Signal App not usable - Flare preferred

There was a very long discussion about the Signal desktop App being made usable for the Librem5
in which an array of measures were suggested and corrected in order to get Signals desktop for Linux working with the caveat that certain letters on the keyboard just didn’t work.

Well if I can’t type the message, then the App is unusable.

I am quite dependent on Signal because I managed to convince all my contacts to leave whatsapp in favor of signal some time back. Getting them to move to the next chat doesn’t seem a possibility in the near future. Nevertheless, some other solution has to be found.

How can I drop Android if the only way to register is via an Android/Iphone app? And it seems to me that isn’t especially interested in the Linux user-base. They are certainly free to ignore linux users - but do we have to bend over backwards just to use their App? With missing keys?

Flare is working quite well. What I miss are the received notifiers. Hoping they might come some time.

I have also experienced Signal not mirroring all messages I send with Flare - wonder what’s going on there?

Finally I have heard of bridges to connect Signal with Matrix. No, I don’t want to run my own server.

Does anyone have any suggestions? How can I stay connected with all my Signal contacts? Personally, I would drop Signal today - they don’t care about me (a Linux user), why should I hassle with them?


Don’t drop Signal. The keyboard issue is just a minor bug, which can be worked around with a couple of command lines, which have been posted in the thread you’ve linked to.

I’ve been trying to get familiar with Debian packaging for a few months, but I’m having a super hard time setting up a repository. If I had a working repository, I would be able to build you a Debian package, which you could install using apt, sparing you from having to build the workaround manually. Sorry for failing to do that.

Regardless, you may want to consider building and installing the workaround. You have to do it only once. It’s probably more convenient for you than dropping Signal altogether.

If you have difficulties with the workaround, let me know and I’ll try to help you as best as I can.


Were you aware that signal (at least on Android) uses Google firebase messaging to send empty messages in parallel to every message, so that (1) the Android stuff can get push notifications from Google servers instead of Signal servers, since Google wants it that way (2) that thus Google can collect necessary metadata about any signal communications you’re doing?

I went on their forums and kind of asked about it, and linked to where in the source code it was reporting to Google if I compile their android app and reporting to Google if I send a message, and they deleted my message “for being FUD.” Why does an app whose ads say “Message Freely” need to censor unpopular opinions on their forum “because everyone already knows” or whatever???

Anyway, I felt like because Flare and friends looked like they always had to work hard to keep functioning, as though Signal was trying to aggressively update to constantly deprecate them, and also because somebody linked to a GitHub issue where the Signal people said that apps like Flare are probably in violation of their ToS it just seems like Signal sucks.

I don’t want to have my messages or ideas censored for being wrong, so I won’t again say with any force that sometimes I wonder if Signal is a government honeypot, since you know I don’t know that, I’m just some guy on the internet. And obviously Signal has spent a lot of time building privacy technology. But, what I can do, is quote the old adage, “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.”

Edit: If you’re a Signal developer in the future, incensed by reading this, and you are really and truly dedicated to privacy, then make an official way for me to sign up for your app with my Librem 5 phone and only that phone and no other phone. Because that is the phone that I have. Okay, thank you!

Edit 2: Of course, as you walk a path previously followed by other humans – first to use Signal, and then later to use Librem 5 – as we traverse in the footsteps of others, it might be valuable to stop and wonder who led us this way. If the first step along the predestined path happens to be some government sponsored trap, why should we assume the second step is not the same thing likewise? Who told us to use Librem 5 after using Signal? I’m just some guy. I don’t have the answer. If the government wants to hit me with a stick until I give them my password, as though life were an xkcd comic, they can. I’m no warrior. In the end, there is naught to do but make our own decisions in a world where what we think and believe has been put on the corporate market for sale without even telling us.


Personally I have been very hesitant to make my friends and family change to any new chat app the last years, knowing I only get so many chances. I like a lot about signal, except for the centralized bit. Matrix I like even more, but it has been way to buggy and hard to use for some years. Lately I believe Matrix is good enough to recommend changing to.


Thanks for your helpful pointers, but the need for repositories, building a package, command line this and command line that. Repeat at every reset, etc, etc …
Sorry, but this shouldn’t be just a hobby for the small percentile of geeks/nerds/masochists (pick your favorite) that wanna do that kind of stuff.

But I do thank you for your want to help.

Beyond that core issues remain:

  • I have to use an Android phone to register,
  • I regularly have to use an android phone to confirm my PIN,
  • I have to use an Android phone for all regular updates, …
    My SIM card with my number SHOULD be in my Librem5, NOT in any Android or Iphone. x(

“If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.”

so you make my day :slight_smile:


I use WayDroid on my L5 - my daily-driver. I only have a spare (old) Android phone that I keep in my vehicle for emergencies, but otherwise never use.

WayDroid is a fantastic stop-gap for people that need certain Android apps that don’t have native Linux or proper PWA support planned for the foreseeable future. However, camera and GPS passthrough AFAIK isn’t currently supported.

What works for me in Signal via WayDroid:

  • Bidirectional texting
  • Bidirectional media transfer
  • Incoming video calls (but I cannot share my video due to no camera passthrough)
  • Incoming audio calls

What doesn’t work for me in Signal via WayDroid:

  • Outgoing audio calls (it rings 1-2 times and then says recipient unavailable; does anyone have an idea what may be causing this?)
  • Outgoing video calls (no camera passthrough, plus the same issue as outgoing audio calls)
  • Linking the account to another Signal client (i.e. Flare) on the same device (copying the QR code destination does not work)
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Use MollyIM to achieve this, allows pasting in a text link from the QR code.


I appreciate all hints and workarounds.
I still don’t believe this is a practical route.
If I have to use an android emulation, just to get a half-ass solution - doesn’t make sense. Especially where chat/messaging is - at least in my case - an important use-case. Then I think going to AOSP or Jolla makes more sense.

And it seems to me everyone is ignoring the core ugly points

  • account creation only possible in the android/iphone google/apple universe,
  • usage must be regularly updated with android/iphone google/apple

I feel Signal is twisting my arm in just the same way Microsoft/Apple/Google/F-book …

I am dependent on Signal as anyone else here, but I see there’s no future with it in a Linux-phone world.


Just to complete this : my SIM card was registered on Signal with my previous phone (iphone) then moved to my L5. I keep the iphone without SIM card and have sometimes to confirm (on the iphone) that my phone number is always mine, that’s it.


Here is a resource.


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Just switch from the squeekboard keyboard to the phosh-osk-stub and all those issues with certain letters go away :slight_smile:
In general I find it much more usable and it comes closer to what the Android/iOS keyboard offers.


I think I am too stupid to toggle the screen layout to the layout shown in the thread linked in first post?

What all I am trying to configure - I never get an left side with only the Avatar pictures shown??? On my L5 I have at the left the full names with the contents of the latest chats. What to do?

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I answered this at the other signal thread you asked the question on:

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I can certainly understand being put off that it is not as seamless of an experience as it is on Android/iOS. However, several of us are using Signal to communicate on a daily basis; so to say that there’s no future in the Linux Phone World sounds a little extreme. There is a present Linux Phone World, albeit a very young and untamed one.

Many of us choose to use the workarounds in the hope that software will improve to match a more seamless experience in the future.


I said there is no future (not present) for Signal (not Linux). Read, try to understand - then write.

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Thanks. That keyboard looks a lot more comfortable if you need äÄöÖ… and so on. Was able to install via your link and the manpage (and restart).

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I can move the separator. But not more than even the chat list will remain on a size I cannot minimize further and is even way to big ???

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Thanks for that info.

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After 1894856867 feeled tries it resizes :slight_smile: Now also usable on my phone