Ver­sion: 0.1 Web: http://bit.ly/2rt0NNj

Linux Format - - LXF HOTPICKS -

Every few years peo­ple change their pre­ferred way of in­stant mes­sag­ing, com­monly due to waves of se­cu­rity-re­lated breaches that gain promi­nence from me­dia cov­er­age. Pri­vacy is per­haps the most im­por­tant con­cern of peo­ple in gen­eral, and for Linux users it plays even the big­ger role. The Tox net­work came to life in the wake of Ed­ward Snow­den’s leaks re­gard­ing NSA spy­ing ac­tiv­ity some years ago. Even if you’re not fond of ru­mours or con­spir­acy, there’s noth­ing bad in us­ing the bet­ter-se­cured chan­nels of com­mu­ni­ca­tion in ev­ery­day life. Step for­ward Konv. Es­sen­tially, it does pretty much the same job as qTox that we looked at in LXF211 and 217, but it uses the GTK3 in­ter­face in­stead of Qt5. So, Konv is here to re­place Skype, What­sApp and Tele­gram with a more trans­par­ent ap­proach that doesn’t re­quire a pro­pri­etary web server to link you with your bud­dies. Hav­ing se­cure con­ver­sa­tions over the in­se­cure open in­ter­net isn’t a grow­ing con­cern once you go with Konv, be­cause you’ll ben­e­fit from direct peer-to-peer con­nec­tion.

The Konv in­ter­face is neat and read­able, al­though it only comes in English and French. In re­turn, Konv greets you with a funny pro­file pop­u­lated with celebri­ties and fic­tional char­ac­ters every time you use the ap­pli­ca­tion with­out load­ing your pro­file.

Konv is fine for ev­ery­day use when find­ing peo­ple, tex­ting, mak­ing au­dio and video calls, trans­fer­ring files and so on. It in­te­grates well with desk­tops such as Gnome, Unity and Pan­theon, and looks like a na­tive ap­pli­ca­tion. The Pref­er­ences dia­log fea­tures plenty of se­cu­rity set­tings, such as mak­ing use of the list of cus­tom boot­strap nodes that can help pre­vent track­ing. It’ll take time to get used to the Toxstyle mes­sag­ing that doesn’t have cen­tral au­then­ti­ca­tion server (so, for ex­am­ple, you need to keep your pro­file with you to get online on a dif­fer­ent PC), but we be­lieve that the ef­forts are jus­ti­fied by the ben­e­fits.

“Konv greets you with a funny pro­file pop­u­lated with celebri­ties and fic­tional char­ac­ters…”

Looks like it’s time to have a chat with Kingfu Panda…

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