Signal Cli

signal-cli provides an unofficial commandline, dbus and JSON-RPC interface for the Signal messenger.
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signal-cli is a commandline interface for the Signal messenger. It supports registering, verifying, sending and receiving messages. signal-cli uses a patched libsignal-service-java, extracted from the Signal-Android source code. For registering you need a phone number where you can receive SMS or incoming calls.

signal-cli is primarily intended to be used on servers to notify admins of important events. For this use-case, it has a daemon mode with JSON-RPC interface (man page) and D-BUS interface (man page) . For the JSON-RPC interface there's also a simple example client, written in Rust.


You can build signal-cli yourself or use the provided binary files, which should work on Linux, macOS and Windows. There's also a docker image and some Linux packages provided by the community.

System requirements:

  • at least Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 17

  • native library: libsignal-client

    The native libs are bundled for x86_64 Linux (with recent enough glibc), Windows and MacOS. For other systems/architectures see: Provide native lib for libsignal

Install system-wide on Linux

See latest version.

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

You can find further instructions on the Wiki:


For a complete usage overview please read the man page and the wiki.

Important: The ACCOUNT is your phone number in international format and must include the country calling code. Hence it should start with a "+" sign. (See Wikipedia for a list of all country codes.)

  • Register a number (with SMS verification)

    signal-cli -a ACCOUNT register

    You can register Signal using a landline number. In this case you can skip SMS verification process and jump directly to the voice call verification by adding the --voice switch at the end of above register command.

    Registering may require solving a CAPTCHA challenge: Registration with captcha

  • Verify the number using the code received via SMS or voice, optionally add --pin PIN_CODE if you've added a pin code to your account

    signal-cli -a ACCOUNT verify CODE
  • Send a message

    signal-cli -a ACCOUNT send -m "This is a message" RECIPIENT
  • Pipe the message content from another process.

    uname -a | signal-cli -a ACCOUNT send --message-from-stdin RECIPIENT
  • Receive messages

    signal-cli -a ACCOUNT receive

Hint: The Signal protocol expects that incoming messages are regularly received (using daemon or receive command). This is required for the encryption to work efficiently and for getting updates to groups, expiration timer and other features.


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



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

    2a. Create shell wrapper in build/install/signal-cli/bin:

    ./gradlew installDist

    2b. Create tar file in build/distributions:

    ./gradlew distTar

    2c. Create a fat tar file in build/libs/signal-cli-fat:

    ./gradlew fatJar

    2d. Compile and run signal-cli:

    ./gradlew run --args="--help"

Building a native binary with GraalVM (EXPERIMENTAL)

It is possible to build a native binary with GraalVM. This is still experimental and will not work in all situations.

  1. Install GraalVM and setup the enviroment

  2. Install prerequisites

  3. Execute Gradle:

    ./gradlew nativeCompile

    The binary is available at build/native/nativeCompile/signal-cli

FAQ and Troubleshooting

For frequently asked questions and issues have a look at the wiki.


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


Licensed under the GPLv3:

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