How to connect the desktop application to a custom backend


This page explains how to connect the Wire desktop client to a custom Backend, which can be done either via a start-up parameter or via an initialization file.


Install Wire either from the App Store, or download it from our website at (

Have a running Wire backend in your infrastructure/cloud.

Note down the full URL of the webapp served by that backend (e.g. )

Using start-up parameters


  • Create a shortcut to the Wire application

  • Edit the shortcut ( Right click > Properties )

  • Add the following command line parameters to the shortcut: --env {URL}, where {URL} is the URL of your webapp as noted down above


To create the application

  • Open Automator

  • Click New application

  • Add the “Run shell script” phase

  • Type in the script panel the following command: open -b com.wearezeta.zclient.mac --args --env {URL}, where {URL} is the URL of your webapp as noted down above

  • Save the application from Automator (e.g. on your desktop or in Application)

  • To run the application: Just open the application you created in the first step


  • Open a Terminal

  • Start the application with the command line arguments: --env {URL}, where {URL} is the URL of your webapp as noted down above

Using an initialization file

By providing an initialization file the instance connection parameters and/or proxy settings for the Wire desktop application can be pre-configured. This requires Wire version >= 3.27.

Create a file named init.json and set customWebAppURL and optionally proxyServerURL e.g. as follows:

  "customWebAppURL": "",
  "env": "CUSTOM",
  "proxyServerURL": ""

The env setting must be set to CUSTOM for this to work.


Consult your site admin to learn what goes into these settings. The value of customWebAppURL can be found here or resp. here. The value of proxyServerURL is your browser proxy. It depends on the configuration of the network your client is running in.


Move the init.json file to %APPDATA%\Wire\config\init.json if it does not already exist. Otherwise update it accordingly.


Move the init.json file to

~/Library/Containers/com.wearezeta.zclient.mac/Data/Library/Application\ Support/Wire/config/init.json

if it does not already exist. Otherwise, update it accordingly.


On Linux the init.json file should be located in the following directory: