How to Install Spark IM 2.9.4 – Instant Messaging Client on Linux

Spark is a free java based messaging app for businesses and organizations. It is a cross-platform application that lets to chat, group chat, and call in a secure way. Top features of “Spark IM” include:

  1. Lightweight application
  2. Clean, tabbed interface
  3. Supports Transport Layer Security (TLS)
  4. Supports plugins
  5. Integration with Openfire plugins
  6. Spellcheck
  7. Supports automatic translation
  8. Supports OTR (Off The Record Messaging) protocol for message encryption
  9. Support different skins
  10. Allows group chat and file transfer

Since it is a Java-based app, therefore, installing Java is a prerequisite of “Spark IM. Let’s check how to get it on your Ubuntu device.

Installing Spark IM on Ubuntu 20.10:

Firstly, download Java using the command given below:

$sudo apt install default-jre


Using the below-mentioned command to download the current version of “Spark IM” soon after Java finished installing on your device:

$wget – O Spark_2_9_4.tar.gz


Spark file can be viewed in the home directory. Launch terminal and execute the command shown below to extract the tar file in the “/opt/” folder:

$sudo tar -zxvf Spark_2_9_4.tar.gz -C /opt/


It is being copied to the “/opt/” folder because this app requires manual installation; that way, you don’t have to change the directory every time to launch the application.

Move the “Spark” folder to a new folder, “spark” using the command shown below:


Change the directory to the “/spark/” folder:

$cd /opt/Spark


Download the application icon by executing the command:

$sudo wget shorturl.at/fFLQ0

Next step is to open any terminal text editor it could be vim or nano and make a file by the name of “spark.desktop” in “/usr/share/applications” directory:

$sudo nano /usr/share/applications/spark.desktop


Now copy the below mentioned text into the GNU nano text editor and save it:


[Desktop Entry]


Version= Version=

GenericName=Spark Spark


Comment=ignite realtime Spark IM client




Exec=/bin/bash Spark

Terminal= false






To run the application from the directory “/opt/spark/”, type the following command:


Since the application is installed, it can be launched from the applications menu, click “Activities” and search “Spark.” Application will be launched to see the following image:


To login, it is required to make an account on “Openfire”. So, before signing up, it is mandatory to set up an “OpenFire” chat server.

About the author

Sam U

I am a professional graphics designer with over 6 years of experience. Currently doing research in virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality.
I hardly watch movies but love to read tech related books and articles.