Microsoft Skype and Hangouts are excellent applications. They both work very well on Linux and allow for quick and easy communication between friends. Still, Hangouts and Skype aren’t open-source, and the large companies behind them can spy on everything you do and potentially use your messages to deliver targeted advertisements, and even share your information with the authorities without your consent.
An excellent alternative to using tools like Skype and Hangouts is to use Ring. It’s an open source communication platform for Linux, Mac, and Windows that prioritizes software freedom, has excellent, equivalent features to the popular messaging apps on the market today and puts your privacy front-and-center in its mission.
Use a VPN with Ring for extra privacy
The team behind Ring works very hard to protect your privacy, but it isn’t perfect. Hackers will always exist, and the developers behind this app can’t protect you 100% of the time. For this reason, it’s a good idea to use this program with a VPN. Doing so will give you an extra layer of security and peace of mind.
ExpressVPN takes the top spot as the best VPN reviewed by our security experts. It works well on Linux and has an excellent client for download. Better still, they offer fast download speeds with 256-bit AES encryption and perfect forward secrecy across 94 different countries. Also, they have an exclusive offer for AddictiveTips readers: 3 months free on the annual plan, a 49% discount.
The developers behind Ring have a dedicated software repository that users of Ubuntu can add for easy installation. Currently, the third-party software repository supports Ubuntu 18.04 and 16.04 but is expected to add 18.10 in the future.
Open up a terminal and use the echo command to add the new Ring software repository to Ubuntu.
sudo sh -c "echo 'deb https://dl.ring.cx/ring-nightly/ubuntu_18.04/ ring main' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ring-nightly-main.list" sudo apt-key adv --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys A295D773307D25A33AE72F2F64CD5FA175348F84
sudo sh -c "echo 'deb https://dl.ring.cx/ring-nightly/ubuntu_16.04/ ring main' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ring-nightly-main.list" sudo apt-key adv --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys A295D773307D25A33AE72F2F64CD5FA175348F84
With the new software source added, it’s time to add the Ubuntu Universe repository, so that Ring may access it for the dependencies it needs.
sudo add-apt-repository universe
Update your Ubuntu PC with the update and upgrade commands.
sudo apt update sudo apt upgrade -y
Finally, install the Ring messenger application on Ubuntu with:
sudo apt install ring
Installing Ring on Debian requires a third-party software repository. The reason for this is that the packages on Debian are usually out of date. As a result, the Ring developers need to deliver packages on their own.
As of now, the Ring app only has support for Debian version 9. Those on older versions of Debian Linux should upgrade to Stable.
To add the Ring software source to Debian, open up a terminal and paste the commands below into it.
su - apt-get install dirmngr sh -c "echo 'deb https://dl.ring.cx/ring-nightly/debian_9/ ring main' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ring-nightly-main.list"
The new Ring software source is set up in Debian Linux. The next step is to set up the GPG key for the repo by using the apt-key command.
apt-key adv --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys A295D773307D25A33AE72F2F64CD5FA175348F84
Update Debian with the update and upgrade commands. Then, install Ring.
sudo apt-get updatesudo apt-get upgrade -ysudo apt-get install ring
Arch Linux instructions
The developers don’t officially support the Ring application on Arch Linux. However, there are a few Ring clients available in the Community software repository. To install Ring on Arch, open up a terminal window and follow the steps outlined below.
Step 1: Open up the Pacman.conf file with Nano.
sudo nano /etc/pacman.conf
Step 2: Scroll through the file, look for “#Community” and remove the # symbol from it. Be sure to also remove the # symbol from in front of the lines directly below it.
Step 3: Save the edits to Pacman.conf with Nano by pressing Ctrl + O
Step 4: Sync Pacman and allow it to set up the Community repo on your Arch PC.
sudo pacman -Syy
Step 5: Install Ring
sudo pacman -S ring-kde
sudo pacman -S ring-gnome
If you need to use Ring and you use Fedora Linux, you’re in luck, as there’s an official Fedora repository for the Ring application.
Note: the software repository is currently available for Fedora 28 and 27. They are expected to add version 29 when it comes out.
To enable the Ring repository for Fedora, do:
sudo dnf config-manager --add-repo https://dl.ring.cx/ring-nightly/fedora_28/ring-nightly.repo
sudo dnf config-manager --add-repo https://dl.ring.cx/ring-nightly/fedora_27/ring-nightly.repo
Install Ring on Fedora via the DNF package management tool.
sudo dnf install ring
Users of Linux distributions that do not have any support for Ring rejoice! There’s a Flatpak version of the Ring application available for installation! To install it, you must enable the Flatpak runtime on your system. Then, when it’s working, install Ring to your Linux PC with the following commands.
flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo flatpak install flathub cx.ring.Ring