Slack CLI for productive developers

regisb regisb Last update: Oct 29, 2023


⚠️ THIS PROJECT IS IN MAINTENANCE MODE. I have lost interest in Slack -- actually, the less I use Slack the better I feel. Thus I do not have the time nor the energy to make slack-cli compatible with the new Slack authentication mechanism. I will happily review and merge pull requests, though 🙂 If a contributor would like to step forward and start fixing issues, I could then transfer ownership of the project (after they have demonstrated proficiency and integrity).

Effectively interact with Slack from the command line: send messages, upload files, send command output, pipe content... all from the confort of your terminal.

Member of dozens of Slack teams? No worries, with slack-cli you can easily switch from one team to another.


$ pip install slack-cli
$ slack-cli -d general "Hello everyone!"

You will be asked to provide a Slack API token. It's easy, check out the Tokens section for a quickstart.


$ slack-cli -h
usage: slack-cli [-h] [-t TOKEN] [-T TEAM] [-d DST] [-f FILE] [--pre] [--run]
                 [-u USER] [-s SRC] [-l LAST]
                 [messages [messages ...]]

Send, pipe, upload and receive Slack messages from the CLI

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -t TOKEN, --token TOKEN
                        Explicitly specify Slack API token which will be
                        saved to /home/user/.config/slack-cli/slack_token.
  -T TEAM, --team TEAM  Team domain to interact with. This is the name that
                        appears in the Slack url: Use
                        this option to interact with different teams. If
                        unspecified, default to the team that was last used.

Send messages:
  -d DST, --dst DST     Send message to a Slack channel, group or username
  -f FILE, --file FILE  Upload file
  --pre                 Send as verbatim `message`
  --run                 Run the message as a shell command and send both the
                        message and the command output
  -u USER, --user USER  Send message not as the current user, but as a bot
                        with the specified user name
  messages              Messages to send (messages can also be sent from
                        standard input)

Receive messages:
  -s SRC, --src SRC     Receive messages from a Slack channel, group or
                        username. This option can be specified multiple times.
                        When streaming, use 'all' to stream from all sources.
  -l LAST, --last LAST  Print the last N messages. If this option is not
                        specified, messages will be streamed from the
                        requested sources.

Sending messages

The destination argument may be any user, group or channel:

$ slack-cli -d general "Hello everyone!"
$ slack-cli -d slackbot "Hello!"

Send message with a different username:

$ slack-cli -d general -u terminator "I'll be back"

Update status

$ slack-cli -d general "/status :office: In the office"
$ slack-cli -d general "/status :house: At home"
$ slack-cli -d general "/status Just chillin'"
$ slack-cli -d general "/status clear"

Pipe content from stdin

$ cat /etc/hosts | slack-cli -d devteam

Usually you will want to format piped content as verbatim content with triple backticks ("```"). This is achieved with the --pre option:

$ tail -f /var/log/nginx/access.log | slack-cli -d devteam --pre

Upload file

$ slack-cli -f /etc/nginx/sites-available/default.conf -d alice

Run command and send output

This is really convenient for showing both the result of a command and the command itself:

$ slack-cli -d john --run "git log -1"

will send to user john:

$ git log -1
commit 013798f5c85043d31f0221a9a32b39298e97fb08
Author: Régis Behmo <[email protected]>
Date:   Thu Jun 22 15:20:36 2017 +0200

    Replace all commands by a single command

    Our first 1.0 release!

Receiving messages

Stream to stdout

Stream the content of a channel:

$ slack-cli -s general

Monitor all conversations:

$ slack-cli -s all

Dump (backup) the content of a channel

$ slack-cli -s general --last 10000 > general.log
$ slack-cli -s myboss --last 10000 > covermyass.log


Switch to a different team

Switch to a different team anytime with the -T flag:

$ slack-cli -T family -d general "I'll be home in an hour"

The new team will become the new default team.

Token management

Note that the Slack token may optionally be stored in an environment variable (although it is not recommended for security reasons):

$ export SLACK_TOKEN="slack_token_string"

The slack-cli configuration is stored in a generic configuration directory -- by default, this is ~/.config/slack-cli on Linux. You can check the path of this directory by running:

python3 -c "from slackcli.token import CONFIG_ROOT; print(CONFIG_ROOT)"

This directory can be modified by setting the SLACK_CLI_CONFIG_ROOT environment variable. For instance:

export SLACK_CLI_CONFIG_ROOT=~/slackcli

Bells and Whistles ᕕ(⌐■_■)ᕗ ♪♬


Channel, group and user names can be autocompleted from the command line for bash users. Add the following line to ~/.bashrc:

eval "$(register-python-argcomplete slack-cli)"

Then, try autocompletion with:

$ slack -s gene<tab>


$ slack -d <tab><tab>

Unfortunately, I did not manage to get autocompletion to work with zsh ¯\_( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)_/¯ Please let me know if you have more success.


Color output is activated by default in compatible terminals. To deactivate colors, define the SLACK_CLI_NO_COLOR environment variable:



Emoji short codes will be automatically replaced by their corresponding unicode value. For instance, :smile: will become 😄. However, these characters will display properly only if your terminal supports them! I stronly encourage you to download patched fonts from Nerd Fonts and to configure your terminal to use them. For instance, in Ubuntu this is how I downloaded the DejaVuSansMono fonts:

wget -O ~/.fonts/
cd ~/.fonts
fc-cache -vf ~/.fonts

If emojis are not your thing, you can disable them globally with the SLACK_CLI_NO_EMOJI environment variable:



To generate a token, create a new Slack App and add it to your workspace.

Grant API Permissions to your App, select all that apply (you probably want "chat:write"):

Create App and add OAuth Scopes

This is an example of how it could look like:

Example scopes

Now hit the green Install App to workspace button, and you will be presented with a token you can use for authentication.

OAuth Access Token



I am very much open to comments! Please don't be afraid to raise issues or open pull requests.

This work is licensed under the terms of the MIT License

Note that this project was initially a fork of slacker-cli but the two projects have now considerably diverged.


Install the development requirements:

pip install -e .[development]

Run all tests:

make test

Format your code with black:

make format

Update emojis

python -c "from slackcli.emoji import Emojis;"

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