Requirements

Note that if you just want to play around with Zulip and see what it looks like, it is easier to install it in a development environment following these instructions, since then you don't need to worry about setting up SSL certificates and an authentication mechanism. Or, you can check out the Zulip development community server.

Server

General

The installer expects Zulip to be the only thing running on the system; it will install system packages with apt (like nginx, postgresql, and redis) and configure them for its own use. We strongly recommend using either a fresh machine instance in a cloud provider, a fresh VM, or a dedicated machine. If you decide to disregard our advice and use a server that hosts other services, we can't support you, but we do have some notes on issues you'll encounter.

Operating System

Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial and Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty are supported for running Zulip in production. 64-bit is recommended. We recommend Xenial if you have a choice, since 14.04 is approaching end-of-life and you'll save yourself the work of upgrading in a few months.

Hardware Specifications

  • CPU and Memory: For installations with 100+ users you'll need a minimum of 2 CPUs and 4GB RAM. For installations with fewer users, 1 CPU and 2GB RAM is sufficient. We strongly recommend against installing with less than 2GB of RAM, as you will likely experience out of memory issues installing dependencies. We recommend against using highly CPU-limited servers like the AWS t2 style instances for organizations with a hundreds of users (active or no).

    See our documentation on scalability for advice on hardware requirements for larger organizations.

  • Disk space: You'll need at least 10GB of free disk space for a server with dozens of users. If you intend to store uploaded files locally rather than on S3 you will likely need more, depending how often your users upload large files. You'll eventually need 100GB or more if you have thousands of active users or millions of total messages sent.

Network and Security Specifications

  • Incoming HTTPS access (usually port 443, though this is configurable) from the networks where your users are (usually, the public Internet). If you also open port 80, Zulip will redirect users to HTTPS rather than not working when users type e.g. http://zulip.example.com in their browser. If you are using Zulip's incoming email integration you may also need incoming port 25 open.
  • Outgoing HTTP(S) access (ports 80 and 443) to the public Internet so that Zulip can properly manage inline image previews. You'll also need outgoing SMTP access to your SMTP server (the standard port for this is 587) so that Zulip can send email.

Domain name

You should already have a domain name available for your Zulip production instance. In order to generate valid SSL certificates with Let's Encrypt, and to enable other services such as Google Authentication, you'll need to update the domain's A record to point to your production server.

Credentials needed

SSL Certificate

  • An SSL certificate for the host you're putting this on (e.g., zulip.example.com). If you don't have an SSL solution already, read about getting an SSL certificate for free using Let's Encrypt.

Outgoing email

  • Outgoing email (SMTP) credentials that Zulip can use to send outgoing emails to users (e.g. email address confirmation emails during the signup process, missed message notifications, password reset, etc.). If you don't have an existing outgoing SMTP solution, read about free outgoing SMTP options and options for prototyping.

Once you have met these requirements, see full instructions for installing Zulip in production.