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412 Stars 249 Forks Apache License 2.0 1.1K Commits 69 Opened issues


Legacy Zulip Android app

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Zulip for Android (legacy)

Note: This project is deprecated in favor of our

React Native
_, which supports both iOS and Android.

.. _React Native app:

This is the legacy native Android client for

. It is available
in the Google Play store
. If you have a taste for adventure, you can also
join our beta channel
_ after which the Play store should auto-update you. (Caution: beta releases will have more bugs than final releases, including (potentially) security or data loss bugs.)

This is a Gradle project, and can be built via the provided

or by using Android Studio.


  • Getting Started
  • Getting Help
  • Build instructions (Android Studio)
  • Build instructions (without Android Studio)
  • Running server on device
  • Contributing
  • Mailing List
  • Export
  • License

.. _Getting Started: #getting-started .. _Getting Help: #getting-help .. _Build instructions (Android Studio): #build-instructions-android-studio .. _Build instructions (without Android Studio): #build-instructions-without-android-studio .. _Running server on device: #browsing-server-on-device .. _Contributing: #contributing .. _Mailing List: #mailing-list .. _Export: #export .. _License: #license

Getting Started

  • First, clone this repository and follow the Android Studio build instructions (below) to compile the project. If you don't have an existing Zulip account to login with, you can create one on the Zulip development community server at Note that this server is used for development discussions, so don't use it for sending lots of test messages!

  • For testing, it can be helpful to have your own Zulip development server that the app can connect to. Instructions for setting up a Zulip development server are here:

  • And then follow the

    Connecting to a development server
    _ guide to get the Android app to connect to the Zulip development server.

.. _Connecting to a development server: #connecting-to-a-development-server

Getting Help

  • For real-time help, you can join the Zulip development community's Zulip server at and post on the

  • For questions on development for the Zulip Android App you can post here:!forum/zulip-android

  • For questions on development for the Zulip Server you can post here:!forum/zulip-devel

Any issues or bugs should be posted in the Github Issue Tracker!

Build instructions (Android Studio)

  1. Fork the zulip-android repository from GitHub and clone your fork.

  2. Open the project in the IDE. a) From the "Welcome to Android Studio" menu, select "Open an existing Android Studio project" option, or b) If you already have an opened project, select "File > Open..."

  3. If you want to test Google sign in, add the required metadata:

    1. Go to
    2. Type in "Zulip" as "App name" and "" as "Android package name" and continue to Choose and configure services.
    3. Select the "Google Sign-In" service, you'll need to provide the SHA-1 of your signing certificate. For that, first follow the manual instructions to Sign Your Release Build and generate a new Key Store if you haven't already:
    4. Use keytool to get the SHA-1 fingerprint of the certificate:
      keytool -exportcert -list -v \    -alias  -keystore 
    5. Put the generated file in the "app/" directory of the project.
    6. Get your Google app id from the Google Developer console, and add it as the following string resource in

If you have a device running Android go to the settings and enable USB debugging in developer options. Then plug your device in the computer and select "Run > Run...". You will be shown "Device chooser" window. Select your device in the given list and press "OK".

If you do not have an Android device you will have to run it on an emulator. Here are instructions for creating an Android virtual device (AVD):

Build instructions (without Android Studio)

  1. Install the Android SDK including at least the API 23 (Android 6.0), Build Tools, API Platform, Google APIs, Google Play Services, Android Support Library, the Local Maven Repository for Support and the Google Repository.

All of these can be installed, together with their dependencies, using the Android SDK manager.

  1. Comment out or remove references to Crashlytics. The following are known references as at
    . For future versions,
    grep -ir crashlytics .
    is your friend.

If you do not remove Crashlytics then the app will crash on startup unless Crashlytics has been set up correctly as a member of the zulip team.

  • In

    • Line 5:
    • Line 13:
  • In

    • Line 50:
    • Line 162:
  1. Run
    on Windows). This should automatically build the application, downloading anything it needs to do so.

If you get a failed build with

A problem occurred configuring project ':app'.
then you might not have all the required SDK libraries. Make sure that you have all the dependencies of the libraries listed above, and that all versions match precisely.

If the appropriate tools cannot be found by gradle, make sure that

is properly set (this should point to the root directory for the Android SDK i.e. the one which contains the add-ons, build-tools, docs and other directories).
  1. To build the APK, run
    ./gradlew assemble
    . Your APKs will be placed in


can be installed directly on the device, or loaded over USB using
./gradlew installDebug
adb install /path/to/app/build/outputs/apk/app-debug.apk

Note that

will not install by default because it is unsigned. You will be told the APK cannot be parsed.

Connecting to a development server

Once you are running a Zulip development server on your laptop, you will need to do some additional configuration of the Android development environment to connect to your development server.

| If you are using a Genymotion Emulator you can access the server by browsing to or (one of these two URL’s)

To access the vagrant server on a physical device:

  • connect the computer and Android device to the same network (router)

  • modify

    _ in the server change the host_ip ‘’ to ‘’ Like this- “forwarded_port”, guest: 9991, host: host_port, host_ip: “”

  • Now find the IP address of the computer, and start the Android app. For the server, specify the computer's IP address and port number as the Zulip Server. For example:

Note that if you have internet access on your android device through a proxy server, you might have to use a VPN application like

_ to connect to the server.

| You can also route the IP address to a domain name like (this routing is useful when testing the Google OAuth Backend) | No need to modify the

to achieve this
  • Remap the hosts by fiddler by adding this line in TOOLS> HOSTS


If unclear you can follow tutorial here

Host Remapping
  • Now configure your android device following
    _ detailed tutorial

Another way to connect android device to local server is via adb

  • Run server on laptop(or Desktop)

  • By default, it run's on port 9991

  • Connect your Android device with laptop and enable usb debugging

  • Run

    adb reverse tcp:9991 tcp:9991
    in terminal
  • Connect to local server by entering url ( in app

.. _here: .. _Host Remapping: .. _this one: .. _this:


  • If you're excited about helping with an open issue, make sure to claim the issue by commenting the following in the comment section: "@zulipbot claim". @zulipbot will assign you to the issue and label the issue as in progress. For more details, check out |@zulipbot|_.

  • For commit messages, be sure to checkout our

    commit message style guidelines
  • For code style, please read the

    Zulip coding style
    _ conventions carefully.

.. |@zulipbot| replace:: @zulipbot .. [email protected]: .. _commit message style guidelines: .. _Zulip coding style:

Mailing List

There's a mailing list for questions and development discussions related to the Zulip Android app:!forum/zulip-android.


This distribution includes cryptographic software. The country in which you currently reside may have restrictions on the import, possession, use, and/or re-export to another country, of encryption software. BEFORE using any encryption software, please check your country's laws, regulations and policies concerning the import, possession, or use, and re-export of encryption software, to see if this is permitted. See for more information.

The U.S. Government Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), has classified this software as Export Commodity Control Number (ECCN) 5D002.C.1, which includes information security software using or performing cryptographic functions with asymmetric algorithms. The form and manner of this distribution makes it eligible for export under the License Exception ENC Technology Software Unrestricted (TSU) exception (see the BIS Export Administration Regulations, Section 740.13) for both object code and source code.


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