Slack is one of our top messaging services for teams. You probably use it to communicate with your colleagues like we do here at It’s FOSS. If you are in that group of people who use Slack for any given reason, then stay tuned. In this article, we’ll show you several ways to install and use Slack on your Linux desktop.
Now, you might wonder why you would need a native application when you could run Slack in your browser of choice. To that, we say that there are many people who prefer using services such as Slack in a separate application window because it is more productive, easier to keep track of your conversations, and it won’t go away if you accidentally close your browser. The team over at Slack seems to agree on this point, and that’s why they offer a first party application for the desktop.
Install Slack official client for Linux
Slack offers a native app for Linux that is available in Snap, DEB, and RPM packages.
It has all the features that you would expect from the native client, including desktop notifications, auto-login, and options to change between teams.
If you use Ubuntu, you can install Slack from the Software Center itself. Just search for it.
If you don’t use Ubuntu, no worries. You can still install Slack on Linux, thanks to the Snap package. Just make sure that your Linux distribution supports Snap and run this simple command in your terminal to install the Snap package:
sudo snap install slack --classic
If you prefer using DEB or RPM packages, you can download it from Slack’s website.
In case you are not happy with using a beta product, you don’t want to use Snaps, or you want an open source client (though Slack is not open source), we’ve got you covered. Here are three open-source Slack clients to fill these needs.
Slack-term: Use Slack in Linux terminal
For those of you who like living in the terminal, there is a CLI option for you too. Slack-term works on all major Linux distributions via a Snap package, and it works surprisingly intuitively for a CLI application. The interface looks like a barebones variant of the Slack GUI, and it works almost exactly the same. Of course, any CLI tool will not be 100% new-user friendly, but terminal veterans and newly emerging Luddites alike can find a home in Slack-term.
sudo snap install slack-term
Bonus Tip: Use Rambox to use multiple applications in one window
The second open-source Slack client on Linux is called Rambox, which happens to be my preferred option. Think of Rambox as a Swiss army knife of messaging and web apps.
What makes Rambox cool is that it’s not just limited to Slack. It also officially supports WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Hangouts, Telegram, WeChat, Gmail, Inbox, TweetDeck, GroupMe, Steam, Discord, Outlook, Tutanota, Protonmail, Wire, Office 365,
On top of the 33 supported services, Rambox lets you add custom websites if you want to use a web app that isn’t officially supported and allows you to sync your installs across multiple computers. Like ScudCloud, it even supports native notifications for a more cohesive experience.
Rambox is available for Linux, Windows, and Mac, and it comes in two versions — a community supported version aptly named Community Edition and a sleeker, more polished Pro version that the Rambox team officially supports. The Community Edition is free while the Pro version will set you back $4 or $5 a month. There is also an enterprise variant that is catered toward larger corporations if that’s what you need.
Another option you could use is Franz. It is very similar to Rambox, but it officially supports fewer services and doesn’t work as fluidly as Rambox. Franz allows you to add your own custom web apps like Rambox, but in my experience, it isn’t nearly as stable or as fast as Rambox.
What’s your Slack?
What’s your favorite way to use Slack on Linux? Have you had any experience with the apps we mentioned? Let us know in the comments section below.