Can I install a second version of Signal in addition?


I will soon receive my new phone with /e/OS and I heard that Signal comes preinstalled.

I assume that it’s the default Signal version which uses various Google services and that the app can’t be uninstalled.

However, I’d rather use the version without any Google dependencies which Signal offers as .apk file on their website.

Is it just as easy as downloading and installing it?

Or could any technical problems occur since Signal is already installed?

Will I have two icons for Signal in the menu then?

Please help

Regain your privacy! Adopt /e/ the unGoogled mobile OS and online servicesphone

Hello @silverblue02
/e/OS does not come with Signal preinstalled, but you can simply install it yourself. Best regards

Ah, so they removed Signal from the preinstalled apps.

Thanks for making that clear.

I’ve been using or working with /e/OS for quite a long time (more that two years). In that time Signal was never one of the pre-installed apps. If it ever was, then it must have been before my time :slight_smile:

In theory, only one instance of Signal can be installed, under normal use. BUT, if you use a Work Profile in addition to the Main/Personal profile, you can run two instances of Signal, each tied to a different number. How do I know? I do so, using Shelter as the sequestering app (post here) on my dual-SIM phone.

I’ve also mentioned this over at the Signal user community, and, of course, on r/Signal, which this forum software will not let me link (two links max, even though I’ve been here for 2.5+ years now…).

Actually, in its “very early” days (2019/20) /e/OS came with Signal as combined SMS/message app. But after consultation with the community, the team decided to remove it as a default app.
Personally, I think it was a good choice - /e/OS comes pretty much as a bare system, one that is just reduced on essential for average users. Then, everybody can install what s/he likes to.

Thanks for that - good to know a bit more history. I think it was a good decision too.

Yes, indeed, Signal was the default messaging app when we started /e/OS in 2019. Later we removed it. It was causing issues for some of us. When we set up a new device, the app required the user to enter the phone number to register it. Once entered, an OTP would come in and then the app would be activated. The OTP did not always come immediately. In some cases, like for me, it took days. Which meant the app would remain disabled. Not an ideal scenario as we get OTP or SMS messages from friends, government institutions etc. Finally, we replaced it after a a number of user complaints.


As an update to this thread - I now use Molly as my ‘second Signal’, which allowed me to avoid some of the issues with the Advanced Privacy applet (like needing a second instance of the VPN running on the Work profile).

Molly is a fork of Signal, gets very regular updates, and works just like it. The advantage is that no Work profile trick is necessary any more, which makes things a bit easier.