Advanced Setup (non-Vagrant)

Contents:

Installing directly on Ubuntu or Debian

If you’d like to install a Zulip development environment on a computer that’s running one of:

  • Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic, 16.04 Xenial, 14.04 Trusty, or
  • Debian 9 Stretch

You can just run the Zulip provision script on your machine.

Warning: there is no supported uninstallation process with this method. If you want that, use the Vagrant environment, where you can just do vagrant destroy to clean up the development environment.

Start by cloning your fork of the Zulip repository and connecting the Zulip upstream repository:

git clone --config pull.rebase https://github.com/YOURUSERNAME/zulip.git
cd zulip
git remote add -f upstream https://github.com/zulip/zulip.git
# From a clone of zulip.git
./tools/provision
source /srv/zulip-py3-venv/bin/activate
./tools/run-dev.py  # starts the development server

Once you’ve done the above setup, you can pick up the documentation on using the Zulip development environment, ignoring the parts about vagrant (since you’re not using it).

Installing manually on Linux

We recommend one of the other installation methods, since we test those continuously. But if you know what you’re doing and really want to install everything manually, these instructions should work.

On Debian or Ubuntu systems:

Using the official Ubuntu repositories, PGroonga PPA and tsearch-extras deb package:

Start by cloning your fork of the Zulip repository and connecting the Zulip upstream repository:

git clone --config pull.rebase https://github.com/YOURUSERNAME/zulip.git
git remote add -f upstream https://github.com/zulip/zulip.git
sudo apt-get install closure-compiler libfreetype6-dev libffi-dev \
    memcached rabbitmq-server libldap2-dev redis-server \
    postgresql-server-dev-all libmemcached-dev python3-dev \
    python-dev python-virtualenv hunspell-en-us git \
    yui-compressor puppet gettext postgresql \
    libssl-dev libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev libjpeg8-dev zlib1g-dev \
    libcurl4-openssl-dev

# If using Ubuntu, install PGroonga from its PPA
sudo add-apt-repository -ys ppa:groonga/ppa
sudo apt-get update
# On 14.04
sudo apt-get install postgresql-9.3-pgroonga
# On 16.04
sudo apt-get install postgresql-9.5-pgroonga
# On 17.04 or 17.10
sudo apt-get install postgresql-9.6-pgroonga
# On 18.04
sudo apt-get install postgresql-10-pgroonga

# If using Debian, follow the instructions here: http://pgroonga.github.io/install/debian.html

# Next, install Zulip's tsearch-extras postgresql extension
# If on Ubuntu LTS, you can use the Zulip PPA for tsearch-extras:
cd zulip
sudo apt-add-repository -ys ppa:tabbott/zulip
sudo apt-get update
# On 14.04
sudo apt-get install postgresql-9.3-tsearch-extras
# On 16.04
sudo apt-get install postgresql-9.5-tsearch-extras
# On 18.04
sudo apt-get install postgresql-10-tsearch-extras


# For Debian, you can download a .deb from packagecloud:

# If on Stretch
wget --content-disposition \
  https://packagecloud.io/zulip/server/packages/debian/stretch/postgresql-9.6-tsearch-extras_0.4_amd64.deb/download.deb
sudo dpkg -i postgresql-9.6-tsearch-extras_0.4_amd64.deb

Alternatively, you can always build the package from tsearch-extras git.

Now continue with the All Systems instructions below.

Using the official Zulip PPA (for 14.04

 Trusty, 16.04 Xenial, or 18.04 Bionic):

Start by cloning your fork of the Zulip repository and connecting the Zulip upstream repository:

git clone --config pull.rebase https://github.com/YOURUSERNAME/zulip.git
git remote add -f upstream https://github.com/zulip/zulip.git
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tabbott/zulip
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install closure-compiler libfreetype6-dev libffi-dev \
    memcached rabbitmq-server libldap2-dev redis-server \
    postgresql-server-dev-all libmemcached-dev python3-dev python-dev \
    hunspell-en-us git yui-compressor \
    puppet gettext tsearch-extras

Now continue with the All Systems instructions below.

On Fedora 22 (experimental):

These instructions are experimental and may have bugs; patches welcome!

Start by cloning your fork of the Zulip repository and connecting the Zulip upstream repository:

git clone --config pull.rebase https://github.com/YOURUSERNAME/zulip.git
git remote add -f upstream https://github.com/zulip/zulip.git
sudo dnf install libffi-devel memcached rabbitmq-server \
    openldap-devel python-devel redis postgresql-server \
    postgresql-devel postgresql libmemcached-devel freetype-devel \
    yuicompressor closure-compiler gettext

Now continue with the Common to Fedora/CentOS instructions below.

On CentOS 7 Core (experimental):

These instructions are experimental and may have bugs; patches welcome!

Start by cloning your fork of the Zulip repository and connecting the Zulip upstream repository:

git clone --config pull.rebase https://github.com/YOURUSERNAME/zulip.git
git remote add -f upstream https://github.com/zulip/zulip.git
# Add user zulip to the system (not necessary if you configured zulip
# as the administrator user during the install process of CentOS 7).
useradd zulip

# Create a password for zulip user
passwd zulip

# Allow zulip to sudo
visudo
# Add this line after line `root    ALL=(ALL)       ALL`
zulip   ALL=(ALL)       ALL

# Switch to zulip user
su zulip

# Enable EPEL 7 repo so we can install rabbitmq-server, redis and
# other dependencies
sudo yum install https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-7.noarch.rpm

# Install dependencies
sudo yum install libffi-devel memcached rabbitmq-server openldap-devel \
    python-devel redis postgresql-server postgresql-devel postgresql \
    libmemcached-devel wget python-pip openssl-devel freetype-devel \
    libjpeg-turbo-devel zlib-devel yuicompressor \
    closure-compiler gettext

# We need these packages to compile tsearch-extras
sudo yum groupinstall "Development Tools"

# clone Zulip's git repo and cd into it
cd && git clone --config pull.rebase https://github.com/zulip/zulip && cd zulip/

## NEEDS TESTING: The next few DB setup items may not be required at all.
# Initialize the postgres db
sudo postgresql-setup initdb

# Edit the postgres settings:
sudo vi /var/lib/pgsql/data/pg_hba.conf

# Change these lines:
host    all             all             127.0.0.1/32            ident
host    all             all             ::1/128                 ident
# to this:
host    all             all             127.0.0.1/32            md5
host    all             all             ::1/128                 md5

Now continue with the Common to Fedora/CentOS instructions below.

On OpenBSD 5.8 (experimental):

These instructions are experimental and may have bugs; patches welcome!

Start by cloning your fork of the Zulip repository and connecting the Zulip upstream repository:

git clone --config pull.rebase https://github.com/YOURUSERNAME/zulip.git
git remote add -f upstream https://github.com/zulip/zulip.git
doas pkg_add sudo bash gcc postgresql-server redis rabbitmq \
    memcached libmemcached py-Pillow py-cryptography py-cffi

# Get tsearch_extras and build it (using a modified version which
# aliases int4 on OpenBSD):
git clone https://github.com/blablacio/tsearch_extras
cd tsearch_extras
gmake && sudo gmake install

# Point environment to custom include locations and use newer GCC
# (needed for Node modules):
export CFLAGS="-I/usr/local/include -I/usr/local/include/sasl"
export CXX=eg++

# Create tsearch_data directory:
sudo mkdir /usr/local/share/postgresql/tsearch_data


# Hack around missing dictionary files -- need to fix this to get the
# proper dictionaries from what in debian is the hunspell-en-us
# package.
sudo touch /usr/local/share/postgresql/tsearch_data/english.stop
sudo touch /usr/local/share/postgresql/tsearch_data/en_us.dict
sudo touch /usr/local/share/postgresql/tsearch_data/en_us.affix

Finally continue with the All Systems instructions below.

Common to Fedora/CentOS instructions

Start by cloning your fork of the Zulip repository and connecting the Zulip upstream repository:

git clone --config pull.rebase https://github.com/YOURUSERNAME/zulip.git
git remote add -f upstream https://github.com/zulip/zulip.git
# Build and install postgres tsearch-extras module
wget https://launchpad.net/~tabbott/+archive/ubuntu/zulip/+files/tsearch-extras_0.1.3.tar.gz
tar xvzf tsearch-extras_0.1.3.tar.gz
cd ts2
make
sudo make install

# Hack around missing dictionary files -- need to fix this to get the
# proper dictionaries from what in debian is the hunspell-en-us
# package.
sudo touch /usr/share/pgsql/tsearch_data/english.stop
sudo touch /usr/share/pgsql/tsearch_data/en_us.dict
sudo touch /usr/share/pgsql/tsearch_data/en_us.affix

# Edit the postgres settings:
sudo vi /var/lib/pgsql/data/pg_hba.conf

# Add this line before the first uncommented line to enable password
# auth:
host    all             all             127.0.0.1/32            md5

# Start the services
sudo systemctl start redis memcached rabbitmq-server postgresql

# Enable automatic service startup after the system startup
sudo systemctl enable redis rabbitmq-server memcached postgresql

Finally continue with the All Systems instructions below.

All Systems:

Make sure you have followed the steps specific for your platform:

For managing Zulip’s python dependencies, we recommend using virtualenvs.

You must create a Python 3 virtualenv. You must also install appropriate python packages in it.

You should either install the virtualenv in /srv, or put a symlink to it in /srv. If you don’t do that, some scripts might not work correctly.

You can run python3 tools/setup/setup_venvs.py. This script will create a virtualenv /srv/zulip-py3-venv.

If you want to do it manually, here are the steps:

sudo virtualenv /srv/zulip-py3-venv -p python3 # Create a python3 virtualenv
sudo chown -R `whoami`:`whoami` /srv/zulip-py3-venv
source /srv/zulip-py3-venv/bin/activate # Activate python3 virtualenv
pip install --upgrade pip # upgrade pip itself because older versions have known issues
pip install --no-deps -r requirements/dev.txt # install python packages required for development

Now run these commands:

sudo ./scripts/lib/install-node
yarn install
sudo mkdir /srv/zulip-emoji-cache
sudo chown -R `whoami`:`whoami` /srv/zulip-emoji-cache
./tools/setup/emoji/build_emoji
./tools/inline-email-css
./tools/setup/generate-custom-icon-webfont
./tools/setup/build_pygments_data
./tools/setup/generate_zulip_bots_static_files
./scripts/setup/generate_secrets.py --development
if [ $(uname) = "OpenBSD" ]; then
    sudo cp ./puppet/zulip/files/postgresql/zulip_english.stop /var/postgresql/tsearch_data/
else
    sudo cp ./puppet/zulip/files/postgresql/zulip_english.stop /usr/share/postgresql/*/tsearch_data/
fi
./scripts/setup/configure-rabbitmq
./tools/setup/postgres-init-dev-db
./tools/do-destroy-rebuild-database
./tools/setup/postgres-init-test-db
./tools/do-destroy-rebuild-test-database
./manage.py compilemessages

To start the development server:

./tools/run-dev.py

… and visit http://localhost:9991/.

Proxy setup for by-hand installation

If you are building the development environment on a network where a proxy is required to access the Internet, you will need to set the proxy in the environment as follows:

  • On Ubuntu, set the proxy environment variables using:
export https_proxy=http://proxy_host:port
export http_proxy=http://proxy_host:port
  • And set the yarn proxy and https-proxy using:
yarn config set proxy http://proxy_host:port
yarn config set https-proxy http://proxy_host:port

Installing on cloud9

AWS Cloud9 is a cloud-based integrated development environment (IDE) that lets you write, run, and debug your code with just a browser. It includes a code editor, debugger, and terminal.

This section documents how to setup the Zulip development environment in a cloud9 workspace. If you don’t have an existing cloud9 account, you can sign up here.

  • Create a Workspace, and select the blank template.
  • Resize the workspace to be 1GB of memory and 4GB of disk space. (This is under free limit for both the old Cloud9 and the AWS Free Tier).
  • Clone the zulip repo: git clone --config pull.rebase https://github.com/<your-username>/zulip.git
  • Restart rabbitmq-server since its broken on cloud9: sudo service rabbitmq-server restart.
  • And run provision cd zulip && ./tools/provision, once this is done.
  • Activate the zulip virtual environment by source /srv/zulip-py3-venv/bin/activate or by opening a new terminal.

Install zulip-cloud9

There’s an NPM package, zulip-cloud9, that provides a wrapper around the Zulip development server for use in the Cloud9 environment.

Note: npm i -g zulip-cloud9 does not work in zulip’s virtual environment. Although by default, any packages installed in workspace folder (i.e. the top level folder) are added to $PATH.

cd .. # switch to workspace folder if you are in zulip directory
npm i zulip-cloud9
zulip-dev start # to start the development server

If you get error of the form bash: cannot find command zulip-dev, you need to start a new terminal.

Your development server would be running at https://<workspace-name>-<username>.c9users.io on port 8080. You dont need to add :8080 to your url, since the cloud9 proxy should automatically forward the connection. You might want to visit zulip-cloud9 repo and it’s wiki for more info on how to use zulip-cloud9 package.

Using Docker (experimental)

Start by cloning your fork of the Zulip repository and connecting the Zulip upstream repository:

git clone --config pull.rebase https://github.com/YOURUSERNAME/zulip.git
git remote add -f upstream https://github.com/zulip/zulip.git

The docker instructions for development are experimental, so they may have bugs. If you try them and run into any issues, please report them!

You can also use Docker to run a Zulip development environment. First, you need to install Docker in your development machine following the instructions. Some other interesting links for somebody new in Docker are:

Then you should create the Docker image based on Ubuntu Linux, first go to the directory with the Zulip source code:

docker build -t user/zulipdev -f Dockerfile-dev .

Commit and tag the provisioned images. The below will install Zulip’s dependencies:

docker run -itv $(pwd):/srv/zulip -p 9991:9991 user/zulipdev /bin/bash
$ /bin/bash sudo chown -R zulip:zulip /srv/zulip
$ /bin/bash /srv/zulip/tools/provision --docker
docker ps -af ancestor=user/zulipdev
docker commit -m "Zulip installed" <container id> user/zulipdev:v2

Now you can run the docker server with:

docker run -itv $(pwd):/srv/zulip -p 9991:9991 user/zulipdev:v2 \
    /srv/zulip/tools/start-dockers

You’ll want to read the guide for Zulip development to understand how to use the Zulip development. Note that start-dockers automatically runs tools/run-dev.py inside the container; you can then visit http://localhost:9991 to connect to your new Zulip Docker container.

To view the container’s run-dev.py console logs to get important debugging information (and e.g. outgoing emails) printed by the Zulip development environment, you can use:

docker logs --follow <container id>

To restart the server use:

docker ps
docker restart <container id>

To stop the server use:

docker ps
docker kill <container id>

If you want to connect to the Docker instance to run commands (e.g. build a release tarball), you can use:

docker ps
docker exec -it <container id> /bin/bash
$ source /home/zulip/.bash_profile
$ <Your commands>
$ exit

If you want to run all the tests you need to start the servers first, you can do it with:

docker run -itv $(pwd):/srv/zulip user/zulipdev:v2 /bin/bash
$ tools/test-all-docker

You can modify the source code in your development machine and review the results in your browser.

Currently, the Docker workflow is substantially less convenient than the Vagrant workflow and less documented; please contribute to this guide and the Docker tooling if you are using Docker to develop Zulip!