Slack is one of the most popular collaboration communication platforms in the world. From it was initial launch in 2013, it has grown. It is now favored amongst development teams and corporations to integrate so many services, run groups, and meetings, amongst other things. The way Slack works is to create channels for your teams, topics, customers, or co-workers. Slack also features voice and video calls, file sharing.
In the following tutorial, you will know how to install the Slack communication platform on Debian 11 Bullseye.
- Recommended OS: Debian 11 Bullseye
- User account: A user account with sudo privilages or root access (su command).
- Required Packages:
Updating Operating System
Update your Debian 11 operating system to make sure all existing packages are up to date:
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
Root or Sudo Access
By default, when you create your account at startup with Debian compared to other distributions, it does not automatically receive sudoers status. You must either have access to the root password to use the su command or visit our tutorial on How to Add a User to Sudoers on Debian.
Install Slack as a .Deb Package
To install Slack, you will need to do this by downloading Slack as a .deb package. This may be favored amongst developers and power users since snap packages eat up more room and are bloated and often in Debian compared to Ubuntu clash with bugs.
Usually, installing a .deb package on Debian is straightforward; however, this time, it requires just a bit more work given in Debian 11 Bullseye; the package “libappindicator3-1” is only available in Buster and Sid for the moment. Installing this is also necessary for other applications such as Discord and many more.
First, you will fix the dependency issue of the package “libappindicator3-1”. To do this, you will need to download the .deb package for Slack by visiting the Slack downloads page and getting the latest download link, then return to your terminal and download the package.
Note, getting the link for Slack to download can be sometimes tricky. The worst case is using the above command, replacing the numbers with the current version, downloading it manually, and navigating to your Downloads directory to execute the next task.
Now, use the following dpkg example command to unpack:
dpkg-deb -x slack-desktop-4.19.2-amd64.deb unpack dpkg-deb --control slack-desktop-4.19.2-amd64.deb
Note, replace 4.19.2 with the newer number in the future when other versions overtake this one.
Next, use the following mv command:
mv DEBIAN unpack
Now, open up the file “./unpack/DEBIAN/control” and remove libappindicator3-1 and replace it with libayatana-appindicator3-1.
sudo nano ./unpack/DEBIAN/control
Save the file (CTRL +O), then exit the file (CTRL+X).
Now rebuild the .deb file, note it will be renamed from the original package name:
dpkg -b unpack slack-fixed.deb
Install Slack, make sure to run the fixed .deb file, not the original, or you will be back to square one.
sudo apt install ./slack-fixed.deb
Next, verify the installation by checking the apt-cache policy on Slack:
apt-cache policy slack
How to Launch Slack
With the installation complete, you can run Slack in a few different ways. First, while you are in your Debian terminal, you can use the following command:
Alternatively, run the slack command in the background to free up the terminal:
However, this isn’t practical, and you would use the following path on your Debian desktop to open with the path: Activities > Show Applications > Slack. If you cannot find it, use the search function in the Show Applications menu if you have many applications installed.
The first time you open Slack, you will be greeted by its login page.
Congratulations, you have installed Slack on Debian 11 Bullseye.
Comments and Conclusion
In the guide, you have learned to install Slack on Debian 11 Bullseye using the .deb package from Slack’s download page and installing the dependency by unpacking and repacking the package. For more information, you can investigate and further learn about Slack by visiting the documentation page.
Overall, Slack is a great program, one of the drawbacks, though, is the cost. Slack charges by the user, so If you get a few hundred to few thousand, it quickly becomes a drawback, hence why you only find corporations that use it and pay for a license. Most small businesses and development teams could not afford to pay for the premium features. However, it can still be used for free with relative ease if you accept missing out on a few things.