Once you’ve got Zulip set up, you’ll likely want to configure it the way you like.
Most configuration can be done by a realm administrator, on the web. For those settings, see the documentation for realm administrators.
This page discusses additional configuration that a system
administrator can do. To change any of the following settings, edit
/etc/zulip/settings.py file on your Zulip server, and then
restart the server with the following command:
su zulip -c '/home/zulip/deployments/current/scripts/restart-server'
Zulip has dozens of settings documented in the comments in
/etc/zulip/settings.py; you can review the latest version of the
settings.py template, and if you’ve upgraded
from an old version of Zulip, we recommend carefully updating your
/etc/zulip/settings.py to fold in the inline
comment documentation for new configuration settings after upgrading
to each new major release.
Since Zulip’s settings file is a Python script, there are a number of other things that one can configure that are not documented; ask in the Zulip development community if there’s something you’d like to do but can’t figure out how to.
Domain and email settings
EXTERNAL_HOST: the user-accessible 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 passed
--hostname to the installer, this will be prefilled with that value.
ZULIP_ADMINISTRATOR: the email address of the person or team
maintaining this installation and who will get support and error
emails. If you passed
AUTHENTICATION_BACKENDS: Zulip supports a wide range of popular
options for authenticating users to your server, including Google
auth, GitHub auth, LDAP, SAML, REMOTE_USER, and more.
If you want an additional or different authentication backend, you
will need to uncomment one or more and then do any additional
configuration required for that backend as documented in the
settings.py file. See the
section on authentication for more
detail on the available authentication backends and how to configure
Mobile and desktop apps
The Zulip apps expect to be talking to servers with a properly signed SSL certificate, in most cases and will not accept a self-signed certificate. You should get a proper SSL certificate before testing the apps.
Because of how Google and Apple have architected the security model of
their push notification protocols, the Zulip mobile apps for
can only receive push notifications from a single Zulip server. We
have configured that server to be
push.zulipchat.com, and offer a
push notification forwarding service that
forwards push notifications through our servers to mobile devices.
Read the linked documentation for instructions on how to register for
and configure this service.
Zulip allows you to configure your server’s Terms of Service and
You can configure this using the
POLICIES_DIRECTORY setting. We
/etc/zulip/policies, so that your policies are
naturally backed up with the server’s other configuration. Just place
Markdown files named
privacy.md in that directory,
1.0 to enable this feature.
You can place additional files in this directory to document additional policies; if you do so, you may want to:
Create a Markdown file
sidebar_index.mdlisting the pages in your policies site; this generates the policies site navigation.
Create a Markdown file
missing.mdwith custom content for 404s in this directory.
Please make clear in these pages what organization is hosting your Zulip server, so that nobody could be confused that your policies are the policies for Zulip Cloud.
Miscellaneous server settings
Some popular settings in
Zulip announcement list
Subscribe to the Zulip announcements email list for server administrators, if you have not done so already. This extremely low-traffic list is for important announcements, including new releases and security issues.
Enjoy your Zulip installation!
If you discover things that you wish had been documented, please contribute documentation suggestions either via a GitHub issue or pull request; we love even small contributions, and we’d love to make the Zulip documentation cover everything anyone might want to know about running Zulip in production.