Make sure you want to install a Zulip production server. If you'd instead like to test or develop a new feature, we recommend the Zulip server development environment instead.
You will need an Ubuntu system that satisfies the installation requirements. In short, you need:
- Either a dedicated machine, or a fresh VM on an existing machine.
- Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial or Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty, 64-bit. If you have a choice, install on Xenial, since Trusty is approaching its end-of-life and you'll save yourself the work of upgrading a production installation.
- At least 2GB RAM and 10 GB disk space (4GB and 2 CPUs recommended for 100+ users).
- A DNS name, an SSL certificate, and credentials for sending email.
Step 1: Install SSL Certificates¶
Zulip runs over
https only, and requires SSL certificates in order to
work. It looks for the certificates in
/etc/ssl/certs/zulip.combined-chain.crt. Note that Zulip uses
nginx as its webserver and thus expects a chained certificate
If you need an SSL certificate, see our SSL certificate documentation. If you already have an SSL certificate, just install (or symlink) it into place at the above paths, and move on to the next step.
Step 2: Download and install latest release¶
Download and unpack the latest built server tarball with the following commands:
cd $(mktemp -d) wget https://www.zulip.org/dist/releases/zulip-server-latest.tar.gz tar -xf zulip-server-latest.tar.gz
If you'd like to verify the download, we publish the sha256sums of our release tarballs.
Then, run the Zulip install script:
sudo -s # If not already root ./zulip-server-*/scripts/setup/install
This may take a while to run, since it will install a large number of dependencies.
The Zulip install script is designed to be idempotent, so if it fails,
you can just rerun it after correcting the issue that caused it to
fail. Also note that it automatically logs a transcript to
/var/log/zulip/install.log; please include a copy of that file in
any bug reports.
The install script does several things:
zulipuser, which the various Zulip servers will run as,
/home/zulip/deployments/, which the Zulip code for this deployment (and future deployments when you upgrade) go into. At the very end of the install process, the script moves the Zulip code tree it's running from (which you unpacked from a tarball above) to a directory there, and makes
/home/zulip/deployments/currentas a symbolic link to it.
- Installs Zulip's various dependencies.
- Configures the various third-party services Zulip uses, including Postgres, RabbitMQ, Memcached and Redis.
Step 3: Configure Zulip¶
Configure the Zulip server instance by editing
providing values for the mandatory settings, which are all found under the
### MANDATORY SETTINGS. These settings include:
EXTERNAL_HOST: the user-accessible Zulip domain name for your Zulip installation (i.e., what users will type in their web browser). This should of course match the DNS name you configured to point to your server and for which you configured SSL certificates. If you plan to use multiple domains, add the others to
ZULIP_ADMINISTRATOR: the email address of the person or team maintaining this installation and who will get support and error emails.
EMAIL_HOST_USER: credentials for an outgoing email (aka "SMTP") server that Zulip can use to send emails. See our guide for outgoing email for help configuring this.
- If desired, you can also configure additional authentication backends while you're editing /etc/zulip/settings.py. Note, however, that the default (email) backend must be enabled when you complete Step 6 (creating an organization) below.
Step 4: Test email configuration¶
Test your outgoing email configuration. This is important to test now, because email configuration errors are common, and your outgoing email configuration needs to be working in order for you to complete the installation.
Step 5: Initialize Zulip database¶
At this point, you are done doing things as root. The remaining
commands are run as the
zulip user. Change to the
and initialize the Zulip database for your production install:
su zulip # If you weren't already the zulip user /home/zulip/deployments/current/scripts/setup/initialize-database
initialize-database script will report an error if you did not
fill in all the mandatory settings from
is safe to rerun it after correcting the problem if that happens.
This completes the process of installing Zulip on your server. However, in order to use Zulip, you'll need to create an organization in your Zulip installation.
Step 6: Create a Zulip organization and login¶
Run the organization (realm) creation management command :
su zulip # If you weren't already the zulip user /home/zulip/deployments/current/manage.py generate_realm_creation_link
This will print out a secure one-time-use link that allows creation of a new Zulip organization on your server.
Open the generated link with your web browser. You'll see the "Create organization" page (screenshot here). Enter your email address and click Create organization.
Check your email to find the confirmation email and click the link. You'll be prompted to finish setting up your organization and initial administrator user (screenshot here). Complete this form and log in!
Congratulations! You are logged in as an organization administrator for your new Zulip organization.
Step 7: Next steps¶
- Subscribe to the extremely low-traffic Zulip announcements email list to get important announcements for Zulip server administrators about new releases, security issues, etc.
- Follow Zulip on Twitter to get Zulip news.
- Learn how to setup your new Zulip organization.
- Learn how further configure your Zulip server.
- Learn about maintaining a production Zulip server.
zulipuser's password. By default, the
zulipuser doesn't have a password, and is intended to be accessed by
su zulipfrom the
rootuser (or via SSH keys or a password, if you want to set those up, but that's up to you as the system administrator). Most people who are prompted for a password when running
su zulipturn out to already have switched to the
zulipuser earlier in their session, and can just skip that step.
- If you get an error after
scripts/setup/installcompletes, check the bottom of
/var/log/zulip/errors.logfor a traceback, and consult the troubleshooting section for advice on how to debug.
- If that doesn't help, please visit
in the Zulip development community server for
realtime help or email email@example.com with the full
traceback, and we'll try to help you out! Please provide details like
the full traceback from the bottom of
/var/log/zulip/errors.login your report.