Slack, short for Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge, is an American cloud-based set of proprietary team collaboration tools and services. It began as an internal tool used by a company named Tiny Speck, in the development of Glitch(now a defunct online game). Slack, according to its developers, is a collaboration hub where you and your team can work together to get things done. From project kickoffs to budget discussions, and everything in between — Slack has you covered.
In this article, we will explain how you can install Slack on your Ubuntu both through the command line and the Ubuntu UI. We will also explain how you can set up Slack along with adding the Slack icon to the tray to quickly perform frequent Slack operations.
We have run the command and procedures mentioned in this article on a Ubuntu 18.04 LTS system.
Install Slack via Snap-through the Command Line
You can install Slack via the Snap store through the Ubuntu command line. Open your Ubuntu Terminal either through the Application Launcher search or by using the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut. Enter the following command to refresh the list of available packages:
$ sudo apt-get update
Since the Snap daemon comes by default in the latest versions of Ubuntu, we do not need to install it. If you are using an older version, you can use the following command to install the daemon:
$ sudo apt-get install snapd
Now type in the following command in order to install Slack to your Ubuntu:
$ sudo snap install slack --classic
The process might take some time depending on your Internet speed, as it is a slightly larger package. The similar output as I got will indicate the completion of the installation and will also print the Slack version installed on your system.
If you ever want to remove Slack installed through this method, you can use the following command through the Terminal:
$ sudo snap remove slack
Installation Slack Graphically Through The .deb Package
For a person who does not want to open the Command Line much, installing software from its .deb package, through the UI, is very simple. For Slack, we will be downloading the .deb package and then install it through Ubuntu Software Install.
You can download the official .deb installation package from the following website:
Scroll down on the page and click on the “DOWNLOAD.DEB(64-bit)” link for Ubuntu. The webpage also lists the latest version whose .deb package you are downloading. At the time of writing this article, Slack Desktop 3.4.2 was the newest release of the software.
The following dialog will open when you click on the download link:
Save the file on your system, which will be saved to the Downloads folder by default.
Open the Downloads folder where you will be able to see the Slack .deb package.
Right click on the package and select the Open With Software Install option from the menu. This will open the following installer:
Click the Install button on the above window. The following authentication dialog will display for you to provide the authentication details for a sudo user as only an authorized user can install software on Ubuntu.
Enter your password and click the Authenticate button. After that, the installation process will begin, displaying a progress bar as follows.
Slack will then be installed to your system, and you will get the following message after a successful installation:
Alternatively, to install Slack from the official .deb package from the command line, enter the following commands in your Terminal:
$ sudo apt-get update
(to update local repository index)
$ sudo apt-get install gdebi-core wget
(install gdebi and wget utilities that are used to install and download software packages)
$ wget -O ~/slack.deb "https://downloads.slack-edge.com/linux_releases/slack-desktop-3.4.2-amd64.deb"
(download Slack desktop version 3.4.2 from the official website)
$ sudo gdebi slack.deb
(install slack from the .deb)
Launch and Set up Slack
You can launch Slack from the Application Launcher Search as follows, or directly open it from the Applications listing:
This is how the application looks like when you open it for the first time.
If you already have a workspace URL, you can Sign In through it by clicking the Sign In button. Otherwise, use the ‘get started’ link that takes you to the Slack website from where you can create a new workspace. Then, come back to Slack and Sign In with a Workspace URL. This is how the application looks like:
Add Slack Icon to Tray
There is an extension available from extensions.gnome.org that lets you add the Slack icon to the system tray. You can install this extension by searching for it from Ubuntu Software as follows:
Slack Integration 3.20 is the extension package that we are looking for. Click on this search entry and click the Install button from the following view:
The following dialog will appear, asking for confirmation to install this package:
Click Install, and after a while, you will be able to see the Slack icon in your Ubuntu system tray as follows:
Through this icon, you can manage your team, edit Slack preferences, and quit the Slack application, all through one click.
If you want to uninstall Slack installed through this method, search for Slack in Ubuntu Software manager. This is the view you will see when you select Slack from the search results:
Click Remove, provide authentication, and the software will be removed from your system. Please do not forget to remove the Slack Integration extension as well.