How to Install Signal on a Chromebook

One of the best features of Signal is that you can use it on your desktop including Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, and Linux. I have been using Signal on my Chromebook and it has been a flawless experience so far. The interesting part is that Signal on Chromebook works independently. No matter if your smartphone is connected to the internet or it’s in the common WiFi network, Signal just works and maintains end-to-end encryption too. So if you want to install Signal on a Chromebook then go through our guide below.

Install Signal on a Chromebook (2021)

1. First of all, you need Linux support before you can install Signal on your Chromebook. So at the outset, you are unlikely to install Signal on school-issued Chromebooks. Nevertheless, go ahead and check if your Chromebook comes with Linux support and how to set it up.

Note: If you are on Chrome OS 89 or above then “Linux (Beta)” is shown as “Developers” on the Settings page.

2. Once you have set up Linux, open the Terminal on your Chromebook and run the below command to update Linux to the latest build. If you encounter any error in this process then don’t worry, just move to the next step.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y

Install Signal on a Chromebook (2021)

3. After that, run the below command to install the signing key.

wget -O- |\
  sudo apt-key add -

4. Next, execute this command to add Signal’s repository to your Linux repository.

echo "deb [arch=amd64] xenial main" |\
  sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/signal-xenial.list

5. Finally, run the below command to install Signal on your Chromebook.

sudo apt update && sudo apt install signal-desktop -y

6. After the installation, open the App Drawer and look for “Linux apps“. It should be located on the last page.

7. Open it and you will find the Signal app. Now, open the app.

8. Here, you will be asked to link the Signal app on your smartphone through the QR code.

9. On your smartphone, open Signal and tap on the 3-dot menu. Here, open Settings -> Linked Devices -> tap on the “+” button. Now, scan the QR code on your Chromebook, and voila, Signal on your Chromebook will be linked to your smartphone and all your messages will be synced to the Linux app.

10. This is how Signal looks on a Chromebook. As I mentioned above, Signal works independently on Chromebook meaning you don’t need to be on a common WiFi network with the linked smartphone. Also, unlike WhatsApp, your linked smartphone does not require an active internet connection.

Use Signal on Your Chromebook Right Now

So that is how you can install and use Signal on your Chromebook. While the commands may look complex on the face, you don’t have to worry about that. Just copy and paste the commands and you are good to go. In case, you want to learn what benefit Signal brings over WhatsApp and Telegram then go through our linked explainer. Anyway, that is all from us. If you found our article helpful then comment down below and let us know.

Comments 8
  • GaryS says:

    Worked perfectly – many thanks – i copied each command into an sh file – chmod’s with +x to make it executable – and it installed first time – up and running.

  • F says:

    Not all chromebook have intel/Amd64, some are ARM based.
    It would be nice to mention it as this howto won’t work with ARM (as far as I know, the arm desktop signal does not exist yet).

  • Les says:

    Same problem here. Anyone have an answer to this ‘”deb’ is not known” issue?

    • Arjun Sha says:

      Have you enabled Linux?

  • Leo says:

    I have another issue as below after I typed in the last command.

    leo@penguin:~$ sudo apt update && sudo apt install signal-desktop
    E: Type ‘“deb’ is not known on line 2 in source list /etc/apt/sources.list.d/signal-xenial.list
    E: The list of sources could not be read.

  • Dori says:

    Same exact situation here! Any answers?

  • Mike says:

    I did everything described in this article. The last line says… E: Unable to locate package signal-desktop. Is there something else to do on my Chromebook? I have a Samsung Chromebook plus. It already had the Linux beta on it.

    • Chris says:

      I have the same issue. Did you ever find a fix?

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