Slack for Linux

Slack is almost achieving its ambition of becoming the ideal and app of choice for employees when they require to chat to one another as well as to connect to an array of applications for work. This is because it will be readily available on a fresh platform. The app will be in form of a Snap as of today. A Snap can be defined as a type of application package whose availability is in several Linux environments that operate based on open-source.

The VP of IoT, Devices and Engineering at Canonical called Jamie Bennett believes that this development opens up Slack to a multitude of new people. This is because Linux distributions has many desktop users (tens of millions). It should be noted that in September 2017, Slack recorded more than six million users who were active daily, of those, 2 million were paying.

Furthermore, this development will make Slack accessible to the users of services based on the Linux OS such as KDE Neon, Debian, Solus, OpenSUSE, ArchLinux etc. It will join existing Ubuntu that is a product of Canonical.

Initially, the conception of Slack was a service for the professionals that were developing the startup TinySpeck. It is this startup that grew to become the Slack the world knows today. In the last one year, the app has been working hard to grow its number of users so that it can break into the bigger enterprise segment. This is why its alignment with the lucrative developer community with the help of Linux is a natural and strong fit.

Bennet mentioned in an email interview that snaps are normally designed with the aim of working across the cloud, IoT devices and desktop. This is why snaps that might have applications spanning across all or even some of these have great potential. Such snaps will make the life of developers much easier because of a simplified process and will only require the creation of a single version.

Bennet confirmed that the snap was personally developed by Slack with the help of the Canonicals Snapcraft tool. This is a standard tool that all developers employ in creating snaps. He said the app was created by Slack and that it was as a response to requests from the prestigious Linux community. He further mentioned that Slack’s growth has been remarkable despite the fact that it was launched just 4 years back. A factor that has seen their demand increase across several platforms including users of Linux.

Mr. Bennet said that was why Slack has to cater to every user and provide choice. This is why Bennet and his team are keen on Linux through regular engagements with their larger community.

It was in 2016 when the Snappy package manager and Snaps were first launched. Currently, there are many apps (thousands) inside the Snapcraft store that act as proof of Linux community’s efforts to mainstream the platform. Bennet said that high profile snaps have been launched and continue to be launched such as Spotify, VLC video players, Hiri, Mailspring, Chromium browser, Brave browser etc.

The platforms several developer-friendly and collaboration tools like Amazon Web Services, Docker, Heroku etc.

Today, the service will be launched in beta but the concept is utilization of the Snap format as it automatically pushes updates to users.

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