The initial plan was to develop further bridges but since a lot of the community were already focussing efforts there, the team set me alternate tasks I could choose from. I was given the task to develop a way for Matrix to be indexable by search engines, as is a really heavy React application that is not crawler friendly, so a client which had no client side scripting was desired. I was also tasked with squashing bugs and some substantial changes or fixes in riot-web, outlined below. The reason this was needed is that riot-web ( is a very heavy React web application, and the Google crawler simply is unable to index it.

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Whether it be for privacy or simply for fun, a time will come that you will want to set up a Matrix homeserver. Currently that pretty much means Synapse, as other solutions are less…”feature complete”, though the Readme does not really include enough information for less tech-savvy people to do so easily, so here is that information.

First things first, get ahold of a machine with 2GB+ RAM, modern enough CPU and some disk space. It’ll also need an IP Address, public if you wish to connect to it from anywhere, and optionally a domain if you don’t want to have to type the IP for everything. This guide will take you through installation, basic configuration and even setting up Let’s Encrypt Certificates in a fashion that you can copy and paste or dig deeper into and understand.

Make sure you log in as root for the installation, this just means that you will not have to authorize each and every action you do with sudo. This can often be done using the command sudo su. If you are using a VPS from the likes of DigitalOcean they often provide you direct access to the root user without sudo, though if you are new, be careful not to mistype things.

Next we will trust repository key and add the repository to apt’s repository list.

wget -qO - | apt-key add -
apt-get update

If it complains about add-apt-repository: command not found you should run apt-get update && apt-get install software-properties-common -y and rerun the failed command.

At this stage the system knows about the Synapse package, and we can install it.

apt-get install matrix-synapse -y

The installer will ask you for a server name, enter what you would like to see as the server part of your username, often your domain.
If I wanted usernames like I would enter, this will even work if does not resolve to the server hosting synapse.
After this it will ask you about reporting analytics, this choice is up to you. Some time later, once apt is done installing Synapse you will see your prompt return and you can continue.

At this stage you will do any configurations you may need.
If you configured your server_name to be a domain which does not point at the server and wish to federate your server you will have to create an SRV record as detailed here

Lets Encrypt configuration to follow, LAPTOP DYING

To start your new server you will have to run service matrix-synapse start assuming your distro ships with upstart/systemd/similar.

See more documentation at

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The best way to get riot installed is to install it from the official repositories, this way your package manager can keep it up to date for you. All the info you need is on but along with no instructions, the ones below should work for most users but do assume you have wget, software-properties-common, sudo and the apt wrapper.

set -e
wget -qO - | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt-add-repository
sudo apt update
sudo apt install riot-web

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How do I put this, these guys are simply fantastic. If you haven’t already, I suggest their weekly Live Stream, Bilge Tank over on YouTube, weekly on Thursday afternoons (Around 3PM UK Time). Not only do they show off cool stuff, answer your questions; they also do Giveaways. For example, during Bilge Tank 022, I answered a very simple question first and won myself a Raspberry Pi Zero pHat DAC Kit worth £30+Postage. Not only that but I’ve won quite a few freebies from these guys in the past and they offer decent prices with frequent store-wide discounts!

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Michael Telatynski

Computer Science Student


United Kingdom