Will the Librem 5 run Signal? (Updated)

I find it hard to convince people to start using something like Riot or Wire. However, I find it easier to get people to install Signal as it isn’t really anything extra considering it can replace their SMS messenger app, except it allows private communication between other Signal users while still offering standard SMS usage.

Will the Librem 5 run Signal? I’m aware it won’t be running many Android apps, at least with current funding. However, will they be teaming up with Signal to create a Signal app that runs on PureOS.

UPDATE: I finished reading the FAQ and saw the answer to my question. I understand their reasoning for teaming up with Matrix, i don’t disagree with that. I do however think Purism should still work with Signal to at least have a working app you can download. I can understand why they wouldn’t make this a default, but it should still be an option. To be honest, you don’t really have anything to lose, it’s an encrypted messenger vs a non-encrypted messenger.

Again I’m not saying Signal should be the default SMS application for the Librem 5. I do however believe it should still be an option for the user to use Signal, considering it is easier to get the average person to use, making communication more secure.

Hi @Napalm

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Signal is a tricky one.
While Signal and its servers are free software, the company behind Signal has business interests that conflict somewhat with it.

This means a Signal client for mobile Linux devices (i. e. the Librem 5) could be developed; however, Open Whisper systems would not want it using their network.
It’s not entirely clear if they would simply disable such clients from connecting, in the past they usually have asked developers of 3rd party clients - or even 3rd party builds of their own client - to not connect to the OWS-network.

So what this means is, that while anyone could write a Signal client for the Librem, it could not communicat with users of the official Signal apps.
The only way to do this would be to have Open Whisper Systems develop their own client for the Librem, which seems quite unlikely.


Do you believe that using the Linux desktop client for Signal would be a possible workaround or are there limitations that are not occurring to me at this momenent?

The Linux Desktop client requires you to sync with a phone client. If you’re trying to use the desktop client on the phone, then you don’t have the phone client, so I’m pretty sure it won’t work.

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But you can run the desktop-client wihtout having it running on your phone. I run the linux desktop client. My phone is already dead for months. So its possible to run it on linux without having to run it on the phone at the same time. I think its great! I

  1. Buy a cheap phone, run signal

  2. Install&run the linux client.

  3. Connect them

  4. Uninstall signal on your cheap phone(without any internet, never tried this, so if this is not possible destroy your phone that will work for sure :))

I don’t know how secure this is, but I suppose the msg are still end to end encrypted.

You cant make calls

You cant edit or add contacts

You’re not able to change the security number from the client, a secundair phone is needed


All good to know. Thanks for the guidance. I don’t know much about how Signal is architected and I haven’t played much with the desktop client. It seems really limited. It would seem from what you’ve shared and I know about Signal myself that it works well given our current environment but something that is a bit, perhaps one could say revolutionary (as opposed to evolutionary), its model doesn’t seem to fit well?

As far as I know, just to be clear, Signal can replace SMS messaging app on android but not on iOS.