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How to install Zulip on Linux

Zulip is a team chat utility like Slack. It’s an excellent program to use to keep up with co-workers and team members. Zulip has many exciting features, such as support for emoji, individual channels, bots, and much more. In this guide, we’ll go over how to install the app on Linux.

Note: to use Zulip on Linux, you must have an account on the website. Please head over to Zulip’s official website, look for “Plans,” and select the “Sign up now” button under “Free” to get started. Alternatively, check out the paid plan by clicking on the button underneath the “Standard” box.

Ubuntu installation instructions

Ubuntu Linux users will be able to get the Zulip app installed via a third-party software repository provided by the developers. To start the installation on your Ubuntu PC, open up a terminal window. Then, with the terminal window open, use the apt-key command to download the Zulip repository GPG key to the system.

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver pool.sks-keyservers.net --recv 2424BE5AE9BD10D9

Let the apt-key command download and enable the GPG key on your Ubuntu Linux PC. When the process is complete, you must add the third-party software repository to Ubuntu by making use of the add-apt-repository command below in a terminal window.

sudo add-apt-repository "deb https://dl.bintray.com/zulip/debian/ stable main"

After adding the Zulip software repository to your Ubuntu Linux PC, you must run the update command. The update command will refresh Ubuntu’s software sources. Refreshing software sources will allow the new third-party Zulip software repository to be enabled.

sudo apt update

Following the update command, it is time to install the Zulip application on your Ubuntu Linux PC. Using the apt command, load up the latest Zulip client on Ubuntu.

sudo apt install zulip

Debian installation instructions

Zulip’s third-party software repository doesn’t work with only Ubuntu. It is also possible to use this repo to install the Zulip client on Debian 8, 9, 10, and even Sid! To start the installation, use the apt-key command below to download the Zulip GPG key to Debian.

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver pool.sks-keyservers.net --recv 2424BE5AE9BD10D9

After downloading the Zulip GPG key to your Debian Linux PC, it is time to add the third-party Zulip repository to the sources.list file. Using the add-apt-repository command, add the repository.

Note: if you are an experienced Debian Linux user, you may want to add the Zulip repository manually. However, we do not recommend this as the add-apt-repository command is much safer.

sudo add-apt-repository "deb https://dl.bintray.com/zulip/debian/ stable main"

Once the third-party Zulip software repository is added to your Debian Linux PC, use the update command to refresh your software sources. Software sources must be refreshed, or the new Zulip repository will be inaccessible.

sudo apt-get update

Finally, once the software sources are up to date on your Debian Linux PC, use the following apt-get install command to get the Zulip app working.

sudo apt-get install zulip

Flatpak installation instructions

If you’re not using Ubuntu or Debian, the next best way to get the latest Zulip client up and running is by installing the Flatpak version of the app. To start the Flatpak installation of Zulip, open up a terminal window. Then, install the “flatpak” package the way you typically install software on your computer. Alternatively, follow our in-depth guide on the Flatpak runtime to get it working on your system.

Once you’ve installed the Flatpak runtime on your Linux PC, it is time to add the Flathub app store to the Flatpak runtime. Without Flathub, there is no way to install the Zulip desktop app, so this step is critical.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

After adding the Flathub app store to the Flatpak runtime on your Linux PC, the installation of the Zulip desktop client can begin. Using the flatpak install command below, get Zulip working.

sudo flatpak install org.zulip.Zulip

Snap installation instructions

Not a fan of Flatpak but still need to get the Zulip app installed on your Linux PC? As it turns out, the app is available on the Ubuntu Snap Store.

To start the installation of Zulip via Snap, you must have the Snapd runtime enabled. To enable this runtime, ensure the package “snapd” is installed. Then, enable the snapd.socket service with systemd. Alternatively, follow our guide on Snaps to get the runtime up and running.

Once you have Snap support enabled on your Linux PC, use the snap install command to get the latest release of Zulip installed from the Snap store.

sudo snap install zulip

AppImage installation instructions

There’s an AppImage of Zulip, for those that do not use Snaps or Flatpak. An AppImage is a little bit like an EXE on Windows. Just download and run. Here’s how to get the Zulip AppImage set up.

First, download the Zulip AppImage from the internet using the wget tool.

wget https://github.com/zulip/zulip-desktop/releases/download/v5.0.0/Zulip-5.0.0-x86_64.AppImage

Next, update the permissions of the AppImage with chmod.

chmod +x Zulip-5.0.0-x86_64.AppImage

Finally, run the program with the following command. Alternatively, double-click on it in the Linux file manager.

./Zulip-5.0.0-x86_64.AppImage

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