You can use any install method for this, but for this use case I want Telegram on a portable drive so I’m using the downloadable binaries.
Go to https://desktop.telegram.org/ and click the link “Get Telegram for Linux x64”. This downloads a .tar.xz file containing the latest Telegram Desktop.
Extract the Telegram folder to the drive where you want to keep the files.
tar xvf tsetup.4.13.1.tar.xz -C ~/bin/
Mark telegram binary as executable (note: you may need to repeat this when Telegram updates itself automatically or you’ll be unable to restart Telegram)
chmod +x ~/bin/Telegram/Telegram
Create a shell file containing the following:
#!/usr/bin/env sh ./Telegram -many -workdir "./tgdata1"
Make this file executable:
chmod +x ~/bin/Telegram/tgdata1.sh
Now you can run it from the terminal or to run it from the file explorer,
open the Telegram folder and right click
tgdata1.sh. Choose “Run as Program”.
Create a new shell script for each instance you want to run and specify a
different workdir for each. You’ll be able to sign in to a different Telegram
account in each instance.