Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on unsplash

Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on unsplash

Run your own chat server

Choosing the Red Pill

Article from ADMIN 75/2023
The Matrix open standard implements secure, decentralized communication and comes with bridges to popular chat apps.

Millions of users communicate with central chat services such as WhatsApp or Telegram, entrusting their messages to a centralized platform and its operators. If this meets your needs, you can take the blue pill and pass on to the next article. But if you are interested in Matrix as an alternative, which enables chats without an external provider but still offers the established services, take the red pill and proceed.

The choice between the red and blue pills is not quite as difficult for chat systems as it was for saving humanity in the 1999 movie The Matrix . However users are often faced with the decision as to whether they want to trust their chat and group communications to large corporations like Meta (Facebook, WhatsApp) and Alphabet (Google) or a corporate construct like Telegram, or whether they would rather not. If you appreciate the convenience of a modern chat application with groups but prefer to back up your data yourself, Matrix [1] is a serious alternative. However, setting it up requires some work and, of course, a dedicated server.

Open Protocol

Matrix itself is not software. It is an open source, end-to-end encrypted protocol for chat and real-time communication. As an open standard, it ensures that different software implementations like Element (client) and Synapse (server) remain compatible with each other. The principle of Matrix is simple: You run your own Matrix server for an Internet domain (e.g., ) and create your users with names following the pattern .

Up to this point, everything looks be very simple and you seem to have yet another closed chat service. However, Matrix lets you publish the server on the Internet (federation) so that users of different Matrix servers can connect to each other. In simple terms, Matrix follows the example of the Simple

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