Working from home, due to COVID-19? Need to come up with new ways to work with your team? Have a spare RPi4 kicking around? This might be just the sort of fun project to do to ward off your cabin fever.
I have an RPi 4B, 4GB of RAM. After dozens and dozens of hours of tinkering, I was able to set up my Pi as a useful team group chat server, very similar to Slack (where the end user experience is actually likeable).
The Raspberry Pi has both the horsepower and the RAM to serve a decent number of clients (like a family, or a medium-sized team), using Mattermost “Team server” (not to be confused with Mattermost “Enterprise server”, the paid version).
Its features are things like:
- good desktop support. There is a snap package for “mattermost-desktop”, in Linux. Also desktop clients in Windows and MacOS. These all have nice desktop notifications, properly integrated into your Desktop environment’s notification service.
- good mobile support; has a WhatsApp-like, free chat App for Android and iOS. Has push notifications. Has a better mobile experience than can be had on PHPBB, or Discourse.
- Slack-like “channels”
- Fun things like file/image attachments, emojis, reactions, flagging, pinning, etc.
Other OSS chat forum/messaging servers (like Zulip, and Discourse) are too heavyweight for the Pi 4, by contrast.
Installation instructions are here (which I wrote).