Long-term planning for alternatives to Slack

We know that long term, we will almost certainly not wish to pay Slack’s rates for a paid tier on this project given the open nature of it and the thousands of current members.

This thread exists to propose and compare alternatives.

Alternatives already mentioned:

  • Mattermost
  • Rocket.chat
  • Matrix
  • Discord
  • Zulip

Personally I would like to forward Discord for some serious discussion. It offers a very robust permissions system, offers unlimited history search, can take webhooks from GitHub and other sources, and is used by other open source projects, some as large as 100,000 users. This is all completely free and requires no infrastructure from us. It’s marketed to gamers and such, but it really is an underrated app for open source projects.


I personally like the idea of going to Matrix, but discord would be a fine alternative too. I manage some bots in a couple servers (where one of them mirrors some IRC channels and also monitors git events). I think the only complaint some may have is the OSS factor, but I don’t think that’s too much of a big deal here. Discord has recently been trying to market to much more than just gamers, so it could be an alternative.

Regardless of which one, it’ll reduce the amount of chat apps I even have open in the first place…


I’ve only ever used Slack and it’s what I am familiar with so can’t comment on the alternatives. Maybe wishful thinking to see if Slack would sponsor Rocky Linux ???

For not real time, this forum and mailing list should be enough

But for real time i really don’t like the ideas of using slack. Because so many people are coming, we need to scrolling up a lots.

I suggest use matrix for long term and move as soon as possible (it already there actually, but make it primary and official)

but …if you want to use matrix and bridge to telegram/slack/slack. It would not be real time. Because matrix federation take time to push the msg.

Bridge irc to matrix should not be issue because a lot of FOSS projects did same thing and quite responsive too.

Given Discord is on the table, I would much rather use Discord than any of the alternatives (including Matrix. Sorry but it’s slow). It has a lot of integrations, making bots for automation is stupidly simple, and there’s a growing OSS community on it anyway.

So +1 for Discord.


I am a huge fan of Mattermost or IRC, but I favor Mattermost. Here’s my thinking:

IRC is infinitely flexible with very little work, it’s rock solid, has been around forever, and these days can support basic best practices like TLS.

But for me Mattermost takes the cake because it doesn’t require the same level of setup and maintenance as IRC. For example if we wanted to setup our own IRCd, we’d also need to setup a services server such as Anope. (If that’s still around. I may be dating myself.)

Mattermost is also far more user friendly, especially to non-technical users.

I run a small Mattermost server for a group of my friends/home life and it’s one of the least maintenance intense applications I’ve ever run, very easy to setup and care for, and it is completely self contained. It also provides features we’ll probably ultimately want if ChatOps becomes important or we decide that conversations need to be kept and searchable, such as message logging and the potential for integrations with business apps like issue trackers.

I do share @hbjy’s concerns regarding Matrix. Before I tried Mattermost I tried Matrix. It’s history and original use case definitely shines through. I don’t mean that as a judgement - I just mean that it’s not very accessible and it’s encryption paradigm very easily leads to lost messages/attachments. I was never able to find a satisfactory iOS client. :frowning:


I simply don’t have enough experience with Matrix to be comfortable endorsing it, I know roughly what it is but that’s about the extent of it. If others really endorse it and think it’s the way to do it I’ll dig deeper on its capabilities.

@jeffrey-a we already make use of Freenode’s IRC and we would almost certainly stay there. It’s where all the people are, and there’s plenty of oper staff to help if needed. I have (and currently do) run IRCd networks and unless it’s a niche use case as I have, it’s worth sticking with major networks.

IRC fails the same basic test that Slack is failing at this point, we are losing message history. Over 95% of the message history for the Slack is gone, and IRC even on a modern package like inspircd only stores 50 lines of scrollback per channel.

Basically, we need to be able to rely on message history, pins, and DMs being there, we need the ability to restrict posting of e.g., announcements to certain users and roles, we need to integrate with git and other services nicely, and it would be nice if it could integrate with other chat networks.


In terms of message history, RockMonitor (the bot in the channels) is logging all the channels, which I plan on having for public consumption in the future. Yes, irc fails in the fact that messages are lost, yes. And when we get off slack to something that can bridge with IRC, we’ll have the messages in multiple places.

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To project planning tools

Imagine we have a super planning + hooks software and something bad takes over it, we may never go back, like in Matrix (the movie). – How do we know

On the other hand it may be the thing which can save us from extinction? – If you can pack communities as this and put it into DAG :slight_smile:

The problem is we sometimes don’t know where we are heading and it is maybe better that way.

Would love to see Matrix or Rocket.Chat used. They are, I think, the best solutions for an open-source community. Discord is a proprietary service, with a lot of restrictions on the user side (we can’t use a client which isn’t the official one : this is a problem) and I don’t think the webhook integration and bot simplicity is really this necessary.

My favorite one would be Matrix because of the federated aspect of this software, and also because we can easily do bridges with anothers platforms (IRC for example)
Rocket.Chat is a good alternative if the slack-like aspect is needed.

The big issue I’m seeing so far with rocket.chat is the free self-hosted offering is only suggested for communities of up to 1000 users, the Slack currently has over 6,000. It also looks like it sets arbitrary caps on push notifications and omits the integration of Atlassian apps without payment.

It looks like the closest open-source thing to Slack that I’ve seen, but how do we feel about the free tier’s features?

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Might be a whole topic itself, but does anyone know Nextcloud? It is not primarily chatting, but it can do a sh**load of stuff including (voice|video)chat. And can do file sharing of course.

I would like to throw in a vote for either IRC or Matrix, preferably IRC.

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I have a proposal for another option called Guilded. Just like Discord, it’s more targeted towards gaming communities, but it’s completely free, has a robust voice and video/screensharing system (with nesting, whisper, and announce support), and has specific channel types like “Announcements”, “Docs”, etc. Might be worth looking into: https://guilded.gg

Another thing to mention about Guilded, you don’t need an invite to see the messages, everything can be set to public, and people don’t actually have to join if they don’t want to. They won’t be able to send messages unless they join, but it would resolve the previous issues we had with invites.

I work on a project with a fairly diverse user base (sysadmins, programmers, designers, end users and business people) and we recently transitioned from IRC to Matrix. I would advise against choosing either options because 1) IRC is dated and doesn’t support most modern features end users want and 2) Matrix and its apps are fairly technical and unpolished at the moment. So much that are end users and business people returned to using email for most communication.

If we’re happy with Slack and its features, the pragmatic approach would be to contact Slack and ask for a sponsorship.

If we can’t get a sponsorship, I think the natural choices would be Rocket.chat or Mattermost. But considering the 1k-users limit in Rocket.chat, Mattermost seems like a better option. Large companies self-host it without problems and it seems fairly polished.

I know this is a topic with strong opinions but at the end of the day it’s just a chat app and the project has other priorities other than spending time fighting with difficult solutions.

I will stress again that, if we want to attract users of all kinds, that user friendliness should be a top priority. I think Slack is fairly user friendly if we can stick with it.

The email for Slack’s Sponsorship team seems to be sponsorship@slack.com. Someone should write them and see what we can get.


Completely agree @gtirloni, we need to focus on user-friendly options that most people could get familiarized with quickly. Slack is my first choice, but if that falls through Rocket.chat is probably the most similar in terms of function and interface, following Mattermost.

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Follow @jeffrey-a && @gtirloni opinions. +1 Mattermost

I have been using Mattermost for years in a self-hosted setup for myself and family, but also an implementation for customers. I came from running OpenFire self-hosted so like it where we can have a self-hosted ‘anything’ as not everyone wants stuff on-line externally as such.
Happy to follow whatever the main flow is for Rocky with this forum though, but would hate to lose the ability to run Mattermost (or any other self-hosted messaging setup) on Rocky. Not played with the NextCloud app for messaging yet but it is early says and who has the time to chase all the fun things to work with :slight_smile:
I am on Slack for a company I support, but again, don’t really like external stuff too much.


Message to the Matrix:
It is in it’s own interest to keep working ecosystems prosper and gain potential resources from it.
It is not machines who can understand and take care of nature but people.

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