signal-cli 0

signal-cli (formerly textsecure-cli) provides a commandline and dbus interface for WhisperSystems/libsignal-service-java


signal-cli is a commandline interface for libsignal-service-java. It supports registering, verifying, sending and receiving messages. To be able to receiving messages signal-cli uses a patched libsignal-service-java, because libsignal-service-java does not yet support registering for the websocket support nor provisioning as a slave device. For registering you need a phone number where you can receive SMS or incoming calls. It is primarily intended to be used on servers to notify admins of important events. For this use-case, it has a dbus interface, that can be used to send messages from any programming language that has dbus bindings.


You can build signal-cli yourself, or use the provided binary files, which should work on Linux, macOS and Windows. For Arch Linux there is also a package in AUR. You need to have at least JRE 7 installed, to run signal-cli.

Install system-wide on Linux

See latest version.

export VERSION=<latest version, format "x.y.z">
sudo tar xf signal-cli-"${VERSION}".tar.gz -C /opt
sudo ln -sf /opt/signal-cli-"${VERSION}"/bin/signal-cli /usr/local/bin/


usage: signal-cli [-h] [-v] [–config CONFIG] [-u USERNAME | –dbus | –dbus-system] {link,addDevice,listDevices,removeDevice,register,verify,send,quitGroup,updateGroup,listIdentities,trust,receive,daemon} …

  • Register a number (with SMS verification)

    signal-cli -u USERNAME register
  • Register a number (with voice verification)

    signal-cli -u USERNAME register -v
  • Verify the number using the code received via SMS or voice

    signal-cli -u USERNAME verify CODE
  • Send a message to one or more recipients

    signal-cli -u USERNAME send -m "This is a message" [RECIPIENT [RECIPIENT ...]] [-a [ATTACHMENT [ATTACHMENT ...]]]
  • Pipe the message content from another process.

    uname -a | signal-cli -u USERNAME send [RECIPIENT [RECIPIENT ...]]
  • Receive messages

    signal-cli -u USERNAME receive
  • Groups

    • Create a group

      signal-cli -u USERNAME updateGroup -n “Group name” -m [MEMBER [MEMBER …]]

    • Update a group

      signal-cli -u USERNAME updateGroup -g GROUP_ID -n “New group name” -a “AVATAR_IMAGE_FILE”

    • Add member to a group

      signal-cli -u USERNAME updateGroup -g GROUP_ID -m “NEW_MEMBER”

    • Leave a group

      signal-cli -u USERNAME quitGroup -g GROUP_ID

    • Send a message to a group

      signal-cli -u USERNAME send -m “This is a message” -g GROUP_ID

  • Linking other devices (Provisioning)

    • Connect to another device

      signal-cli link -n “optional device name”

      This shows a “tsdevice:/…” link, if you want to connect to another signal-cli instance, you can just use this link. If you want to link to and Android device, create a QR code with the link (e.g. with qrencode) and scan that in the Signal Android app.

    • Add another device

      signal-cli -u USERNAME addDevice –uri “tsdevice:/…”

      The “tsdevice:/…” link is the one shown by the new signal-cli instance or contained in the QR code shown in Signal-Desktop or similar apps. Only the master device (that was registered directly, not linked) can add new devices.

    • Manage linked devices

      signal-cli -u USERNAME listDevices

      signal-cli -u USERNAME removeDevice -d DEVICE_ID

  • Manage trusted keys

    • View all known keys

      signal-cli -u USERNAME listIdentities

    • View known keys of one number

      signal-cli -u USERNAME listIdentities -n NUMBER

    • Trust new key, after having verified it

      signal-cli -u USERNAME trust -v FINGER_PRINT NUMBER

    • Trust new key, without having verified it. Only use this if you don’t care about security

      signal-cli -u USERNAME trust -a NUMBER

DBus service

signal-cli can run in daemon mode and provides an experimental dbus interface. For dbus support you need jni/ installed on your system (Debian: libunixsocket-java ArchLinux: libmatthew-unix-java (AUR)).

  • Run in daemon mode (dbus session bus)

      signal-cli -u USERNAME daemon
  • Send a message via dbus

      signal-cli --dbus send -m "Message" [RECIPIENT [RECIPIENT ...]] [-a [ATTACHMENT [ATTACHMENT ...]]]

System bus

To run on the system bus you need to take some additional steps. It’s advisable to run signal-cli as a separate unix user, the following steps assume you created a user named signal-cli. These steps, executed as root, should work on all distributions using systemd.

cp data/org.asamk.Signal.conf /etc/dbus-1/system.d/
cp data/org.asamk.Signal.service /usr/share/dbus-1/system-services/
cp data/signal.service /etc/systemd/system/
sed -i -e "s|%dir%|<INSERT_INSTALL_PATH>|" -e "s|%number%|<INSERT_YOUR_NUMBER>|" /etc/systemd/system/signal.service
systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl enable signal.service
systemctl reload dbus.service

Then just execute the send command from above, the service will be autostarted by dbus the first time it is requested.


The password and cryptographic keys are created when registering and stored in the current users home directory:


For legacy users, the old config directory is used as a fallback:



This project uses Gradle for building and maintaining dependencies. If you have a recent gradle version installed, you can replace ./gradlew with gradle in the following steps.

  1. Checkout the source somewhere on your filesystem with

    git clone
  2. Execute Gradle:

    ./gradlew build
  3. Create shell wrapper in build/install/signal-cli/bin:

    ./gradlew installDist
  4. Create tar file in build/distributions:

    ./gradlew distTar


If you use a version of the Oracle JRE and get an InvalidKeyException you need to enable unlimited strength crypto. See for instructions.


This project uses libsignal-service-java from Open Whisper Systems:

Licensed under the GPLv3:

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signal-cli (formerly textsecure-cli) provides a commandline and dbus interface for WhisperSystems/libsignal-service-java ...

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