Signal-Desktop on arm64

Until recently, I did not know of a way to install Signal-Desktop on arm64 devices like Librem 5 and PinePhone. I had read months ago that there were problems when trying to compile it for arm64, but I just came across Signal-Desktop-Builder by 0mniteck on the Mobian wiki. I would like to try it out, but I am having difficulty verifying the download and am looking for help from the community here.

I am having trouble importing the public key in order to verify the signature of the signal-desktop_5.16.0_arm64.deb file.

Public Key: 0558260a88ff08f8dddf791fe73b9457917830506be3d8dbc1311e8d769c5ac777


@dom0 Did you have any progress with the public key?

No, I still have been unable to understand how to import that public key.

Hopefully there is someone here in this community that will see this post and help us out with this. I think that there are probably many Purism users that are also Signal users, so I had thought that someone would have helped solve this issue by now. Maybe now that this post has more than one reply, someone that can help will notice it and chime in with the solution.

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I took the risk and just installed the .deb on the Librem5. When I run signal-desktop from the command line, I see the Signal desktop splash screen appearing, also the loading animation is started, but Signal does not go further.
Zooming in and zooming out works. I can also bring up the about window. Changing between portrait and landscape mode also works, but when I click a few menu options, Signal desktop crashes at a certain moment. I also tried submitting a debug log, but that did not work.
But, there is a start, hopefully there will be some progress over time.

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See also this thread on the Signal community forum.


Thank you for the information. After reading your comments, I installed the latest version 5.17.0 onto my PinePhone running Mobian, and I had the same experience that you described. From the disclaimer of the camera not working, it seems like it may have worked on an older version, and manual upgrades of a working signal-desktop install did not present any other issues.

Has anyone gotten signal-desktop to work on Librem 5 or PinePhone?

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Oh by the way, the crash that happens with clicking multiple menu items can be mitigated by tapping or swiping outside of the menu before tapping/clicking on another menu item.

I really hope the app can connect properly in an update soon. I do not want to create a new Signal account untill the phone requirement is removed. I need to be able to add this device to my existing account.

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Has anyone tried installing Anbox and then installing the Signal Android app? Has Signal worked for anyone that way?

Good news:

  • signal-desktop_5.17.0_arm64.deb appears to work now, properly connecting and displaying the QR code in order to link to an existing Signal account.

Bad news:

  • My primary account on an old iPhone has been de-registered by Signal with no way to re-register, as I do not have a phone number anymore.

  • My secondary account in a Qubes virtual machine remains active and usable for texts and calls, but there is no way to use it to link to the Signal-Desktop app on my PinePhone.

  • The Signal developers seem to have gone back on their word and will not be allowing creation of accounts without a phone number.

  • Creation of a Signal account will also continue to require the purchase and use of a new iOS or Android device.

I tried to create a new account using signal-cli and a free sms verification site, but this seems to require loading a web browser and doing Google captchas for verification, with no other options available.

Is Signal basically dead for people like me, or is there some hope that I may be able to use it on my PinePhone/Librem 5?

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Probably? Have you looked at Session Messenger? It might fit better with your preferences. The main reason I use signal is that the cryptography/protocols seem to be of more proven quality. But they seem actively on board with destroying anonymity.