Import from Mattermost

Starting with Zulip 2.1, Zulip supports importing data from Mattermost, including users, channels, messages, and custom emoji.

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

Import from Mattermost

First, export your data from Mattermost. The instructions below correspond to various common ways Mattermost is installed; if yours isn't covered, contact us and we'll help you out.

Replace <username> and <server_ip> with the appropriate values below.

  1. SSH into your Mattermost production server.

    ssh <username>@<server_ip>
  2. Navigate to the directory which contains the Mattermost executable. On a default install of Mattermost, the directory is /opt/mattermost/bin.

    cd /opt/mattermost/bin
  3. Create an export of all your Mattermost teams, as a tar file.

    sudo ./mattermost export bulk export.json --all-teams
    mkdir -p exported_emoji
    tar --transform 's|^|mattermost/|' -czf export.tar.gz \
        exported_emoji/ export.json
  4. Exit your shell on the Mattermost server.

    exit
  5. Finally, copy the exported tar file from the server to your local computer. You may need to replace /opt/mattermost/bin/ with the path to your Mattermost installation.

    scp <username>@<server_ip>:/opt/mattermost/bin/export.tar.gz .

  1. SSH into the server hosting your Mattermost docker container.

    ssh <username>@<server_ip>
  2. Navigate to the the Mattermost docker directory. On most installs the directory should be mattermost-docker.

    cd mattermost-docker/
  3. Create an export of all your Mattermost teams, as a tar file.

    docker exec -it mattermost-docker_app_1 mattermost \
        export bulk data/export.json --all-teams
    cd volumes/app/mattermost/data/
    mkdir -p exported_emoji
    tar --transform 's|^|mattermost/|' -czf export.tar.gz \
        exported_emoji/ export.json
  4. Exit your shell on the Mattermost server.

    exit
  5. Finally, copy the exported tar file from the server to your local computer. You may need to replace mattermost-docker with the appropriate path for your installation.

    scp <username>@<server_ip>:mattermost-docker/volumes/app/mattermost/data/export.tar.gz .

  1. SSH into your GitLab Omnibus server.

  2. Create an export of all your Mattermost teams, as a tar file.

    cd /opt/gitlab/embedded/service/mattermost
    sudo -u \
        mattermost /opt/gitlab/embedded/bin/mattermost \
        --config=/var/opt/gitlab/mattermost/config.json \
        export bulk export.json --all-teams
    mkdir -p exported_emoji
    tar --transform 's|^|mattermost/|' -czf export.tar.gz \
        exported_emoji/ export.json
  3. Exit your shell on the GitLab Omnibus server.

    exit
  4. Finally, copy the exported tar file from GitLab Omnibus to your local computer.

    scp <username>@<server_ip>:/opt/gitlab/embedded/bin/mattermost/export.tar.gz .

Import into Zulip Cloud

Email support@zulip.com with your exported archive, the name of the Mattermost team you want to import, and your desired Zulip subdomain. Your imported organization will be hosted at <subdomain>.zulipchat.com.

If you've already created a test organization at <subdomain>.zulipchat.com, 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).

Use upgrade-zulip-from-git to upgrade your Zulip server to the latest master branch.

Log in to a shell on your Zulip server as the zulip user. To import with the most common configuration, run the following commands, replacing <team-name> with the name of the Mattermost team you want to import.

cd /home/zulip
tar -xzvf export.tar.gz
cd /home/zulip/deployments/current
supervisorctl stop all  # Stop the Zulip server
./manage.py convert_mattermost_data /home/zulip/mattermost --output /home/zulip/converted_mattermost_data
./manage.py import "" /home/zulip/converted_mattermost_data/<team-name>
./scripts/restart-server

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.

./manage.py import <subdomain> /home/zulip/converted_mattermost_data/<team-name>

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 ./manage.py send_password_reset_email command to send password reset emails to your users. We recommend starting with sending one to yourself for testing:

./manage.py send_password_reset_email -u username@example.com

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

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

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

Caveats

Mattermost's export tool is incomplete and does not support exporting the following data:

  • user avatars
  • uploaded files and message attachments.

We expect to add support for importing these data from Mattermost once Mattermost's export tool includes them.

Additionally, Mattermost's data exports do not associated private messages with a specific Mattermost team. For that reason, the import tool will only import private messages for data export archives containing a single Mattermost team.