How to use Free Software to learn Japanese, and more.

List of Matrix servers

January 29, 2021 — Tatsumoto

Matrix is a FLOSS protocol for open federated instant messaging. It is used in our Japanese learning community as an alternative to proprietary software such as Discord. Matrix ecosystem consists of many servers which can be used for registration. Since many people joining us ask what server to choose, I've made a list.

To use Matrix, install a client first. One of the most popular clients is Element.


Matrix.org users

If you already have an account hosted on Matrix.org, please create a new account on another homeserver before you join any of our rooms. Matrix.org is the largest Matrix homeserver, and most Matrix apps suggest it by default. Many users new to Matrix end up using this server because they don't know that other servers exist. Unfortunately, Matrix.org is far from the best choice. Due to its absurdly strict rules, the server is known for frequent bans of rooms and user accounts, and it does so without prior notice. Basically, Matrix.org uses its size and special status to impose censorship.

Luckily, changing Matrix homeservers is as easy as switching Email providers. Below I have a list of servers with less strict terms of service.

registration

Click "Edit".

How to choose

Choose a server that doesn't engage in chaotic account or room purges. Being on a such homeserver is no different from being on Discord. Take a look at Austin Huang's list to check if a server has unreasonably strict rules. Keep an eye on the usual things that tend to stink. For example, if a homeserver is trying to suppress certain political opinions, restrict you from posting certain types of content or otherwise impose authoritarian environment.

Tips for room admins

If you decide to create and manage a large public room, it is very important that you don't lose access to it. Always keep at least two admin accounts in the room, each hosted on a different homeserver. If one homeserver goes offline or decides to ban you or shutdown your room, you will still be able to control the room via the other admin account.

The number one thing you should be aware of as a room admin is room shutdowns. A room shutdown is when a homeserver admin forces all existing members registered on the homeserver out of your room and prevents all future joins. A room shutdown only affects users on the server that initiated the shutdown. To minimize possible damage that a shutdown would cause to your room always tell your members to use homeservers you trust.

Choose a server which runs the latest version of Synapse. Newer versions give you access to higher room versions. To check a server's Synapse version, run the following shell command. Replace homeserver.name with the URL of your homeserver, e.g. g33k.se.

curl -s 'https://homeserver.name/_matrix/federation/v1/version'

Alternatively, paste the server's URL to federationtester.matrix.org.

It's a good idea to ban certain servers from participating in your room completely, using Server ACLs. Server ACLs let you block all accounts registered on unwanted homeservers from being able to join your room. The homeserver which gets blocked the most often is, you guessed it, matrix.org.

Recommendations

Not all the servers may be open for registration at any point of time.

Other servers

Sorted list

Explore the sorted list here.

Selection criteria.

  • Open registration
  • Domain length
  • Up-to-date version of Synapse

A separate list for servers that can be used to link rooms. This is very useful if you want to share a room with someone but don't want to use element.io or matrix.to because they are cuckflared.

To link a room append #/room/#your_room:example.com to the instance's Element address, like this: https://nerdsin.space/#/room/#djt:g33k.se.

With Element

These servers have Element. It's a web application that you can use to chat without having to use a desktop client.

Without Element

These Matrix servers don't offer the web interface, but you can still register an account. Install one of the clients listed on Arch Wiki, press "create account", then find advanced options and change the server from the default to the one you want.

Tags: matrix