Gaming group chats on Linux just levelled up — an official, stable desktop Discord Linux app is now available to download.
The release of the app, which has been available as a ‘canary’ development build for almost a year, was announced on Twitter with (quite possibly) the most amazing bit of Tux-themed artwork ever:
Wait, What IS Discord?
Discord bills itself as an “all-in-one voice and text chat for gamers that’s free, secure, and works on both your desktop and phone.”
And it’s not lying.
It’s done this by doing two crucial things: 1) it’s made group chat ridiculously easy to set up and join in with; and 2) the service has a personality.
No offence to Skype, but it is deathly dull. Even its animated emojis look like they’ve been focus-grouped to death.
Discord is bright, gaudy, and fun — and manages to nail its USP of offering (super simple) voice and text chat for groups
A Bit Like IRC, But Not Like IRC
The app is primarily based around organised channels rather than a ‘buddy list’ so to speak, and like Slack or (at a stretch) IRC, it also supports some text commands too (
/shrug are probably the most used )
Naturally a service is only as good as the people you can speak to on it, and in this area Discord comes up trumps. Its new Linux desktop app joins official apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and (naturally) a web client.
What’s more, unlike Skype, all of these apps not only look the same and work the same, but support all the same features.
Unlike Mumble or TeamSpeak you don’t have to configure and host your own server. The downside to that is you’re relying on Discord — if they go down, so does your the commentary on whatever online melee you’re playing. But, on the flip, not having to jump through hoops to get set up means its a quick couple of clicks and a copy-pasted link to get up and chatting.
Discord is also free — at least for now. The company says it may introduce some optional real-money extras, like sticker packs and so on, similar to WeChat and other platforms.
As out buddies at Gaming on Linux point out: don’t get too caught up worrying about the implications of the scary terms and conditions that accompany usage of the service. The “granted rights” to whatever you post spiel, while not awesome, is not that different from any other service you pump your personality in to each day, be it Facebook, Reddit, Twitch, and so on.
Download Discord for Linux
Discord for Linux is a — brace yourself — Electron based-app, but integrates nicely into the Ubuntu desktop, with native desktop notifications and the like. Like most Electron apps its only available for 64-bit PCs.
Hit the link below to get started, and if anyone sets up an @omgubuntu channel, dial me in!
H/T Jorge Castro, Liam Dawe