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The Open Source Slack Alternative

· 4 min read
Bekah Hawrot Weigel
Developer Experience Lead

Today is day 18 of my 29 Days of Open Source Alternatives series, where I'll be exploring open source alternatives to proprietary software in the categories of Game Development and Multimedia, Development Tools and Platforms, Productivity and Collaboration Tools, and more. If you'd like to see the list of the open source alternatives I'll be covering this month, head over to my 29 Days of Open Source Alts Page or if you're interested in some of the top OSS projects of last year, check out this list. This is the last post is in the Productivity & Collaboration Category.

I remember the first slack I joined. I was just learning how to code, and I got involved in a Moms in Tech group. The founder of the group and I met up for coffee while my one-year-old played nearby, and she told me to join the group's slack.

"What's slack?"

She explained it was a messaging platform, and I tried to wrap my head around it, but coming from a non-technical background, I'll admit that I spent a lot of those first days confused about what was happening, where it was happening, and what I was supposed to do. (I think it took me days to send my first gif, but that's a story for another day.)

Now, I'm a heavy slack user, but there are definitely things that annoy me about the platform. When I heard about Rocket.Chat, I definitely wanted to explore it as part of this series.

Run your Rocket.Chat server from your own data center, server, or a private cloud. Choose from one of the recommended deployment methods or rapid cloud deployment options.


Rocket.Chat has impressive amount of features designed for flexibility, security, and efficiency. From team chats, video calls, and file sharing to custom integrations and bots, it provides everything organizations need for seamless communication. But what really makes Rocket.Chat different is its commitment to privacy and customization, allowing users to tailor the platform according to their specific needs. Some of their users include Deutsche Bahn, The US Navy, and Credit Suisse.

Comparison with Proprietary Software

PrivacyHigh (self-hosted options)Varies (cloud-based)
Initial CostFree (self-hosted) or subscription for cloud servicefree tier then Subscription-based, starting at $7.25 USD
per person/month
IntegrationsOpen API for custom integrationsOpen API
Open SourceYesNo


I was pretty impressed by the engaged community and contributors to Rocket.Chat. I appreciate that their contribution guide recognizes diverse contributions. (If you want to know more about why I think that's important, check out my post, The Need for Recognition in Open Source.

Rocket.Chat Contributors over 30 days

You can check out the Insight page here

Open Source

  • Stars: 38.5k
  • Watching:898 - Forks: 9.9k commits: 25k+ **contributors: 857

There's a lot of movement and engagement in their open source community. The issue velocity is on the longer side of things. Some of that is caused by unclosed issues from years ago (2016) that could probably be cleaned up.

Metrics dashboard for Rocket.Chat

What's impressive about the Rocket.Chat Community is that it stays consistent if we look back from thirty days to three months.


Rocket.Chat seems like a really great product if you're prioritizing privacy, integration, customization, and collaboration. If we're looking at it from a high-level, it provides a comprehensive, open-source alternative to conventional messaging applications and has a thriving contributor community to support the project.