Encrypted messaging is getting big on Linux, and one of the more popular protocols for this type of communication lately is Tox. It’s completely p2p, supports text, video, and has dozens of security and privacy features.Â The Tox protocol is open source, and the project encourages developers to create their own third-party AppImage to use the chat service. Out of all of the clients out there, qTox client is one of the most popular.
The qTox client itself, like all Tox clients, rely on the Tox protocol. On many Linux distributions, there aren’t official packages for the protocol, so you’ll need to build it manually. To compile the protocol, open up a terminal and install the necessary build dependencies. Then follow the commands to compile the code on your system.
sudo apt-get install build-essential cmake libavcodec-dev libavdevice-dev libavfilter-dev libavutil-dev libexif-dev libgdk-pixbuf2.0-dev libglib2.0-dev libgtk2.0-dev libkdeui5 libopenal-dev libopus-dev libqrencode-dev libqt5opengl5-dev libqt5svg5-dev libsodium-dev libsqlcipher-dev libswresample-dev libswscale-dev libvpx-dev libxss-dev qrencode qt5-default qttools5-dev-tools qttools5-dev git
Getting qTox built on Debian is no problem, though officially, only Debian 9 Stable (Stretch) has support. Those intending to build this software on Old Stable (8) or Testing (10) do so at your own risk!
In a terminal, install the following dependencies with the Apt-get package manager.
sudo apt-get install automake autotools-dev build-essential check checkinstall cmake ffmpeg libavcodec-dev libavdevice-dev libexif-dev libgdk-pixbuf2.0-dev libgtk2.0-dev libkdeui5 libopenal-dev libopus-dev libqrencode-dev libqt5opengl5-dev libqt5svg5-dev libsodium-dev libsqlcipher-dev libtool libvpx-dev libxss-dev pkg-config qrencode qt5-default qttools5-dev qttools5-dev-tools yasm git
Arch Linux users should have no issue installing the qTox dependencies, as support for the OS is specifically outlined on the website. However, if you’re on Arch Linux and don’t feel like building the app from source, consider downloading the AUR package of qTox instead.
sudo pacman -S --needed base-devel qt5 openal libxss qrencode ffmpeg opus libvpx libsodium git
Getting all necessary dependencies for Fedora Linux is a two-step process. First, open up a terminal and use DNF to install the Fedora development package group.
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sudo dnf groupinstall "Development Tools" "C Development Tools and Libraries"
Next, use the terminal to get the special qTox/Toxcore dependencies.
sudo dnf install autoconf automake check check-devel ffmpeg-devel gtk2-devel kf5-sonnet libexif-devel libsodium-devel libtool libvpx-devel libXScrnSaver-devel openal-soft-devel openssl-devel opus-devel qrencode-devel qt5-linguist qt5-qtsvg qt5-qtsvg-devel qt-creator qt-devel qt-doc qtsingleapplication sqlcipher sqlcipher-devel git
sudo zypper install libexif-devel libffmpeg-devel libopus-devel libQt5Concurrent-devel libqt5-linguist libQt5Network-devel libQt5OpenGL-devel libqt5-qtbase-common-devel libqt5-qtsvg-devel libQt5Xml-devel libsodium-devel libvpx-devel libXScrnSaver-devel openal-soft-devel patterns-openSUSE-devel_basis qrencode-devel sqlcipher-devel sonnet-devel git
Linux users who want qTox and all of its components will need to visit the installation page and learn about what to install to build the code successfully. Alternatively, there is a qTox AppImage available. The AppImage will get the job done, though by not compiling it from source, the program will not be optimized for your PC.
At the center of qTox is the Tox protocol (aka toxcore). Toxcore is the main dependency, and without it, the qTox program will not build correctly. Luckily, building and installing the Tox protocol on a Linux system is super simple.
Start the installation process of Toxcore by grabbing the latest code in a terminal with the Git tool.
git clone https://github.com/toktok/c-toxcore.git toxcore
CD into the new “toxcore” folder and run cmake.
cd toxcore cmake .
Build the Toxcore software by executing the make command.
Lastly, finish up the process by installing Toxcore.
sudo make install
echo '/usr/local/lib/' | sudo tee -a /etc/ld.so.conf.d/locallib.conf sudo ldconfig
Install qTox Client
Toxcore is working, so now it’s time to build the qTox client and install it on Linux. Like with toxcore, building the qTox client starts by cloning the code locally via Git.
git clone https://github.com/qTox/qTox.git
With the qTox code on your Linux PC, use the CD command and move the terminal into the sources folder.
Inside the sources folder, run cmake to generate a makefile.
Compile the qTox code on your Linux PC with the make command.
Install the software on your Linux PC with make install.
sudo make install
Launch the qTox app on your Linux desktop. After the app finishes starting up, you’ll notice a login window. If you’ve already got a Tox account, log in with your user information. Alternatively, select the “New Profile” button, and create a new user.
Once you’re in qTox, you’ll be able to add friends by pasting their ID codes into the “Tox ID” box, under the “add friend menu”.