Keybase Communications Software– Open Source Alternative to Slack

keybase communications tool
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Keybase is Slack like communications tool for teams. But unlike Slack, Keybase communications software is totally open source and there are no premium charges for advanced features. That is, for now at least.

Keybase boasts a lot of features for free that are premium on alternative commercial offerings. And it also supports public-key cryptography making all communications private and safe.

Keybase has some really cool features like:

  • End to end encryption. Making all communications safe from eavesdroppers and hackers.
  • Keybase Teams. Support for large teams, without any premium charges. You can add members and create unique channels for communications among members. Including creating roles like Admins, writers etc.
  • File sharing. Public and private repositories make it easier to share files among teams.
  • Apps. Mobile and desktop apps for all popular platforms

The Keybase communication tool’s administration is still a bit cumbersome. It is really designed for techies rather than ordinary users at this time. For example, if you want to add a new channel to your teams you will have to use your terminal to do that. Here is an example to create a channel #feedbacks for team XenStreet.

There are a whole list of commands that one can execute. A copy of those are available on their official blog.

This may seem a bit daunting at this time. However, it will change in the foreseeable future to a simpler interface. But for now, techies rule.

Unlike Slack, Keybase does lack audio and video communications for now. Leaving us to use third party tools like Ring or Skype. It would be nice to have that feature built in. Maybe a Ring integration with Keybase communications tool could be the future.

The adoption of Keybase communications tool among the community is still a bit slow, even though Keybase website claims nearly 200,000 users registered. But we suspect a vast majority of them are not active on a daily basis.

We will be testing and using it in the coming weeks to see how well it works for our organization. And maybe even adopt it for our teams.


Techie by day, blogger by night. Love the outdoors, enjoy traveling and building new and interesting things. Follow me if you want to know something.

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