Import from Gitter (beta)

Zulip supports importing data from Gitter, including users, channels, messages, attachments, and avatars.

Note: You can only import a Gitter room as a new Zulip organization. In particular, this tool you cannot use this tool to import from Gitter into an existing Zulip organization.

Import from Gitter

First, export your data from Gitter.

Export your Gitter data

  1. Export your Gitter data. You will receive json files of the public rooms that you are a part of. Select the gitter_data.json file of the room which you want to import into Zulip.

    Note: You'll need a Gitter API token to export data. You can get this token by following the instructions in the "Getting Started" section of the Gitter documentation.

Import into Zulip Cloud

Email with and your desired subdomain. Your imported organization will be hosted at <subdomain>

If you've already created a test organization at <subdomain>, let us know, and we can rename the old organization first.

Import into a self-hosted Zulip server

First install a new Zulip server, skipping "Step 3: Create a Zulip organization, and log in" (you'll create your Zulip organization via the data import tool instead).

Log in to a shell on your Zulip server as the zulip user. To import with the most common configuration, run the following commands:

cd /home/zulip/deployments/current
./ convert_gitter_data gitter_data.json --output converted_gitter_data
./ import '' converted_gitter_data

This could take several minutes to run, depending on how much data you're importing. The server stop/restart is only necessary when importing on a server with minimal RAM, where an OOM kill might otherwise occur.

Import options

The commands above create an imported organization on the root domain (EXTERNAL_HOST) of the Zulip installation. You can also import into a custom subdomain, e.g. if you already have an existing organization on the root domain. Replace the last line above with the following, after replacing <subdomain> with the desired subdomain.

./ import <subdomain> converted_gitter_data

Logging in

Once the import completes, all your users will have accounts in your new Zulip organization, but those accounts won't have passwords yet (since for very good security reasons, passwords are not exported). Your users will need to either authenticate using something like Google auth, or start by resetting their passwords.

You can use the ./ send_password_reset_email command to send password reset emails to your users. We recommend starting with sending one to yourself for testing:

./ send_password_reset_email -u

and then once you're ready, you can email them to everyone using e.g.

./ send_password_reset_email -r '' --all-users

(replace '' with your subdomain if you're using one).

Create organization owners

The Gitter API don't contain data on which users are administrators of the Gitter channel. As a result, all Gitter users are imported into Zulip as normal users. You can follow the Zulip documentation on making a user an organization owner from the terminal to mark the appropriate users as organization owners.


  • The Gitter data export tool doesn't support exporting private Gitter channels.

  • Gitter's export tool doesn't export email addresses; just GitHub usernames. The import tool will thus use GitHub's generated noreply email addresses to compute the GitHub-generated noreply email address associated with that GitHub account, e.g. {github_user_id}+{github_username} or {github_username}

Since one cannot receive email at those noreply email addresses, imported users will need to use GitHub authentication to log in to Zulip and will be unable to receive email notifications until they change their Zulip email address.

  • You can merge multiple Gitter channels into a single Zulip organization using this tool.

  • This tool doesn't translate Gitter's Markdown format into Zulip format Markdown (there are a few corner cases where the syntax is different). Additionally, Gitter's issue mention syntax isn't translated.