Slack is a popular way for teams to collaborate in real time chat, with plenty of tools and organization to keep conversations on track and focused. Plenty of offices have adopted Slack, and it’s become and absolute necessity for distributed teams.
While you can use Slack through your web browser, its simpler and generally more efficient to install the official Slack client on your desktop. Slack supports Linux with Debian and RPM packages as well as an official Snap. As a result, it’s simple to get running with Slack on your distribution of choice.
While you won’t find Slack in many distribution repositories, you won’t have much trouble installing it. As an added bonus, the Debian and RPM packages provided by Slack also set up repositories on your system, so you’ll receive regular updates, whenever they become available.
Open your browser, and go to Slack’s Linux download page. Click the button to download the “.DEB” package. Save it.
Once you have the package downloaded, open your terminal emulator, and change the directory into your download folder.
From there, use
dpkg to install the package.
sudo dpkg -i slack-desktop-3.3.4-amd64.deb
If you run into missing dependencies, fix it with Apt.
sudo apt --fix-broken install
Fedora is another officially supported distribution. Open your web browser and go to the Slack download page. Click the button for the “.RPM” package. When prompted, save the package.
After the download finishes, open your terminal, and change into your download directory.
Now, use the “rpm” command to install the package directly.
sudo rpm -i slack-3.3.4-0.1.fc21.x86_64.rpm
Arch users can find the latest version of Slack in the AUR. If you haven’t set up an AUR helper on your system, go to Slack’s AUR page, and clone the Git repository there. Change into the directory, and build and install the package with makepkg.
cd ~/Downloads git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/slack-desktop.git cd slack-desktop makepkg -si
If you do have an AUR helper, just install the Slack client.
sudo pikaur -S slack-desktop
For everyone else, the snap is always a good option. It’s an officially packaged and supported snap straight from Slack. Just install it on your system.
snap install slack
Slack is a graphical application. Most desktop environments put it under the “Internet” category. On GNOME you’ll find it listed alphabetically under “Slack.” Go ahead and launch it.
Slack will start right away by asking for the URL of the workspace you want to join. Enter it and click “Continue.”
Next, Slack will ask for the email address you have associated with that workspace. Enter that, too.
Finally, enter your password for the workspace. Once you do, Slack will sign you in.
After you’re signed in, you can get to work using Slack. You can click on the different channels to move between them. To the far left, you’ll see the icon associated with your workspace and a plus sign icon below it. Click the plus if you’d like to sign in to an additional workspace.
Note the Slack icon in your system tray. You will receive desktop notifications from Slack, and if one arrives when you were away, you’ll see the blue dot in the tray icon turn red.
You’re now ready to use Slack on Linux like a pro!
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