Instant messaging has become an increasingly important part of how businesses function; faster than email and easier than going to someone’s desk and often quicker than a phone call, instant messaging offers better department to department communication and even convenient customer communication options. This is true for almost all businesses, from small B2C startups to larger B2B organizations. It can benefit companies in almost every industry, working from any number of software options. Whether you need a chat platform that will work to connect your internal work team or something to help you build a client or customer-facing chat option, there are plenty of options that are Linux compatible.
What is Linux?
As described by the Linux homepage, “Just like Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Mac OS X, Linux is an operating system. An operating system is a software that manages all of the hardware resources associated with your desktop or laptop. To put it simply – the operating system manages the communication between your software and your hardware. Without the operating system (often referred to as the “OS”), the software wouldn’t function.” In addition to reliability, Linux is free. “You can install Linux on as many computers as you like without paying a cent for software or server licensing (including costly Microsoft Client Access License – CALs).”
Linux instant messaging options
- Skype: Skype is one of the original instant messaging platforms, widely adopted by individuals and businesses. Though Skype is a Microsoft platform, it has functionality for Linux-based platforms and can be easily used by any business for calls, video, and instant messaging. Businesses who have Outlook often use Skype to automatically backup their chats to the Outlook inbox; businesses have also moved to replace landlines with Skype phone numbers for employees.
- Slack: Slack is another well-known, widely-used communication platforms that are compatible with Linux. Slack allows employees to organize and archive conversations, share files and documents, video chat, instant message, and more. With the ability to integrate with many other tools, Slack has been adopted as communication, collaboration, and project management tool by businesses of every size. Used by companies like Lyft and Shopify, Slack notes, “Big companies save time with Slack by securely collaborating across teams, departments, offices and countries.”
- Telegram: Telegram is a preferred messaging platform for many reasons. First of all, Telegram messages are heavily encrypted and can even self-destruct, which is useful for businesses or individuals communicating about sensitive or proprietary information. As a cloud-based platform, messages can be accessed from all devices, including mobile and desktop, for a seamless stream of communication. Much like blockchain programs, Telegram servers are distributed for added security. There are no limits on the size of media and chats sent. Finally, one of the favorite features is that Telegram is free and run on an open API and protocol. Many businesses have found that these features help them maximize their budget, enhance business communication, or ensure better security.
- Wickr: Wickr is similar to Telegram in several ways, one being that messages are encrypted. They describe their capabilities by saying, “ Wickr is free for the first 10 users and comes packed with features like voice & video calls, file transfer, SSO and MDM integration, full administrative controls and a whole lot more. Get started today to ensure that your data remains hidden from scammers, hackers, competitors, and even Wickr itself.” It also offers a custom API that makes integrations with other business platforms and programs easy for a more holistic experience that better serves your business.
- Wire: Wire is another platform that’s capable of supporting Linux instant messaging. With a high-priority on secure communication for businesses, they note, “Wire offers the strongest security for organizations looking to protect their communications and document sharing. End-to-end encryption gives you the confidence to talk, message, and share across teams, and with clients, through a single app that’s available on all of your devices.” For more secure communication with clients, vendors, or partners, you can create an encrypted guest room that hosts clients without a Wire account. They can join secure meetings in just seconds with your invitation link. As most of these options, Wire is GDPR compliant, so it’s built for every business to use easily.
One of the highly-desirable features of Linux – a primary reason that developers prefer it to other operating systems – is that it has been improved with a lot of free and open-source program. Many of the above platforms reflect this, making them powerful options for growing businesses looking into their software options as they scale. They’re also strong options for businesses for whom security is the highest priority, which is becoming a greater focus for organizations every day.
From personal to professional, Linux-based instant messaging programs can offer you flexibility, communication, and security. If you’re running a Linux operating platform, make sure you look into this list of mainstream and alternative chat options for a reliable and robust messenger experience.