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Getting Started

This section provides a high-level overview of the library, core components, and how they fit together. It's a great starting point that you can follow along in your code editor. For a complete, step-by-step guide check our iOS Chat tutorial.

Your First App with Stream Chat#

Before starting, make sure you have installed StreamChatUI as explained in the Installation section.

Chat Setup#

The first step to use the library is to create an instance of ChatClient. It's recommended to instantiate the ChatClient as early as possible and ensure that only one ChatClient instance is used across your application. For the sake of simplicity, we are going to show this using a singleton pattern:

extension ChatClient {
static let shared: ChatClient = {
// You can grab your API Key from
let config = ChatClientConfig(apiKeyString: "<# Your API Key Here #>")

// Create an instance of the `ChatClient` with the given config
let client = ChatClient(config: config)

return client

Connect User#

The next step is to connect the ChatClient with a user. In order to connect, the chat client needs an authorization token.

In case the token does not expire, the connection step can look as follows:

// You can generate the token for this user from
// make sure to use the `leia_organa` as user id and the correct API Key Secret.
let nonExpiringToken: Token = "<# User Token Here #>"

// Create the user info to connect with
let userInfo = UserInfo(
id: "leia_organa",
name: "Leia Organa",
imageURL: URL(string: "")

// Connect the client with the static token
ChatClient.shared.connectUser(userInfo: userInfo, token: nonExpiringToken) { error in
/* handle the connection error */

This example has the user and its token hard-coded. But the best practice is to fetch the user and generate a valid chat token on your backend infrastructure.

In case of a token with an expiration date, the chat client should be connected by giving the token provider that is invoked for initial connection and also to obtain the new token when the current token expires:

// Create the user info to connect with
let userInfo = UserInfo(
id: "leia_organa",
name: "Leia Organa",
imageURL: URL(string: "")

// Create a token provider that uses the backend to retreive a new token. The token provider is called on `connect` as well as when the current token expires
let tokenProvider: TokenProvider = { completion in
yourAuthService.fetchToken(for:, completion: completion)

// Connect the client with the token provider
ChatClient.shared.connectUser(userInfo: userInfo, tokenProvider: tokenProvider) { error in
/* handle the connection error */

Disconnect & Logout#

Whenever your users leave the chat component, you should use disconnect to stop receiving chat updates and events while using other features of your app. You disconnect by calling:


If your users logout form their account you should use logout instead for completely logging out from the session. You logout by calling:


Show Channel List#

Once the ChatClient is connected, we can show the list of channels.

To modally show the channel list screen, add the following code-snippet to your app (read more about presentation styles here):

let query = ChannelListQuery(filter: .containMembers(userIds: [userId]))
let controller = ChatClient.shared.channelListController(query: query)
let channelListVC = ChatChannelListVC.make(with: controller)
let channelListNVC = UINavigationController(rootViewController: channelListVC)


We also support loading the channel list screen from the storyboard by passing in the reference of the UIStoryboard and the identifier:

let storyboard = UIStoryboard(name: "Main", bundle: /*bundle containing the storyboard*/)
let channelListVC = ChatChannelListVC.make(
with: controller,
storyboard: storyboard,
storyboardId: "<# Storyboard ID Here #>"

The code snippets above will also create the ChatChannelListController with the specified query. ChannelListQuery allows us to define the channels to fetch and their order. Here we are listing channels where the current user is a member. In this case, the query will load all the channels the user is a member of.

Read more about channel list query and low-level channel list controller here.


You can load test data for your application using the test data generator here.

Creating a Channel#

You now have your very first Stream Chat app showing a list of Channels, but you're probably wondering how you can create your very first channel.

do {
let channelController = try ChatClient.shared.channelController(createChannelWithId: ChannelId(type: .livestream, id: UUID().uuidString), name: channelName)

channelController.synchronize { error in
if let error = error {
} catch {
print("Channel creation failed")

You can access createChannelWithId: function on the ChannelController which allows you to pass some parameters and create your very first channel.

The channel type is an enum that describes what the channel's intention is.

Your ChannelId has to be a unique ID and you can set this to anything, in this example we're using the UUID() provided by Apple. Finally, you can pass through the name of the channel which is a String and also some additional parameters if required.

Using Synchronize

After creating the channel try ChatClient.shared.channelController(createChannelWithId: ChannelId(type: .livestream, id: UUID().uuidString), name: channelName) it's important you call synchronize() after so the local and remote data is updated. You can read more about the importance of synchronize() here..

Your ChatChannelListVC is updated and will display the newly created channel, congratulations.

Enabling Logs

By default, logs in the SDK are disabled. Check out this article on how to enable them in your app.

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