as one cannot be an expert in all walks of life.

A wish for privacy. But still somewhat unrealistic as you so well put it.

A mon avis - you’re screwed, mate, if Whatsapp is the only viable vehicle to connect. For me, I have a lot of friends and family that made the jump to Signal and the rest are happy with SMS which is likely just as bad as Whatsapp. And when I need privacy without security, I use Sudo.

Now, for what it’s worth. Your concerns abstracted are my concerns. I don’t see any significant movement toward native Signal or Sudo on the L5 currently. So I am totally aware of the glass house I am slinging rocks from. And I empathize with your problem.

It is a central technology question today. I have nothing else. I hope you find success. All I can do is philosophize. Désolé.


Pidgin supports every protocol known to mankind. :laughing: If/when it supports the screen size…

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Don’t take me wrong, I am willing to try and convince people to switch to a Whatsapp-alternative. But finding a viable alternative is not so easy.

For a lot of people revisiting sms is easier than installing a new app. But providers (such as T-mobile in the Netherlands) switching off mms support does not help, really.

A few people are prepared to switch to Telegram. For one thing, it is easy to install. But since it is Russian, and people are not entirely sure it is safe, enthousiasme is somewhat lacking.

Signal I like. For the obvious reasons (open source and all). But as long as it doesn’t run on phones, people can’t switch to it even if they would be prepared to do so.

Everyone switching to matrix (Elements) would be the best solution, probably. But getting it up and running isn’t easy, and neither is its daily use. For people to start using it, it would have to be a lot less complicated.

Eventually (when I have my L5) I will try and set up a matrix bridge to Whatsapp. But from what I’ve seen so far, I expect this to be way more complicated than I would like it to be.

Pidgin I will try aswell…

First impressions of Pidgin: could be more user friendly…

What’s not user friendly about it?

Maybe I’m biased. I started using it… 15 years ago?

Signal does run on phones?

I was hoping it would run on the L5. It doesn’t run on any other phone, I think.
Anyway, it is far from a perfect solution. It certainly is not a Whatsapp killer.

Compared to Whatsapp, you mean?

Installing was easy. But when I try to install the Whatsapp plugin, I end up on a github page with a lot of text, where I hoped to find a simple plugin. (Not to mention the 404’s I get when clicking on the links on the github page…)
Don’t get me wrong, I am willing to put in the time and effort to get it working, but I would not mind f it was a bit easier.
When I started out using Linux (years ago), I was prepared to spend time learning the ropes. Same with DOS years before that. I guess years of phone and tablet use (both Windows) have made me lazy…

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Tell them (because it’s true. I’d find the link for you but I’m in a hurry) that Telegram isn’t Russian, it’s made by Russian expatriates based in Dubai.

I will tell them.

Meanwhile I managed to install the Telegram plugin for Pidgin. Which is nice. And promising.
Wish I could find the Whatsapp plugin just as easily…

The question that I would ask is what information about the device using pidgin leaks out to the chat service, only ip address or more? Admittedly I am jumping in the middle of this so if this has been covered somewhere else, please point me to it.

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Good question, of course.
But it only starts to matter when I get it to work…