Slack is one of the top messaging services for teams. You probably use it for your work. We do here at It’s FOSS to communicate among ourselves. In this article, we’ll see various ways to install and use Slack in Linux.
Some might wonder why we don’t just run Slack in a browser tab. My answer is that it is nice to have it in a separate application because it is easier to switch to and it will not go away if you accidentally close your browser.
Slack: The official client for Linux
Slack has started offering a native app for Linux recently. It is still in beta, but works pretty smooth and you can definitely install it to use Slack in Linux.
It has all the features that you would expect from the native client, including desktop notification, auto-login and options to change teams etc.
There are binaries available for Ubuntu (.deb) 32 bit and 64 bit and Fedora (.rpm) for 64 bit system. You can download the binaries from Slack download page.
In case, you are not happy with the beta client or want some open source solution (though Slack is not open source), we’ve got you cover. I am going to introduce you to two open source client for Slack with options to add multiple instant messaging applications and email.
ScudCloud is an unofficial client for Slack. It improves Slack’s integration into the Linux desktop by adding the following features:
- native system notifications
- count of unread direct mentions on launcher or system tray
- channels quicklist (Unity only)
- optional tray notifications
- “Close to Tray”
I prefer Scudcloud because it runs better than official Slack client for Linux. I had a problem with the latest update to Slack. Hopefully, they fix it soon.
You can use the following commands to install ScudCloud on Ubuntu-based systems.
sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:rael-gc/scudcloud echo ttf-mscorefonts-installer msttcorefonts/accepted-mscorefonts-eula
select true | sudo debconf-set-selections sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install scudcloud
To install on ScudCloud on Arch, search the AUR for scudcloud.
To install it on Fedora, use the command below:
sudo dnf install scudcloud.
You can find more installation instructions on their GitHub page.
The second option for Slack on Linux is called Rambox. If these two apps were pocket knives, Scudcloud would be a single blade folding knife and Rambox would be a Swiss Army knife.
Rambox is not limited to Slack, but also supports WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Hangouts, Telegram, WeChat, Gmail, Inbox, HipChat, ChatWork, GroupMe,Grape, Gitter, Steam, Discord, Noysi, Outlook, TutaNota, Hushmail, BearyChat, Sync, Wire, Rocket Chat, Missive, Yahoo Mail, Office 365, Dasher, DingTalk, FlowDock, Mattermost, Voxer, and Yahoo Messanger.
On top of support for 33 messaging and email services, Rambox allows you to sync your Rambox installs across multiple computers. Like ScudCloud, it supports native notifications. You can also add custom services that are not implemented by Rambox.
Rambox is available for Linux, Windows and Mac from their website:
There is a third option named Franz. It supports 22 messenger services besides Slack. I didn’t include it because I’m not sure it’s open-source. I couldn’t find any licensing information for it. If you are interested, you check it out at the link above.
What’s your Slack?
What’s your favorite Slack app for Linux? Have you had any experience with the apps we mentioned?