Zulip follows email conversation model

Zulip Live Chat Software

Live Chat Software for Remote Teams Collaboration

Zulip follows email conversation model and ignores irrelevant messages. Conduct clean remote collaboration with video conferencing and group chat features.


Zulip is one of the popular live chat softwares which focuses on ignoring the irrelevant messages. Zulip is 100% open source live chat software developed by a vibrant developer community. Zulip’s development community is more active than the other modern open source live chat softwares like Rocket.Chat, Mattermost and Lets-Chat.

Communication Model of Zulip makes it unique from other alternative live chat softwares like Slack, Hipchat, Discord, as it helps you to focus on messages important to you, and not worry about missing out messages. This live chat application runs in the browser but can be installed on your own server as well. It has desktop apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux and mobile apps as well.

Zulip Chat allows you to jump on video calls with a single click using your favorite video conferencing software like Zoom, and Meet. Along with other great feature Zulip have hundreds of integrations available out of box which helps you build your workflows.

This live chat and collaboration tool helps the teams to work remotely. It can be a cheap alternate Slack and Microsoft Teams. As COVID-19 is affecting workplaces worldwide and requirement of remote collaboration and live chat tools is very high.

System Requirements

To run a Zulip server, you will need:

  • A dedicated machine or VM
  • A supported OS:
    • Ubuntu 20.04 Focal
    • Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic
    • Debian 10 Buster
  • At least 2GB RAM, and 10GB disk space
    • If you expect 100+ users: 4GB RAM, and 2 CPUs
  • A hostname in DNS
  • Credentials for sending email


Following are the key features of Zulip

  • MARKDOWN OPTIMIZED FOR CHAT: Express your ideas clearly with bulleted lists, bold, italics, and much more.
  • EMOJI AND EMOJI REACTIONS: Have fun expressing yourself with emoji!
  • INLINE IMAGE, VIDEO, AND TWEET PREVIEWS: Zulip automatically generate a previews of links you send in conversations
  • DRAG-AND-DROP FILE UPLOADS: Drag a file into the compose box and start sharing and discussing work with team mates has never been easier.
  • CODE AND QUOTE BLOCKS: Discuss code with ease using Markdown code blocks (and syntax highlighting). And discuss blocks of text with ease with block quotes.
  • CUSTOMIZABLE AUTOMATIC LINKIFICATION: Customize Zulip’s markup to automatically link back to your issue tracker or GitHub when you type “#1235” or a commit ID.
  • INTEGRATIONS: Get alerts and updates from your favorite services with off-the-shelf integrations for Trac, Nagios, GitHub, Jenkins, and more.
  • API: Zulip has a dead-simple RESTful API and Python bindings
  • MOBILE APPS: Supports native quality iOS and Android apps.
  • DESKTOP APPS: Supports Multi Platform Desktop Apps.
  • ENTERPRISE-GRADE SECURITY: Zulip is used by some of the most security-conscious organizations in the world.
  • FULL-TEXT FULL-HISTORY SEARCH: Search is both snappy and smart, helping you look for text, people, and threads of conversation, with advanced search operators for fine-grained control.
  • HISTORY: Join a stream and see its history, so even new team members are never out of the loop.
  • STARRED MESSAGES: Keep a todo list of messages to come back to, or keep track of interesting conversations.
  • STATISTICS: Zulip has a powerful set of analytics available to help you see how your organization communicates.
  • ONE-ON-ONE AND GROUP PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS: Lightweight private conversations with one or as many people as you need.
  • TEAM AVAILABILITY: See who is currently online at a glance.
  • PRIVATE STREAMS: Enjoy the benefits of threaded conversations while controlling your audience and privacy.
  • MESSAGE EDITING: Don’t worry, you can always fix that typo, either in the body of message or its topic.
  • CONVERSATIONS THREADED BY TOPIC: Participate in several conversations with the same group at once, without getting lost or overwhelmed.
  • CATCH UP IN NO TIME: With topics, hotkeys and snappy performance, usefully reviewing hundreds of messages takes just minutes.
  • FULLY INTERNATIONALIZED: The Zulip UI is fully internationalized and has been translated into over a dozen languages.
  • CUSTOMIZABLE LOGIN AND REGISTRATION: Customize the available authentication methods and customize the login and registration pages for your organization using Markdown.
  • VIDEO CALLS: Create and join video calls with a single click. Powered by your choice of Zoom, Jitsi Meet or Big Blue Button.
  • FLEXIBLE AUTHENTICATION: Supported authentication providers include LDAP, SAML, Google, GitHub, GitLab, Apple, and more.
  • DATA IMPORT: Import an existing Slack, Mattermost, HipChat, Stride, or Gitter workspace into Zulip.
  • CUSTOM PROFILE FIELDS: Use Zulip to store directory information, links to social media profiles, food preferences, or anything else.
  • GUESTS: Guests cannot see or join streams unless they are explicitly added. Perfect for partners, vendors, and temporary contractors.
  • CUSTOM BRANDING: Use your logo instead of Zulip’s in the desktop and webapp.
  • INTEGRATE WITH IRC, MATRIX, OR SLACK: Two way integrations with IRC and Matrix, and one way integration with Slack.
  • MODERATION: A full suite of tools for moderating open communities.
  • DATA EXPORTS: No vendor lock-in. Export your hosted Zulip to an on-premises installation at any time.
  • YOUR FEATURE HERE: Zulip is open source, so if something important for your use case is missing, you can make it happen!

Installation Instructions

Linux Server

  • Step1: Download the latest release
  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
  sudo -s  # If not already root
  ./zulip-server-*/scripts/setup/install --certbot \
      --email=YOUR_EMAIL --hostname=YOUR_HOSTNAME
  • Step 3: Create a Zulip organization, and log in
  • Step 4: Configure and use