How to Install Slack on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa

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 many services, run groups, meetings, etc. 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 guide, you will know how to install the Slack communication platform, launch it, and uninstall it on your Ubuntu 20.04 desktop.

Prerequisites

  • Recommended OS: Ubuntu 20.04.
  • User account: A user account with sudo or root access.

Update Operating System

Update your Ubuntu operating system to make sure all existing packages are up to date:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

The tutorial will be using the sudo command and assuming you have sudo status.

To verify sudo status on your account:

sudo whoami

Example output showing sudo status:

[joshua@ubuntu ~]$ sudo whoami
root

To set up an existing or new sudo account, visit our tutorial on How to Add a User to Sudoers on Ubuntu.

To use the root account, use the following command with the root password to log in.

su
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Method 1. Install Slack Manually with .DEB

By default, Slack is not in Ubuntu’s repositories, so you will need to download the .deb package for Slack by visiting the Slack downloads page.

Example:

How to Install Slack on Ubuntu 20.04

Alternatively, you can get the latest version number and use the wget command to download the Slack .deb package instead.

Example:

wget https://downloads.slack-edge.com/releases/linux/4.20.0/prod/x64/slack-desktop-4.20.0-amd64.deb

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 command to install Slack that you just downloaded.

sudo apt install ./slack-desktop-4.20.0-amd64.deb

Confirm the installation of Slack by verifying the build version.

slack --version

Example output:

4.20.0

Method 2. Install Slack from Snap Package

Slack could be installed through the snap package installed on Ubuntu by default unless you removed it. This is not as popular as other methods. Still, for users who are using Snaps or are interested in using them on Ubuntu, you can use the following to install Slack on your desktop.

First, install snapd on your Ubuntu operating system if it has been removed.

sudo apt install snapd -y

Once Snap is installed, it is highly recommended to log out and back in again or restart your service to ensure snap’s paths are updated correctly.

sudo systemctl restart snapd

After logging out or restarting your system, If you installed Snap for the first time, it is advised to install the core files to avoid conflicting issues:

sudo snap install core

Example output:

core 16-2.52 from Canonical✓ installed

Before you install Slack, you will need to enable classic snap support by creating a symlink.

sudo ln -s /var/lib/snapd/snap /snap

Next, enter the following snap command to install the Slack client:

sudo snap install slack

Example output:

slack 4.20.0 from Slack✓ installed

Snap packages are more significant in size than traditional repositories through the APT package manager for several reasons. However, the trade-off is more straightforward maintained packages that are often updated to the latest available version.

For the future, to update Slack and any other packages installed by Snap, run the following command:

sudo snap refresh

If you no longer need to have Slack installed, remove it using the Snap remove command.

sudo snap remove slack

Example output:

slack removed
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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:

slack

Alternatively, run the slack command in the background to free up the terminal:

slack &

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.

Example:

How to Install Slack on Ubuntu 20.04

The first time you open Slack, you will be greeted by its login page.

How to Install Slack on Ubuntu 20.04

Comments and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you have learned to install Slack on Ubuntu 20.04 using two different methods. The manual way can be good but often forgotten about updates, and on Ubuntu, Snap isn’t that popular but would give you the latest version easily and quickly with updates.

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.

For more information, you can investigate and further learn about Slack by visiting the documentation page.

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