How to Install Telegram on Debian 11 Bullseye

Telegram is a popular free cross-platform, cloud-based instant messaging system. Telegram is famous for providing end-to-end encrypted video calling, VoIP, file sharing, amongst many other features. One of the main attractions of Telegram, it is unique in having no ties or shared interests with the big social media giants such as Facebook or Twitter. The application is also cross-platform, with app versions available for most operating systems for desktops and mobile/tablet devices.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the Telegram client on Debian 11 Bullseye.

Prerequisites

  • Recommended OS: Debian 11 Bullseye
  • User account: A user account with sudo or root access.

Update Operating System

Update your Debian operating system to make sure all existing packages are up to date:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

The tutorial will be using the sudo command and assuming you have sudo status.

To verify sudo status on your account:

sudo whoami

Example output showing sudo status:

[joshua@debian~]$ sudo whoami
root

To set up an existing or new sudo account, visit our tutorial on Adding a User to Sudoers on Debian.

To use the root account, use the following command with the root password to log in.

su

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Option 1. Install Telegram with APT Manager

The first option is to use the default apt repository provided by Debian’s repository. This is a stable and secure version.

First, execute the following apt install command:

sudo apt install telegram-desktop

Example output:

How to Install Telegram on Debian 11 Bullseye

Type “Y”, then press the “ENTER KEY” to proceed with the installation.

Once installed, confirm the installation by checking the apt-cache policy on Telegram.

sudo apt-cache policy telegram-desktop

Example output:

How to Install Telegram on Debian 11 Bullseye

Updates are handled using the standard apt update & upgrade command that you would have done at the start of the tutorial.

If you no longer wish to have Telegram installed with APT, use the following command to remove the package.

sudo apt autoremove telegram-desktop --purge

This will automatically remove any unused dependencies that were installed originally with Telegram.

Option 2. Install Telegram with Snap (Snapcraft)

The second option is to use the Snap package manager. Debian users may be familiar with Snap as it is created and maintained by Ubuntu; however, it does not come natively installed on your system. However, this can be installed relatively quickly.

To install Snap, use the following command:

sudo apt install snapd

Example output:

How to Install Telegram on Debian 11 Bullseye

Type “Y”, then press the “ENTER KEY” to proceed with the installation.

Once Snap is installed, it is highly recommended to log out and back in again or restart your service to ensure snap’s paths are updated correctly.

sudo systemctl restart snapd

Next, some packages come in classic, so you need to create a symlink to enable classic snap support.

sudo ln -s /var/lib/snapd/snap /snap

Next, you need to install the “snap core files” for everything to work correctly. Failure to do this may result in issues down the track.

sudo snap install core

Example output:

core 16-2.51.7 from Canonical✓ installed

Next, install the Telegram package using snap:

sudo snap install telegram-desktop

Example output:

telegram-desktop 3.1.9 from Telegram FZ-LLC (telegram.desktop) installed

As above, this informs you the Telegram was successfully installed and the version number.

Snap packages are more significant in size than traditional repositories through the APT package manager for several reasons. However, the trade-off is more straightforward maintained packages that are often updated to the latest available version.

For the future, to update along with and any other packages installed by Snap, run the following command:

sudo snap refresh

If you no longer need to have Telegram installed, remove it using the Snap remove command.

sudo snap remove telegram-desktop

Example output:

telegram-desktop removed

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Option 3. Install Telegram with Flatpak

The third option is to use the Flatpak package manager. By default, this does not come pre-installed on Debian but is available from its repository. This is another popular option similar to Snap.

First, install Flatpak and its dependencies.

sudo apt install flatpak gnome-software-plugin-flatpak -y

Next, you need to enable Flatpack for Debian using the following command in your terminal:

sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

Now install Telegram using the following flatpak command:

sudo flatpak install flathub org.telegram.desktop

Example output:

How to Install Telegram on Debian 11 Bullseye

Type “Y” X2 times, then press the “ENTER KEY” X2 times to proceed with the installation.

YOU MUST RESTART YOUR SESSION! To view the Telegram Icon you can log in and out of your session or use the following terminal command.

sudo systemctl restart gdm3

Updates are handled by Flatpack automatically every time you log into your system. However, if you need to remove the Flatpack version of Telegram, run the following command:

sudo flatpak uninstall --delete-data org.telegram.desktop

Example output:

How to Install Telegram on Debian 11 Bullseye

Type “Y” X2 times, then press the “ENTER KEY” X2 times to remove using Flatpack.

How to Launch Telegram Client

Now that you have the Telegram client installed, launching can be done in two ways.

In your terminal type:

telegram

If you would like to launch Telegram and use the terminal, send it to the background:

telegram &

Alternatively, Flatpak users will need to launch using the command below from a terminal instance:

flatpak run org.telegram.desktop

However, this isn’t practical, and you would use the following path on your desktop to open with the path: Activities > Show Applications > Telegram. If you cannot find it, use the search function in the Show Applications menu if you have many applications installed.

Example:

How to Install Telegram on Debian 11 Bullseye

Once you open Telegram, you will see the first default landing screen. From here, you can sign or create an account with either an email or your mobile number.

How to Install Telegram on Debian 11 Bullseye

Congratulations, you have successfully installed Telegram.


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Comments and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you have learned how to add the official Telegram client on your Debian 11 Bullseye desktop in three different ways.

Overall, Telegram has more advantages than cons if you are strictly looking for a more private communication client. It is self-owned values privacy-first along with no pesky advertisements of its products or external. Telegram provides a large amount of storage to save or download files, and it provides cloud storage because we can store or save files on the cloud. 

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