Setting up your organization

Welcome to Zulip! This page will guide you through trying out Zulip, migrating your organization from other team chat tools (if needed), getting everything set up, and inviting others to join.

If you are joining an existing organization, we recommend checking out our guide to Getting started with Zulip.

If you encounter any problems as you're getting started, please drop by our friendly developer community and let us know!

Trying out Zulip

You can start by reading about how Zulip’s unique topic-based threading combines the best of email and chat to make remote work productive and delightful.

We also highly recommend trying Zulip for yourself! You can:

Choosing between Zulip Cloud and self-hosting

Whether signing up for Zulip Cloud or self-hosting Zulip is the right choice for you depends on the needs of your organization.

If you aren’t sure what you need, our high quality export and import tools (cloud, self-hosted) ensure you can always move from our hosting to yours (and back).

Advantages of Zulip Cloud

Advantages of self-hosting Zulip

  • Zulip is 100% open-source software, with no "open core" catch.
  • We work hard to make it easy to set up, backup, and maintain a self-hosted Zulip installation.
  • Retain full control over your data.
  • Customize Zulip for all your needs.

Migrating from other chat tools

We have tools for importing your data from other chat tools, including users, channels, messages, and more.

Note that importing data from another chat app creates a new Zulip organization containing only imported data.

Create your organization profile

The information in your organization profile is displayed on the registration and login page for your organization, and in the Zulip app.

Edit organization profile

The organization description supports full Markdown syntax, including bold/italic, links, lists, and more.

  1. Go to Organization profile.

  2. Edit your organization name, description, and profile picture.

  3. Click Save changes.

This feature is only available to Zulip Cloud Standard and self-hosted organizations.

You can customize the logo users see in the upper left corner of the Zulip app. For best results make sure your logo has a transparent background, and trim any bordering whitespace. To upload a logo:

  1. Go to Organization profile.

  2. Under Organization logo, upload a new logo.

Make sure to test the logo in both light theme and dark theme.

Customize organization settings

Review the settings for your organization to set everything up how you want it to be.

  1. Click on the gear () icon in the upper right corner of the web or desktop app.

  2. Select Manage organization.

  3. Click on "Organization settings" and "Organization permissions" tabs, and any others that are of interest.

A few settings to highlight:

For many other settings, e.g. message and topic editing permissions, you can experience how Zulip works for your organization before deciding what settings are best for you.

Create streams

In Zulip, streams determine who gets a message. They are similar to channels in IRC/Slack/Discord, chat rooms, and email lists.

We recommend setting up some streams before inviting other users to join Zulip, so that you can automatically subscribe everyone to the right set of streams.

If you later create additional streams, no worries! You can always add a group of users or all the members of another stream to a new stream.

Add clear descriptions to your streams, especially public streams.

How to create a stream

  1. Go to All streams.

  2. Click Create stream on the right.

  3. Fill out the requested info, and click Create.

For more details about stream settings, see Create a stream.

Tips for creating streams

  • It's often best to start with just a few streams, and add more as needed. For small teams, you can start with the default streams and go from there.

  • For large organizations, we recommend using a consistent naming scheme, like #marketing/<name> or #mk/<name> for all streams pertaining to the marketing team, #help/<team name> for <team name>'s internal support stream, etc.

  • A #zulip help stream can be useful for providing internal Zulip support and answering questions about Zulip.

  • For open source projects or other volunteer organizations, consider adding default streams like #announce for announcements, #new members for new members to introduce themselves and be welcomed, and #help so that there's a clear place users stopping by with just a single question can post.

Customize settings for new users

Customize settings for new users to get them off to a great start.

Invite users to join

Before inviting users, you may want to delete any test messages or topics.

How to invite users to join

  1. Configure allowed authentication methods. By default, Zulip allows logging in via email/password as well as various social authentication providers like Google, GitHub, GitLab, and Apple.

  2. Invite users by sending out an email or sharing a reusable invite link. Note that on most Zulip servers (including Zulip Cloud), email invitations and reusable invitation links expire 10 days after they are sent.

  1. Allow anyone to join without an invitation.

  2. Share a link to your registration page, which is for Zulip Cloud organizations.

To get everyone off to a good start, you may wish to share the guide to Getting started with Zulip.

You can link to your Zulip organization with a nice badge.

Create user groups

User groups allow you to mention multiple users at once, notifying them about a message. For example, you may choose to create user groups for teams in your organization.

How to create a user group

  1. Go to User groups.

  2. Under Add a new user group, enter a Name and Description.

  3. Click Save.

  4. Find the group in the list below, and add members. Zulip will notify everyone who is added.

Set up integrations

Zulip integrates directly with dozens of products, and with hundreds more through Zapier and IFTTT. Popular Zulip integrations include GitHub, Jira, PagerDuty, Sentry and Twitter.

Further reading