Production Installation

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 development server instead. If you just want to play around with Zulip and see what it looks like, you can create a test organization at

You’ll need an Ubuntu or Debian system that satisfies the installation requirements, or you can use Zulip’s experimental Docker image.

Step 1: Download the latest release

Download and unpack the latest built server tarball with the following commands:

cd $(mktemp -d)
tar -xf zulip-server-latest.tar.gz

Step 2: Install Zulip

```eval_rst .. only:: unreleased

.. warning:: You are reading a development version of the Zulip documentation. These instructions may not correspond to the latest Zulip Server release. See documentation for the latest release__.


To set up Zulip with the most common configuration, you can run the
installer as follows:

sudo -s # If not already root ./zulip-server-*/scripts/setup/install –certbot –email=YOUR_EMAIL –hostname=YOUR_HOSTNAME

This takes a few minutes to run, as it installs Zulip's dependencies.
For more on what the installer does, [see details below](#installer-details).

If the script gives an error, consult [Troubleshooting](#troubleshooting) below.

#### Installer options

* ``: The email address of the person or team
  who should get support and error emails from this Zulip server.
  This becomes `ZULIP_ADMINISTRATOR` ([docs][doc-settings]) in the
  Zulip settings.

* ``: The user-accessible domain name for
  this Zulip server, i.e., what users will type in their web browser.
  This becomes `EXTERNAL_HOST` ([docs][doc-settings]) in the Zulip

* `--self-signed-cert`: With this option, the Zulip installer
  generates a self-signed SSL certificate for the server.  This isn't
  suitable for production use, but may be convenient for testing.

* `--certbot`: With this option, the Zulip installer automatically
  obtains an SSL certificate for the server [using Certbot][doc-certbot].
  If you'd prefer to acquire an SSL certificate yourself in any other
  way, it's easy to [provide it to Zulip][doc-ssl-manual].

[doc-settings]: ../production/settings.html
[doc-certbot]: ../production/ssl-certificates.html#certbot-recommended
[doc-ssl-manual]: ../production/ssl-certificates.html#manual-install

## Step 3: Create a Zulip organization, and log in

On success, the install script prints a link.  If you're [restoring a
backup][zulip-backups] or importing your data from [HipChat][hipchat-import],
[Slack][slack-import], or another Zulip server, you should stop here
and return to the import instructions.

[zulip-backups]: ../production/maintain-secure-upgrade.html#backups

Otherwise, open the link in a browser.  Follow the prompts to set up
your organization, and your own user account as an administrator.
Then, log in!

The link is a secure one-time-use link.  If you need another
later, you can generate a new one by running `
generate_realm_creation_link` on the server.  See also our doc on
running [multiple organizations on the same server](multiple-organizations.html)
if that's what you're planning to do.

## Step 4: Configure and use

To really see Zulip in action, you'll need to get the people you work
together with using it with you.
* [Set up outgoing email](email.html) so Zulip can confirm new users'
  email addresses and send notifications.
* Learn how to [get your organization started][realm-admin-docs] using
  Zulip at its best.

Learning more:

* Subscribe to the
[Zulip announcements email list](!forum/zulip-announce)
for server administrators.  This extremely low-traffic list is for
important announcements, including new releases and security issues.
* Follow [Zulip on Twitter](
* Learn how to [configure your Zulip server settings](settings.html).
* Learn about [maintaining a production Zulip server](maintain-secure-upgrade.html).


.. _installer-details:

Details: What the installer does

The install script does several things:

  • Creates the zulip user, which the various Zulip servers will run as.
  • Creates /home/zulip/deployments/, which the Zulip code for this deployment (and future deployments when you upgrade) goes 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/current as a symbolic link to it.
  • Installs Zulip’s various dependencies.
  • Configures the various third-party services Zulip uses, including Postgres, RabbitMQ, Memcached and Redis.
  • Initializes Zulip’s database.

If you’d like to deploy Zulip with these services on different machines, check out our deployment options documentation.


Install script. The Zulip install script is designed to be idempotent. This means that if it fails, then once you’ve corrected the cause of the failure, you can just rerun the script.

The install script automatically logs a transcript to /var/log/zulip/install.log. In case of failure, you might find the log handy for resolving the issue. Please include a copy of this log file in any bug reports.

The zulip user’s password. By default, the zulip user doesn’t have a password, and is intended to be accessed by su zulip from the root user (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 zulip turn out to already have switched to the zulip user earlier in their session, and can just skip that step.

After the install script. If you get an error after scripts/setup/install completes, check the bottom of /var/log/zulip/errors.log for a traceback, and consult the troubleshooting section for advice on how to debug.

Community. If the tips above don’t help, please visit #production help in the Zulip development community server for realtime help or email 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.log in your report.