Signal – encrypted communications app

Signal Desktop is an app that lets you send or receive Signal messages using your laptop or desktop computer. It runs independently of a web browser.

Signal uses standard cellular mobile numbers as identifiers, and uses end-to-end encryption to secure all communications to other Signal users. The applications include mechanisms by which users can independently verify the identity of their messaging correspondents and the integrity of the data channel.

Signal Desktop must link with either Signal Android or Signal iOS to be available for messaging.

Signal Desktop is Electron-based. Electron allows for the development of desktop GUI applications using front and back end components originally developed for web applications: Node.js runtime for the backend and Chromium for the frontend.

Features include:

  • Simple and easy-to-use application.
  • Read and send messages.
  • Send/set timer for disappearing messages.
  • Change theme (includes dark theme).
  • Import groups & contacts.
  • Check/verify encryption keys.
  • Reset a session.
  • Messaging is private – uses end-to-end encryption. In-app codes offers the ability to verify the connection.
  • Syncs with Signal on your mobile phone
  • Receive contact:
    • Show contact in message bubble, in all themes.
    • Message detail view.
    • “Send message” button which opens conversation with that user.
    • Include contact name (or organization, if no name) in reply to a message with a contact and no body text.
  • Media gallery.
  • Multi-message notifications.
  • Support for receiving quoted replies.
  • Themes.
  • Cross-platform support – Linux, MacOS, and Windows operating systems are supported. Linux distributions supporting APT, like Ubuntu or Debian.
  • Flatpak version is available.
  • Internationalization support.

Support: Blog, GitHub Code Repository
Developer: Open Whisper Systems and contributors
License: GNU General Public License v3.0


Signal is written in JavaScript. Learn JavaScript with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

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