Major releases, Release announcements

Zulip Server 1.6 released

Tim Abbott 6 min read

We’re excited to announce the release of Zulip Server 1.6.0, containing hundreds of new features and bug fixes.

Zulip is the world’s most productive group chat software. Zulip combines the immediacy of chat with the asynchronous efficiency of email, and is 100% free and open source software.

This is Zulip’s largest release yet, with over 3100 new commits since February’s 1.5.0. More than 150 people(!!!) contributed commits to this release, bringing the Zulip server to 307 distinct code contributors. In 2017, Zulip has had, by a wide margin, the most active open-source development community of any group chat software.

Huge thanks to everyone who’s contributed to Zulip over the last few months, whether by writing code and docs, reporting issues, testing changes, translating, posting feedback on, or just suggesting ideas!

Release highlights

Describing all the improvements in a Zulip release has been an impossible task for our last few releases, and this one is no different. Major changes in Zulip 1.6.0 include:

  • A complete visual redesign of the logged-out pages, including login, registration, integrations, etc.
  • New visual designs for numerous UI elements, including the emoji picker, user profile popovers, sidebars, compose, and many more.
  • A complete redesign of the Zulip settings interfaces to look a lot nicer and be easier to navigate.
  • Organization admins can now configure the login and registration pages to show visitors a nice organization profile with custom text and images, written in Markdown.
  • Massively improved performance for presence and settings pages, especially for very large organizations (1000+ users).
  • A dozen useful new keyboard shortcuts, from editing messages to emoji reactions to drafts and managing streams.
  • Typing notifications for private message threads.
  • Users can now change their own email address.
  • A new saved-drafts feature.
  • The server can now run on a machine with as little as 2GiB of RAM.
  • The new Electron desktop app and new React Native mobile app for iOS are now the recommended Zulip apps for their platforms.
  • Mobile web now works much better, especially on iOS.
  • Support for sending mobile push notifications via a new forwarding service.
  • Complete translations for Spanish, German, and Czech (and expanded partial translations for Japanese, Chinese, French, Hungarian, Polish, Dutch, Russian, Bulgarian, Portuguese, Serbian, Malayalam, Korean, and Italian).

See the detailed changelog for dozens more changes. We encourage server administrators to read at least the list of added features at the top, since there are a number of useful new settings introduced in this release that you may want to take advantage of.

We have now completed 30 of the 65 Zulip server projects on the Zulip roadmap we wrote last November, which is remarkable progress (especially since most of the rest have open pull requests). You can review the progress on GitHub. We expect to write our next roadmap in the next couple months.


We highly recommend upgrading, since Zulip has made major improvements in the last few months, and in particular, Zulip 1.6.0 is required by the beta React Native iOS app.

You can upgrade as usual by following the upgrade instructions. There is one special note on this upgrade:

  • This release has some one-time migrations that can take a minute to run on an installation with a lot of uploaded files, and are not always easily reversible. While the upgrade process has been tested extensively, this is a major release, and you should plan for the possibility of downtime. Best-effort support is available on for any issues encountered while upgrading.


Zulip has been moving incredibly fast over the last few months, and I expect that things will only accelerate through the rest of 2017. I’m particularly excited about this summer, since there are about 3 dozen people planning to spend their entire summer working on Zulip.

As a final note, I’d like to take this opportunity to advertise a few opportunities to contribute back to Zulip:

Thanks again to the amazing, global, Zulip development community for making this possible! What follows is a summary of the code contributors to this release, sorted by number of commits.

—Tim Abbott, lead developer

$ git log 1.5.2..HEAD --pretty="%an"  | sort | uniq -c | sort -nr
    812 Tim Abbott
    424 Steve Howell
    294 Aditya Bansal
    194 Rishi Gupta
    184 Umair Khan
    159 Brock Whittaker
    118 Vishnu Ks
     79 Eeshan Garg
     76 Cynthia Lin
     67 Harshit Bansal
     52 Elliott Jin
     50 Joshua Pan
     46 Yago González
     42 Abhijeet Kaur
     38 Raghav Jajodia
     36 Tomasz Kolek
     31 Robert Hönig
     28 Nancy Wu
     25 Kirill Kanakhin
     23 Cory Lynch
     17 Eklavya Sharma
     16 Rohitt Vashishtha
     14 Andrea Longo
     11 Umaimah Khan
     11 neiljp
     10 sinwar
     10 Sarah Stringer
     10 Reid Barton
      9 Tommy Ip
      9 Maxim Averin
      8 Vaibhav Singhal
      8 digi0ps
      7 Pweaver (Paul Weaver)
      7 Mahim Goyal
      7 Jack Zhang
      6 Tejas Kasetty
      6 rht
      6 Jeremy Bowman
      6 Ethan
      6 Akash Kothawale
      5 Sampriti Panda
      5 Krzysztof Krzysztof
      5 Jeremy Philemon
      4 Theodore Chen
      4 rahuldeve
      4 Rafid Aslam
      4 Philip Skomorokhov
      4 Mehanig
      4 Kouhei Sutou
      4 Jacob Hurwitz
      4 hollywoodno
      4 Greg Price
      4 David
      4 Christian Hudon
      3 wizsid11
      3 James Wang
      3 Sourav Badami
      3 Moritz Neeb
      3 kunall17
      3 kb0rg
      3 Jordan Gedney
      3 Ayush Jain
      3 Andrew Archer
      3 Amy Liu
      2 Susan Salituro
      2 Sumana Harihareswara
      2 Saumya Rawat
      2 Sarah Stringer
      2 Saket Kumar
      2 Ryan Backman
      2 Rick Chern
      2 Lukasz Prasol
      2 Lech Kaiel
      2 Konstantin Gukov
      2 Kartik Maji
      2 Josiah Philipsen
      2 Jonathan Pan
      2 James Wang
      2 Igor Tokarev
      2 Ethan Estrada
      2 Diego Berrocal
      2 Daw-Ran Liou
      2 Carey Metcalfe
      2 Brendan Kiu
      2 Benjamin Gilbert
      2 ausDensk
      2 Amala Deshmukh
      2 Alexander Trost
      2 Akhil
      2 Adarsh S
      2 aakash-cr7
      1 zerocod3r
      1 Vivek Anand
      1 vbNETonIce
      1 Vasu Verma
      1 Vaida Plankyte
      1 theopen-institute
      1 tejaskasetty
      1 Steven Ganz
      1 spmassot
      1 sonali0901
      1 Siddharth Mahapatra
      1 Shayan Toqraee
      1 Saurav Pratihar
      1 Saumya Bhatnagar
      1 saisrivathsa
      1 royabouhamad
      1 Ron Shafii
      1 ron-s
      1 Ritwik Srinivas
      1 Pranjay Patil
      1 PhilSk
      1 paxapy
      1 Nick Dickey
      1 Neeraj Wahi
      1 Nathan Miller
      1 Naren Surampudi
      1 Michael
      1 Matt Long
      1 Mark Shannon
      1 Luke W Faraone
      1 Luis Saul Trinidad
      1 kpdp
      1 khantaalaman
      1 Kanak Garg
      1 Kamal Marhubi
      1 JoshuaGoldin
      1 Josh Mandel
      1 jersou
      1 Jason Michalski
      1 James Rowan
      1 Jackson
      1 Italo Batista
      1 inytar
      1 Ian Winter
      1 feorlen
      1 Emilio Aburto L
      1 Durga Akhil M u1604vbox
      1 dattatreya303
      1 Daniel Lau
      1 chao1995
      1 Brian Tenazas
      1 Boris Yankov
      1 Bao Chau
      1 Arpith Siromoney
      1 Archana BS
      1 andrewallen00
      1 Aman Khantaal
      1 Alicja Raszkowska
      1 Abhishek Bhattacharya