CANONICAL HAS made the wishes of its users come true again as it brings another major app to Linux users for the first time.
This time it's popular team platform Slack. The secret sauce is Ubuntu's "Snap" packages, a form of containerisation which puts an app into a little bubble that makes it run in the Linux environment. At Christmas, the technique was used to bring a desktop Spotify to Linux for the first time.
The important thing here is that Snaps, first launched in 2016, run on any Linux distro, not just Canonical's own Ubuntu. Named specifically were Linux Mint, Manjaro, Debian, ArchLinux, OpenSUSE and Solus. Not only that, they work across desktop, server, cloud and IoT.
"Slack is helping to transform the modern workplace, and we're thrilled to welcome them to the snaps ecosystem", said Jamie Bennett, VP of Engineering, Devices & IoT at Canonical.
"Today's announcement is yet another example of putting the Linux user first - Slack's developers will now be able to push out the latest features straight to the user. By prioritising usability, and with the popularity of open source continuing to grow, the number of snaps is only set to rise in 2018."
By bringing Slack to Linux, Ubuntu has broken down a major disconnect in what has become one of the most popular workplace apps in recent years. Slack has even endorsed it as the official build for Linux with a direct download link on its own pages.
Whether, in the event, anyone will actually need Slack to run on Raspberry Pi is another matter, but amongst thousands of Snaps that have already been made, Slack and Spotify are demonstrations of how, by reducing the cost of developing a Linux version, containerisation is levelling the playing field for those that don't want to go all in on Windows but still want the mainstream apps. µ
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