Note that if you’re developing for Zulip, you should install Zulip’s development environment instead. If you’re just looking to play around with Zulip and see what it looks like, you can create a test organization at https://zulipchat.com/new.
Step 1: Download the 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
Step 2: Install Zulip¶
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.
If the script gives an error, consult Troubleshooting below.
--firstname.lastname@example.org: The email address of the person or team who should get support and error emails from this Zulip server. This becomes
ZULIP_ADMINISTRATOR(docs) in the Zulip settings.
--hostname=zulip.example.com: The user-accessible domain name for this Zulip server, i.e., what users will type in their web browser. This becomes
EXTERNAL_HOST(docs) in the Zulip settings.
--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. If you’d prefer to acquire an SSL certificate yourself in any other way, it’s easy to provide it to Zulip.
Step 3: Create a Zulip organization, and log in¶
On success, the install script prints a link. If you’re restoring a backup or importing your data from HipChat, Slack, or another Zulip server, you should stop here and return to the import instructions.
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
manage.py generate_realm_creation_link on the server. See also our doc on
running multiple organizations on the same server
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 so Zulip can confirm new users’ email addresses and send notifications.
Learn how to get your organization started using Zulip at its best.
Subscribe to the Zulip announcements email list for server administrators. This extremely low-traffic list is for important announcements, including new releases and security issues. You can also use the RSS feed.
Follow Zulip on Twitter.
Learn how to configure your Zulip server settings.
Details: What the installer does¶
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) 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/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.
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.
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.
If the tips above don’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