How to use Google Messages on Linux

If you’re an Android user, you probably use Google Messages to send and receive text messages on your device. But did you know that you can also access messages and chat with your contacts from your computer while you’re at your desk?

Well, thanks to the device pairing feature in Messages, you can. If you’re wondering how to get it on your Linux desktop, you can use Google Messages for Desktop and Messages for Web.

Let’s take a look at using these two methods to get messages on your Linux desktop.


Google Messages for desktop versus Messages for the web

while both Google news for desktop and News for the web that you can use to view and reply to your conversations in Google Messages, there are differences and benefits for each of them.

Messages for Web is Google’s official web client for Messages, allowing you to access your Google Messages chats on your Linux desktop from a web browser. It requires no installation, so it’s easy to get started.

On the other hand, Google Messages for Desktop is an unofficial native Messages client for Linux. It installs on your Linux desktop and runs independently of the web browser.

In addition, as a desktop client, Google Messages for Desktop can use system notifications more effectively to send you instant notifications. While the web client also sends you notifications, sometimes you get delayed notifications or no notifications at all.

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1. News for the Web

Messages for Web is Google’s official solution for putting Messages on the desktop. It’s accessible from any web browser on any operating system, be it Linux, macOS or Windows, and you can get it working right away without having to install anything. Here’s how.

First, make sure you’re running the latest version of Messages on your Android phone. You can check the Play Store to see if a new update is available.

Related: Google Play Store not automatically updating apps? Try these fixes

Next, launch your favorite web browser on your Linux computer and go to messages.google.com/web.


Using Messages for Web on Linux

Go back to your Android phone and make sure you are connected to the internet. Then open the Messages app, click the ellipsis button in the top right corner and select device pairing from the menu options. Tap the QR code scanner on the following screen.

Now point your phone’s camera at the QR code displayed on the Messages for Web website on your desktop. Once your phone scans this code, it will be paired with the Messages web client and all your conversations will be synced.

Messages for Web will now prompt you with a Show notifications pop up click To permit to receive notifications for incoming messages.

Likewise, you have the option to remember that computer and keep it paired with your phone even if you close the tab. click Yes or No thank you here, depending on your preference.


Using Messages for Web on Linux

Once setup is complete, you can start exchanging messages with your contacts through the web client. In fact, not only can you send text messages, but you can also send emojis, stickers, GIFs, and even insert media into your conversations.

More news for web options

Messages for Web gives you a few other options besides the usual text messaging exchanges. Some of these options include:

  • Dark mode
  • Archived
  • Spam & blocked
  • settings
  • decouple

To access these options, click the ellipsis button in the left pane of Messages for Web.

2. Google News for desktop

Google Messages for desktop is a native App that turns Messages for Web into a desktop client for your Linux computer.

In case you’re not familiar, Nativefier is a tool that allows you to create a desktop app from any website. It works by generating a electron Wrapper based on provided website URL which can then be assigned a shortcut on your desktop for quick access.


While you can generate this wrapper for Google Messages yourself, there is already one on GitHub aptly named Google Messages for Desktop. Here’s how to use it on your Linux computer.

First things first, go to the link below and download the latest version of Google Messages for Desktop to your computer.

Download: Google news for desktop

Open a terminal and use the CD and ls Commands for navigating Downloads or another directory where you downloaded the file.

Next, type the following command to unzip the downloaded file:

unzip google-message-linux_v*.zip

Navigate to the extracted directory using the cd command:

cd Linux

Once in the directory, cd again in the GoogleMessages-linux-x64 Directory.

cd GoogleMessages-linux-x64

Now run the following command to give GoogleMessages carry out Permissions:

sudo chmod +x GoogleMessages

If asked for a password, enter your superuser password to continue.

Finally, run Google Messages with:

./GoogleMessages

Related: Chmod Command and Linux File Permissions Explained

Once Messages is up and running, you need to set it up before you can start sending and receiving messages. To do this, go to your phone and open the Messages app.

Click on the ellipse icon in the top right corner and select it device pairing. Now point your device’s camera at the QR code displayed on the Messages desktop client on your computer.

Google Messages should now sync and show all your conversations from the mobile app to the desktop client. And you should be able to send and receive text messages with your contacts right from the Messages app on your Linux desktop.

All other message options, such as B. Dark Mode, Spam & Blocked, etc. are available in the ellipsis menu, just like in the Messages web client, as mentioned in the previous section.

Add a shortcut to run messages instantly

Although you can run the client from the terminal, it’s not very convenient and takes a lot of time. Instead, you can create a shortcut for Google Messages in the application menu.

To do this, open the terminal and run the following command to create a shortcut file:

nano ~/.local/share/applications/Android-Messages.desktop

Add the following entries to this file:

[Desktop Entry]
Version=1.0.0
Name=Google Messages
Comment=Send and recieve messages from your Android Phone
Keywords=Message;Messaging;Android;SMS
Exec=/path/to/installfolder/android-messages
Icon=/path/to/installfolder/resources/app/icon.png
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Categories=Internet;Application;
StartupWMClass=google-messages-nativefier-f3cfa3


Substitute the values ​​for symbol and version with the appropriate paths. When you’re done, strike Ctrl + O to write and save the changes. Hit Ctrl + W break up.

Now you should be able to see an app shortcut applications Menu named Google News. Click on it to launch the app.

Unpair a device from the Google Messages web/desktop client

If you ever want to unpair your Android device from Google Messages web or desktop client, you can do so from either the web/desktop client or the mobile app.

To delete a device from the Messages web/desktop client, click the ellipsis button and select decouple from the menu.


Unpair a device in Google Message

When prompted, press the decouple button to confirm unpairing.

Alternatively, if you want to unpair a device from the Messages app on your Android, click the ellipsis button and select device pairing. Then tap x button next to the device name below Paired Devices and hit decouple to confirm.

If you have multiple devices paired with your Messages app, you can click Unpair all devices and tap decouple to decouple all at once.

Send and receive text messages from your desktop

The ability to send and receive text messages from your desktop is a nifty feature that saves you the hassle of jumping back and forth between your phone and computer.

Using any of the methods detailed in this guide, you should now be able to use Messages on your Linux computer and communicate with your contacts with ease. Both the web client and the desktop client work flawlessly, and most of the time your text messages sync between your devices without any problems.

If you like the idea of ​​texting from your desktop, there are other messaging apps that let you do the same.


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