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If you look at my web browser, you will see that it is always full of too many tabs. Because of this, I try to separate certain services from the web browser and use desktop clients instead.

However, not every service has an official client for the Linux desktop, so it’s not always that easy.

Such is the case with Facebook Messenger.

Although there is an official client for MacOS, Windows, Android and iOS, there is no one for Linux.

And while I could choose to use, say, Chrome to build a Messenger web app, I don’t use Chrome. So what do I do to get a Facebook Messenger-like client on Linux?

Also: How to enable end-to-end encryption for Facebook Messenger chats

I install a handy little tool called Caprine which is available to install on both Linux and MacOS. One thing I like about Caprine is that it has a few features that the official Facebook Messenger doesn’t have. The full feature list looks like this:

  • Dark theme
  • Live Theme*
  • Focused on privacy
  • Key combination
  • Menu bar mode*
  • Work chat support
  • Code blocks
  • Touch Bar Support*
  • Custom styles
  • Cross-platform
  • Silent automatic updates
  • Custom text size
  • Emoticon style setting
  • Regards Do Not Disturb*
  • Emoji sticker, GIF support

* These features are only available for the MacOS version.

Given a choice between the official Facebook Messenger app and Caprine, I’ll take Caprine any day. For example, one thing the official app does is by default pop up chat head bubbles, which can seriously take over your desktop. Caprine does not do this, so all conversations are stored in the app. So between that and having a Linux app, Caprine is the winner for me, hands down.

Also: Linus Torvalds bids 486 Linux adieu

How to get Facebook Messenger client on Linux

How to get Caprine on different Linux distributions? Let me show you.


Caprine can be installed on Ubuntu and Debian-based distributions, RHEL and Fedora-based distributions, and any distribution that supports Snap, Flatpak, or AppImages. To install it, you’ll need a running instance of Linux and a user with sudo privileges.

I will show you how to install Caprine on Ubuntu and Debian and RHEL and Fedora based distributions. To keep this simple, I’ll demonstrate using both Snap and Flatpak, because that should cover almost any Linux distribution.

Ready? Let’s do it.

Installing Ubuntu and Debian-based distributions

The first thing you need to do is open a terminal window because, yes, we are installing from the command line.

Also: How to install Linux applications from the command line

The command to install Caprine with Snap is:

sudo snap install caprine

Let the installation finish and once it’s done, you’ll find the Caprine app in your desktop menu. Open it, log in with your Facebook account credentials and go to town with messages.

Installing RHEL and Fedora based distributions

Now we turn to Flatpak. This is done in a very similar way to Snap. Just open a terminal in your RHEL and Fedora based distribution and install Caprine with:

Once the installation is complete, open the app, sign in and start chatting.

If you’re like me, you’ll find that Caprine is an exceptional solution to a problem you never knew you had. Try the app and see if it doesn’t quickly become your go-to for all your Facebook Messenger chats.