Wavebox is a technology that makes it possible to take any “web application,” or internet service and transform it into a “native” application. Considering Linux users often miss out on official apps for many popular services, this software can prove useful if you want to say, run Gmail on the Linux desktop.
SPOILER ALERT: Scroll down and watch the video tutorial at the end of this article.
The Wavebox software is readily available on Linux and is quite easy to install. Officially, it supports Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora and Open SUSE. Additionally, users can install it via Snap, or a downloadable Tar archive.
Note: the basic version of Wavebox is free to use.
The Wavebox software supports Ubuntu in many ways (Deb package and Snaps), however, the downloadable Debian package seems to be the best choice, as Snaps are still new. To install the software on Ubuntu, open up a terminal and use the wget tool to download the latest package.
With the Wavebox package downloaded, use the dpkg tool to install it to the system.
sudo dpkg -i Wavebox_3_14_6_linux_x86_64.deb
Installing Wavebox through a terminal can sometimes present dependency issues. If these issues come up, you’ll need to use the following command to correct it:
sudo apt install -f
As the Wavebox software has excellent support for Ubuntu, it’s no surprise to see support for Debian as well. Much like the Ubuntu method, getting it working on Debian requires first downloading a third-party DEB package. In a terminal, use the wget tool and start the download process.
Next, install the package on your Debian PC with dpkg:
sudo dpkg -i Wavebox_3_14_6_linux_x86_64.deb
Finally, finish up the installation by correcting any dependencies that the dpkg tool may have missed.
sudo apt-get install -f
Though there’s not an official download button on the website, Wavebox has pretty good support on Arch Linux (thanks to the AUR).
To get the AUR version of Wavebox working on your Arch Linux PC, certain requirements need to be met. Specifically, you’ll need to install the Git package. Additionally, ensure you have the base-devel package installed, as AUR packages will refuse to build without it.
Not sure how to install these two dependencies? Open up a terminal and use the Pacman command below:
sudo pacman -S git base-devel
When all dependencies are taken care of, use the git clone command to grab the latest AUR snapshot of Wavebox and CD into the directory.
git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/wavebox-bin.git cd wavebox-bin
Generate and install Wavebox with the makepkg command.
Note: running the pkgbuild command often fails when dependencies don’t install automatically.
Those using Fedora are in luck as Wavebox has a downloadable RPM installation file readily available. Thanks to the DNF package manager’s ability to install RPM files directly from the internet, installation is refreshingly easy.
sudo dnf install https://github.com/wavebox/waveboxapp/releases/download/v3.14.6/Wavebox_3_14_6_linux_x86_64.rpm -y
OpenSUSE is a RedHat-centric Linux distribution, so using Wavebox on it is quite easy. To install, download the RPM with wget, then use the Zypper package management tool to finish up.
wget https://github.com/wavebox/waveboxapp/releases/download/v3.14.6/Wavebox_3_14_6_linux_x86_64.rpm sudo zypper install Wavebox_3_14_6_linux_x86_64.rpm
Wavebox doesn’t have a downloadable binary package for every Linux distribution under the sun. However, if you’re not on Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora or OpenSUSE, there’s still a way to enjoy the software: Snap packages.
Installing the Snap version of Wavebox starts out by following our guide on how to enable Snaps on Linux. Then, when you’ve got Snaps working, open up a terminal and run the following command:
sudo snap install wavebox
Set Up Gmail On Wavebox
Adding web apps like Gmail to Wavebox doesn’t require a lot of effort, as the app shows off common services on the start screen. To make your Gmail account accessible right from the Wavebox UI, click the “Add your first account” button.
Clicking the “add your first account” button prompts the user to look through the different web services that Wavebox has to offer and encourages them to set them up. In this guide, our main focus is Gmail, so look for the “Integrated apps” section and click on the Gmail icon.
In the Gmail section of Wavebox, you’ll be asked to select the different Google services to connect. Go through the list and add different services. When done, click “next” to continue on.
After selecting Google services, use the UI to sign in to your Google account and Gmail is ready to go.
Sett Up Other Apps
For this tutorial, we cover how to set up a Gmail web app within Wavebox. That said, Gmail isn’t the only web app that Wavebox can use. In fact, the software makes it super easy to set up over 100 web apps.
If you’d like to add additional web apps to Wavebox, click the + in the bottom left-hand side of the app to open the account selection page.