5 open source chat applications you must use immediately

Collaborating remotely is an important capability now, making open source real-time chat an important piece of your toolbox.

5 open source chat apps

The first thing we usually do after Bed in the morning is to ascertain our cellphone to see if there are important messages from our colleagues and friends. Whether or not it is a good idea, this behavior has become a part of our daily lifestyle.

No matter the soundness of the rationale , we all have a set of communication tools—email, phone calls, web-conferencing tools, or social networking—we use on a day to day . Even before COVID-19, performing from home already made these communication tools an important a part of our world. And because the pandemic has made performing from home the new normal, we're facing unprecedented changes to how we communicate, which makes these tools not merely essential but now required.

Why do we need Chat?

When working remotely as a region of a globally distributed team, we must have a collaborative environment. Chat applications play an important role in helping us stay connected. In contrast to email, chat applications provide fast, real-time communications with colleagues round the globe.

There are tons of things involved in choosing a talk application. to assist you choose the proper one for you, during this article, I'll explore four open source chat applications and one open source video-communication tool (for once you got to be "face-to-face" together with your colleagues), then outline a number of the features you must search for in an efficient communication application.

5 open source chat apps

1. Mattermost

Mattermost may be a very modern approach to team chat, and offers both self-hosted and hosted options. It's written in Golang with a decent chunk of JavaScript under the React framework. It's features good archival support, and a really similar interface to Slack, private and public chats, with one to one communication, including most of the features you've come to expect there. In fact, if you're already using Slack, there's a simple import function which allows you to move your current channels and archives. Most importantally it also fit into your organization's existing LDAP or Active Directory authentication systems.


One feature i actually like is that the ability to upload sound, video, or images directly from your mobile device, which seems handy when communicating on the go. Mattermost is licensed under an "Apache-wrapped AGPL." inspect the source code on GitHub, then provides it a try.

2. Rocket.Chat

Rocket.Chat may be a comprehensive communication platform that classifies channels as public (open to anyone who joins) or private (invitation-only) rooms. you'll also send direct messages to people that are logged in; share documents, links, photos, videos, and GIFs; make video calls; and send audio messages without leaving the platform.

free and open source Rocket.Chat

It(Rocket.Chat) is free and open source, but what makes it unique is its self-hosted chat system. you'll download it onto your server, whether it's an on-premises server or a virtual private server on a public cloud.

Rocket.Chat is totally free, and its source code is out there on GitHub. Many open source projects uses Rocket.Chat as their official communication platform. it's constantly evolving with new features and enhancements .

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The things i prefer the foremost about Rocket.Chat are its ability to be customized consistent with user requirements which it uses machine learning to try to to automatic, real-time message translation between users. you'll also download Rocket.Chat for your mobile device and use it on the go.

3. Internet Relay Chat (IRC)

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) may be a real-time, text-based sort of communication. Although it's one among the oldest sorts of transmission , it remains popular among many well-known software projects.

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) Images Source:https://weechat.org/about/screenshots/weechat/weechat_2012-04-14_sembei.png/

IRC channels are discrete chat rooms. It allows you to possess conversations with multiple people in an open channel or chat with someone privately one-on-one. If a channel name starts with a #, you'll assume it to be official, whereas chat rooms that begin with ## are unofficial and typically casual.

Getting started with IRC is straightforward . Your IRC handle or nickname is what allows people to search out you, so it must be unique. But your choice of IRC client is totally your decision. If you would like a more feature-rich application than a typical IRC client.

Given its age, why do you have to still get on IRC? For one reason, it remains the house for several of the free and open source projects we rely on. If you would like to participate in open source software and communities, IRC is that the choice to start .

4. Zulip a popular group-chat application

Zulip may be a popular group-chat application that follows the topic-based threading model. In Zulip, you subscribe streams, a bit like in IRC channels or Rocket.Chat. But each Zulip stream opens a subject that's unique, which helps you track conversations later, thus making it more organized.


Like all other platforms, It supports inline images, emojis, tweet previews and video. Zulip also supports LaTeX for sharing equations, math formulas and Markdown, and syntax highlighting for sharing code.

It is cross-platform and provide APIs for building your own integrations(projects). Something special about Zulip is its integration feature with GitHub: if I'm performing on a problem , I can use Zulip's marker to link back to the pull request ID.

Zulip is open source (you can access its source code on GitHub) and liberal to use, but it's paid offerings for on-premises support, LDAP integration, and more storage.

5. Let's Chat self-hosted chat solution

Let's Chat may be a self-hosted chat solution for little teams. It runs on Node.js and MongoDB and may be deployed to local servers or hosted services with a couple of clicks. It's free and open source, with the Source text file available on GitHub.

Let's Chat

What makes different Let's Chat from other open source chat project is its enterprise features: it supports LDAP and Kerberos authentication. It also has all the features a replacement user would want: you'll search message history within the archives and tag people with mentions like @username.

What i prefer about Let's Chat is that it's private and password-protected rooms, image embeds, GIPHY support, and code pasting. it's constantly evolving and adding more features to its bucket.

Of the various open source chat services available, which of them does one like and use? How do these tools assist you work remotely? Please share your thoughts within the comments.

Tags: Open SourceOpen aource chat appZulipRocket.ChatMattermostInternet Relay Chat (IRC)Let's Chatopen source chat projectchatting application project