Rocket.Chat, an open source communication platform

About Rocket.Chat

In the next article we are going to take a look at Rocket.Chat. This is an open source communication application, with features and a look similar to Slack. For those who don’t know, say that Slack is a useful and popular team communication app.

However, if you need an open source alternative, Rocket.Chat is a good option due to its similarity to Slack and its easy implementation. It also has all the essential features to facilitate proper communication, along with the option to get started for free, opt for the service hosted by the Rocket.Chat team, or implement it on our own server.

Rocket.Chat Features

login rocket.chat

Rocket.Chat is a powerful and flexible communication tool. Among its characteristics we can find:

  • Easy file sharing offers drag and drop support.
  • Includes support for share audio files.
  • Videoconference with the Jitsi Meet integration.

rocket.chat running

  • Separate channels (public and private options).
  • Support of end-to-end encryption.
  • We will can customize service theme.
  • Support of guest access.
  • Unlimited message history, depending on server storage for self-managed configuration.
  • RSS integration.
  • Several third-party applications that support integration.
  • Also offers push notifications support.
  • 24 x 7 support (according to the plan we use).
  • Support of LiveChat integration.
  • Real-time translation.

rocket.chat users

  • Support for self-hosting.
  • Multi platform (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Gnu / Linux)

Besides all the points mentioned, there are other features that should come in handy in Rocket.Chat. We can find this program with different plans; Community, Pro and Enterprise. For this example we are going to use the Community version, which is free. Can be see all the characteristics of the different plans in the project website.

Install the Rocket.Chat client on Ubuntu

If you have an instance of Rocket.Chat implemented or hosted by Rocket.Chat itself, which is the one I’m going to use for this example, we can access it through the web browser, the desktop client or the mobile application. In Ubuntu we will be able install the desktop client for this program as a .deb, snap or flatpak package.

As flatpak

For this article, I am testing Rocket.Chat on Ubuntu 20.04, so we must have support for this technology on our team. If you still don’t have it available, you can follow the guide that a colleague wrote on this blog a while ago.

Once the possibility to install packages is available Flatpak, Now we can install the program by typing in the terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T):

install flatpak

flatpak install flathub chat.rocket.RocketChat

After installation, we can start the program by searching for the launcher on our computer, or by executing the command in the same terminal:

rocket chat launcher

flatpak run chat.rocket.RocketChat

Uninstall

For remove this program installed as flatpak, we will only need to open a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and execute the following command in it:

uninstall flatpak package

flatpak uninstall chat.rocket.RocketChat

How to snap

If you prefer install this program as a package snap, you just need to open a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and run the command:

install snap package

sudo snap install rocketchat-desktop

Uninstall

For remove the snap package from this program, you just have to use the command in a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T):

uninstall rocketchat snap

sudo snap remove rocketchat-desktop

As a .deb package

Another installation option will be use the .deb package, which we can download from the releases page of the project on GitHub. If you prefer to use the terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) to download the latest version released today of the package, you can use the wget tool in the following way:

download the .deb file from rocket.chat

wget https://github.com/RocketChat/Rocket.Chat.Electron/releases/download/3.1.1/rocketchat_3.1.1_amd64.deb

Once the download is finished, we can install the program using this other command:

install deb file

sudo dpkg -i rocketchat_3.1.1_amd64.deb

Uninstall

For remove this installed program as .deb package, in a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) you just have to use the command:

uninstall deb rocketchat package

sudo apt remove rocketchat

This program is compatible with automation tools such as Ansible, Kubernetes, etc. We will find many administrative options to modify the experience in Rocket.Chat. In this program, it is easy to customize many things, even if you are not an expert in self-managed projects. Overall, it’s a change from Slack that should be a similar experience for most users.

For more information about this program, users can consult the documentation that they offer in the project website.

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