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Linux Users Get a Shot at Microsoft Teams

Teams, Microsoft's "collaboration workspace" app for organizations, is "the first Microsoft 365 app that is coming to Linux desktops," the company announced this week.

Microsoft has launched a limited preview of Teams for select Linux desktop operating systems. The release is available from this page in Debian (.DEB) and Red Hat (.RPM) package formats.

Microsoft promises that Teams for Linux "will support all of Teams' core capabilities," though those core capabilities weren't specified. Teams combines chat, voice-over-IP calling and videoconferencing capabilities. It's also the replacement client for Skype for Business Online's unified messaging capabilities.

The supported Linux distributions for the Teams preview were listed as follows in a UserVoice post:

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS*, 18.04 LTS, Fedora 30 Workstation, RHEL 8 Workstation, CentOS 8. We are working to unblock CentOS 7, and it will be available soon.

The installation process using the .DEB and .RPM packages is described in this Microsoft Teams for clients document. It also includes instructions for installing Teams clients on macOS computers, as well as how to get the Teams Web client and mobile clients (for Android and iOS). There's already a "Known Issues" list for Linux Teams clients, which is available here.

Teams clients get updated automatically by Microsoft "with no IT administrator intervention required," per the Microsoft Teams clients document. Currently, there are no supported options that let IT pros configure Teams clients, it indicated.

Microsoft includes Teams as part of its Office 365 service offerings, but there's also a free version for "up to 300 people." The free version lacks things like added storage, Office file collaboration and meeting scheduling, and it also doesn't have "advanced IT controls" and "enterprise-level security and compliance" controls. Organizations without a Teams license or Office 365 subscription can use the free version for one year.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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