First Alpha Release of Briar GTK

Today, I’m very excited to announce the very first alpha release of Briar GTK. This version of Briar GTK supports private chats with a single person and adding contacts on a distance. In addition to previous blog posts, the main conversation view received a big overhaul and is now much more beautiful (!5). It’s heavily based on Fractal’s user interface.

For those not knowing, Briar is a messaging system that keeps information flowing all the time. Whether your internet connection has been cut due to natural disasters or because of governmental censorship, Briar will try its best to get your messages out there to your peers.

Briar GTK in conversation view with two contacts on the left in list

Those visual improvements not only affect desktop devices, but also on mobile devices Briar GTK now adapts fine to their smaller display sizes. Features that still need to be implemented include groups, forums, blogs, adding contacts nearby and introductions.

For installation, you might want to look at Briar’s installation instructions to learn how to install it.

Be warned though that if this is your first Flatpak installation, this command will initiate a download of roughly 840 MB. This is because Flatpak as a containerization technology downloads all GTK dependencies the first time you use it. For any GTK app you install later on, Flatpak will share that GNOME runtime across all your GTK apps, resulting in much smaller download sizes.

In future, I also want to release and maintain Briar GTK as .deb packages. In order to do so I would highly appreciate help by some Debian developer. If you’re interested in Briar and want to help packaging it for Debian and its derivatives, please comment on the related issue or contact me by email.

Briar GTK on the Purism Librem 5 devkit

fphemeral from the Briar community successfully sent messages between the Purism Librem 5 devkit and a Raspberry Pi, using the newest alpha release of Briar GTK

Briar GTK on registration page

Briar GTK in remote contact adding page

Briar GTK in empty main window with about dialog

Briar GTK on Tails in dark mode

fphemeral also ran Briar GTK in dark mode on Tails

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All content in this blog post got released under a CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Feel free to share it with your peers!