Telegram is a free, cross-platform messaging app with end-to-end encryption. It’s famous for providing video calling and other missing features from Facebook or Twitter – one of its main attractions! In the following tutorial, you will learn to install Telegram on Linux Mint 21 or Linux Mint 20 release series using the apt package manager and flatpak package manager, with some tips for maintaining or removing popular messenger software in the future.
Table of Contents
Recommended Steps Before Installation
Before you begin, run an update on your system to ensure all packages are up-to-date to avoid any conflicts during the installation.
sudo apt update
Optionally, you can list the updates for users who require review or are curious.
sudo apt --list upgradable
Proceed to upgrade any outdated packages using the following command.
sudo apt upgrade
Method 1: APT Default Method
The first option is to use the default APT repository. This is a stable and secure version and is most recommended to install over any other package manager but it can be outdated compared to Flatpaks alternative, which is usually up-to-date.
First, execute the following apt install command.
sudo apt install telegram-desktop -y
For users that would prefer a much more updated version package, use the APT PPA that is next.
Method 2: LaunchPAD PPA
The following method to install Telegram, but this time an updated version, while still using the APT package manager, is to install Telegram from the PPA maintained by Gianfranco Costamagna.
Use the following command to install or check if the packages are installed.
sudo apt install dirmngr lsb-release ca-certificates software-properties-common apt-transport-https -y
For users who have not previously imported a GPG key from the Ubuntu keyserver, the command line terminal will often have issues importing GPG keys from LaunchPAD PPAs because the directories are not created. This is an easy fix. Use the following command that will, in turn, generate the directories.
sudo gpg --list-keys
gpg: directory '/root/.gnupg' created gpg: keybox '/root/.gnupg/pubring.kbx' created gpg: /root/.gnupg/trustdb.gpg: trustdb created
This can be skipped, but if you encounter an issue, just run the command and re-try.
Now import the GPG key needed for all the repositories.
sudo gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring /usr/share/keyrings/telegram.gpg --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys E36CE452F7C2AE96FB1354901BCB19E03C2A1859
gpg: keybox '/usr/share/keyrings/telegram.gpg' created gpg: key 1BCB19E03C2A1859: public key "Launchpad costamagnagianfranco-ppa" imported gpg: Total number processed: 1 gpg: imported: 1
With the PPA GPG key sorted, use the following command to import the PPA. Remember, you must match the command to your Linux Mint distribution version release series.
Import Telegram PPA for Linux Mint 21 release.
echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/telegram.gpg] https://ppa.launchpadcontent.net/costamagnagianfranco/telegram/ubuntu jammy main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/telegram.list
Import Telegram PPA for Linux Mint 20 release.
echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/telegram.gpg] https://ppa.launchpadcontent.net/costamagnagianfranco/telegram/ubuntu focal main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/telegram.list
Before running the installation command, run an apt update to reflect the newly imported PPA and rebuild the cache.
sudo apt update
Install the software using the following command.
sudo apt install telegram -y
Alternatively, you can verify the PPA version is installed using the APT-cache policy command. This will show the version installed and from which repository. Almost all cases, the PPA version should be ahead of the standard version with Linux Mint.
apt-cache policy telegram-desktop
As demonstrated in the above image, at the time of this tutorial, the standard version available was 3.6.1, and the PPA contained 3.7.3. These versions will vary in the future, but you get the idea.
Method 3: Flatpak with Flathub Repository
The third option is to use the Flatpak package manager. This comes installed on Flatpak unless you remove it. This is another popular option similar to Snap but is featured amongst many distributions as an alternative third-party installation package manager for the latest packages.
First, re-install Flatpak if you have removed the package manager previously.
sudo apt install flatpak -y
Next, you need to enable Flatpack using the following command in your terminal:
sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo
Ideally, you should reboot at this stage; if you skip this and notice icons not appearing, the reboot will generate the paths required for the future.
Now run the installation using the following flatpak command.
flatpak install flathub org.telegram.desktop -y
Troubleshoot Flatpak Telegram Installation
First, the most common error when installing a Flatpak from Flathub is the following error output.
"error: Unable to load summary from remote flathub: Can't fetch summary from disabled remote 'flathub,"
The fix is simple, run the following command to enable Flathub.
flatpak remote-modify --enable flathub
This will fix the issue the above issue. The next issue can be access to system files. I would only recommend using the following command if you have access permission with your installation accessing files; use the override command below.
sudo flatpak override flathub org.telegram.desktop --filesystem=host
Please do not use this command by default unless it is needed.
How to Launch Telegram
Launching can be done in a few ways now that you have the software installed.
First, you can launch the application immediately by typing the following command in your terminal.
Lastly, Flatpak users can run from the terminal using the following command.
flatpak run org.telegram.desktop
Most desktop users will not always have a terminal open, so use the following path using your taskbar to open the Telegram client.
Taskbar > Internet > Telegram
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.
Do not forget you can also change the appearance in the settings menu to whatever you prefer. Some pre-made templates exist which can be customized further.
Additional Commands & Tips
How to Update Telegram
Updates should appear in notifications, but if these fail to show sometimes, it is recommended to check using the terminal regardless use one of the following commands to check for updates.
For users that used the APT method, use the standard update and upgrade commands as you did at the start of the tutorial. This will ofcourse blanket check all installed packages which covers nearly everything on your system.
sudo apt update
If updates are available use the upgrade command.
sudo apt upgrade
Lastly, Flatpak users use the following command to check for new updates on installed Flatpak packages.
How to Remove (Uninstall) Telegram
Use one of the following commands to suit the original installation method for users who no longer require the application.
First, APT installation use the following command.
sudo apt autoremove telegram-desktop --purge -y
Note that autoremove will also delete any unused packages from Telegram and other leftovers from previous applications. This is usually safe and should be done to keep your system from bloating.
Lastly, users that installed Telegram using the PPA remove the repository and GPG key using the following command.
sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/telegram-ppa.list /usr/share/keyrings/costamagnagianfranco.gpg
If you installed the Flatpak version, use the following command.
flatpak remove --delete-data org.telegram.desktop -y
Next, run the following command for any leftover clean-ups required, similar to the autoremove command described for the apt remove example command.
flatpak remove --unused
Comments and Conclusion
If you are looking for a more private messaging experience, Telegram is an excellent choice. It has many of the same features as WhatsApp but with the bonus of encryption and privacy. With its large user base and cloud storage capabilities, Telegram is also a good choice for saving or downloading files. While there are some disadvantages to using Telegram, the pros outweigh them if you prioritize privacy when communicating with others.