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Riot (formerly known as Vector) is a Matrix web client built using the Matrix
React SDK (
Getting Started
The easiest way to test Riot is to just use the hosted copy at The develop branch is continuously deployed by Jenkins at for those who like living dangerously.
To host your own copy of Riot, the quickest bet is to use a pre-built
released version of Riot:
1. Download the latest version from
1. Untar the tarball on your web server
1. Move (or symlink) the riot-x.x.x directory to an appropriate name
1. If desired, copy `config.sample.json` to `config.json` and edit it
as desired. See below for details.
1. Enter the URL into your browser and log into Riot!
Releases are signed by PGP, and can be checked against the public key
Note that Chrome does not allow microphone or webcam access for sites served
over http (except localhost), so for working VoIP you will need to serve Riot
over https.
### Installation Steps for Debian Stretch
1. Add the repository to your sources.list using either of the following two options:
- Directly to sources.list: `echo "deb stretch main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list`
- As a separate entry in sources.list.d: `echo "deb stretch main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/riot.list`
2. Add the gpg signing key for the riot repository: `curl -s | sudo apt-key add -`
3. Update your package lists: `sudo apt-get update`
4. Install Riot: `sudo apt-get install riot-web`
Important Security Note
We do not recommend running Riot from the same domain name as your Matrix
homeserver. The reason is the risk of XSS (cross-site-scripting)
vulnerabilities that could occur if someone caused Riot to load and render
malicious user generated content from a Matrix API which then had trusted
access to Riot (or other apps) due to sharing the same domain.
We have put some coarse mitigations into place to try to protect against this
situation, but it's still not good practice to do it in the first place. See for more details.
The same applies for end-to-end encrypted content, but since this is decrypted
on the client, Riot needs a way to supply the decrypted content from a separate
origin to the one Riot is hosted on. This currently done with a 'cross origin
renderer' which is a small piece of javascript hosted on a different domain.
To avoid all Riot installs needing one of these to be set up, hosts
one on which is used by default. See 'config.json' if you'd
like to host your own. tracks
progress on replacing this with something better.
Building From Source
Riot is a modular webapp built with modern ES6 and requires a npm build system
to build.
1. Install or update `node.js` so that your `node` is at least v8.12.0 (and `npm`
is at least v5.x).
1. Clone the repo: `git clone`.
1. Switch to the riot-web directory: `cd riot-web`.
1. If you're using the `develop` branch then it is recommended to set up a proper
development environment ("Setting up a dev environment" below) however one can
install the develop versions of the dependencies instead:
Whenever you git pull on riot-web you will also probably need to force an update
to these dependencies - the simplest way is to re-run the script, but you can also
manually update and rebuild them:
cd matrix-js-sdk
git pull
npm install # re-run to pull in any new dependencies
# Depending on your version of npm, npm run build may happen as part of
# the npm install above (
# If in doubt, run it anyway:
npm run build
cd ../matrix-react-sdk
git pull
npm install
npm run build
Or just use - the continuous integration release of the
develop branch. (Note that we don't reference the develop versions in git directly
due to
1. Install the prerequisites: `npm install`.
1. Configure the app by copying `config.sample.json` to `config.json` and
modifying it (see below for details).
1. `npm run dist` to build a tarball to deploy. Untaring this file will give
a version-specific directory containing all the files that need to go on your
web server.
Note that `npm run dist` is not supported on Windows, so Windows users can run `npm
run build`, which will build all the necessary files into the `webapp`
directory. The version of Riot will not appear in Settings without
using the dist script. You can then mount the `webapp` directory on your
webserver to actually serve up the app, which is entirely static content.
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You can configure the app by copying `config.sample.json` to
`config.json` and customising it:
For a good example, see
1. `default_hs_url` is the default homeserver url.
1. `default_is_url` is the default identity server url (this is the server used
for verifying third party identifiers like email addresses). If this is blank,
registering with an email address, adding an email address to your account,
or inviting users via email address will not work. Matrix identity servers are
very simple web services which map third party identifiers (currently only email
addresses) to matrix IDs: see
for more details. Currently the only public matrix identity servers are
and In future identity servers will be decentralised.
1. `features`: Lookup of optional features that may be `enable`d, `disable`d, or exposed to the user
in the `labs` section of settings. The available optional experimental features vary from
release to release.
1. `brand`: String to pass to your homeserver when configuring email notifications, to let the
homeserver know what email template to use when talking to you.
1. `integrations_ui_url`: URL to the web interface for the integrations server. The integrations
server is not Riot and normally not your Home Server either. The integration server settings
may be left blank to disable integrations.
1. `integrations_rest_url`: URL to the REST interface for the integrations server.
1. `integrations_widgets_urls`: list of URLs to the REST interface for the widget integrations server.
1. `bug_report_endpoint_url`: endpoint to send bug reports to (must be running a server). Bug reports are sent when a user clicks
"Send Logs" within the application. Bug reports can be disabled by leaving the
`bug_report_endpoint_url` out of your config file.
1. `roomDirectory`: config for the public room directory. This section is optional.
1. `roomDirectory.servers`: List of other homeservers' directories to include in the drop
down list. Optional.
1. `default_theme`: name of theme to use by default (e.g. 'light')
1. `update_base_url` (electron app only): HTTPS URL to a web server to download
updates from. This should be the path to the directory containing `macos`
and `win32` (for update packages, not installer packages).
1. `cross_origin_renderer_url`: URL to a static HTML page hosting code to help display
encrypted file attachments. This MUST be hosted on a completely separate domain to
anything else since it is used to isolate the privileges of file attachments to this
domain. Default: ``. This needs to contain v1.html from
1. `piwik`: Analytics can be disabled by setting `piwik: false` or by leaving the piwik config
option out of your config file. If you want to enable analytics, set `piwik` to be an object
containing the following properties:
1. `url`: The URL of the Piwik instance to use for collecting analytics
1. `whitelistedHSUrls`: a list of HS URLs to not redact from the analytics
1. `whitelistedISUrls`: a list of IS URLs to not redact from the analytics
1. `siteId`: The Piwik Site ID to use when sending analytics to the Piwik server configured above
1. `teamServerConfig`, `teamTokenMap`, `referralBaseUrl`: an obsolete precursor to communities
with referral tracking; please ignore it.
1. `welcomeUserId`: the user ID of a bot to invite whenever users register that can give them a tour
Note that `index.html` also has an og:image meta tag that is set to an image
hosted on This is the image used if links to your copy of Riot
appear in some websites like Facebook, and indeed Riot itself. This has to be
static in the HTML and an absolute URL (and HTTP rather than HTTPS), so it's
not possible for this to be an option in config.json. If you'd like to change
it, you can build Riot as above, but run
`RIOT_OG_IMAGE_URL="" npm run build`.
Alternatively, you can edit the `og:image` meta tag in `index.html` directly
each time you download a new version of Riot.
Running as a Desktop app
Riot can also be run as a desktop app, wrapped in electron. You can download a
pre-built version from or, if you prefer,
build it yourself. Requires Electron >=1.6.0
To run as a desktop app:
1. Follow the instructions in 'Building From Source' above, but run
`npm run build` instead of `npm run dist` (since we don't need the tarball).
2. Install electron and run it:
npm install electron
npm run electron
To build packages, use electron-builder. This is configured to output:
* dmg + zip for macOS
* exe + nupkg for Windows
* deb for Linux
But this can be customised by editing the `build` section of package.json
as per
for dependencies required for building packages for various platforms.
The only platform that can build packages for all three platforms is macOS:
brew install wine --without-x11
brew install mono
brew install gnu-tar
npm install
npm run build:electron
For other packages, use electron-builder manually. For example, to build a package
for 64 bit Linux:
1. Follow the instructions in 'Building From Source' above
2. `node_modules/.bin/build -l --x64`
All electron packages go into `electron/dist/`
Many thanks to @aviraldg for the initial work on the electron integration.
Other options for running as a desktop app:
* points out that you can use nativefier and it just works(tm)
sudo npm install nativefier -g
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Before attempting to develop on Riot you **must** read the developer guide
for `matrix-react-sdk` at, which
also defines the design, architecture and style for Riot too.
You should also familiarise yourself with the "Here be Dragons" guide to the
tame & not-so-tame dragons (gotchas) which exist in the codebase:
The idea of Riot is to be a relatively lightweight "skin" of customisations on
top of the underlying `matrix-react-sdk`. `matrix-react-sdk` provides both the
higher and lower level React components useful for building Matrix communication
apps using React.
After creating a new component you must run `npm run reskindex` to regenerate
the `component-index.js` for the app (used in future for skinning).
Please note that Riot is intended to run correctly without access to the public
internet. So please don't depend on resources (JS libs, CSS, images, fonts)
hosted by external CDNs or servers but instead please package all dependencies
into Riot itself.
Setting up a dev environment
Much of the functionality in Riot is actually in the `matrix-react-sdk` and
`matrix-js-sdk` modules. It is possible to set these up in a way that makes it
easy to track the `develop` branches in git and to make local changes without
having to manually rebuild each time.
First clone and build `matrix-js-sdk`:
1. `git clone`
1. `pushd matrix-js-sdk`
1. `git checkout develop`
1. `npm install`
1. `npm install source-map-loader` # because webpack is made of fail (
1. `popd`
Then similarly with `matrix-react-sdk`:
1. `git clone`
1. `pushd matrix-react-sdk`
1. `git checkout develop`
1. `npm link ../matrix-js-sdk`
1. `popd`
Finally, build and start Riot itself:
1. `git clone`
1. `cd riot-web`
1. `git checkout develop`
1. `npm install`
1. `npm link ../matrix-js-sdk`
1. `npm link ../matrix-react-sdk`
1. `npm start`
1. Wait a few seconds for the initial build to finish; you should see something like:
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Hash: b0af76309dd56d7275c8
Version: webpack 1.12.14
Time: 14533ms
Asset Size Chunks Chunk Names
bundle.js 4.2 MB 0 [emitted] main
bundle.css 91.5 kB 0 [emitted] main 5.29 MB 0 [emitted] main 116 kB 0 [emitted] main
+ 1013 hidden modules
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Remember, the command will not terminate since it runs the web server
and rebuilds source files when they change. This development server also
disables caching, so do NOT use it in production.
1. Open in your browser to see your newly built Riot.
When you make changes to `matrix-react-sdk` or `matrix-js-sdk` they should be
automatically picked up by webpack and built.
If you add or remove any components from the Riot skin, you will need to rebuild
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the skin's index by running, `npm run reskindex`.
If any of these steps error with, `file table overflow`, you are probably on a mac
which has a very low limit on max open files. Run `ulimit -Sn 1024` and try again.
You'll need to do this in each new terminal you open before building Riot.
Running the tests
There are a number of application-level tests in the `tests` directory; these
are designed to run in a browser instance under the control of
[karma]( To run them:
* Make sure you have Chrome installed (a recent version, like 59)
* Make sure you have `matrix-js-sdk` and `matrix-react-sdk` installed and
built, as above
* `npm run test`
The above will run the tests under Chrome in a `headless` mode.
You can also tell karma to run the tests in a loop (every time the source
changes), in an instance of Chrome on your desktop, with `npm run
test-multi`. This also gives you the option of running the tests in 'debug'
mode, which is useful for stepping through the tests in the developer tools.
To add a new translation, head to the [translating doc](docs/
For a developer guide, see the [translating dev doc](docs/
[<img src="" alt="translationsstatus" width="340">](
Triaging issues
Issues will be triaged by the core team using the below set of tags.
Tags are meant to be used in combination - e.g.:
* P1 critical bug == really urgent stuff that should be next in the bugfixing todo list
* "release blocker" == stuff which is blocking us from cutting the next release.
* P1 feature type:voip == what VoIP features should we be working on next?
priority: **compulsory**
* P1: top priority - i.e. pool of stuff which we should be working on next
* P2: still need to fix, but lower than P1
* P3: non-urgent
* P4: interesting idea - bluesky some day
* P5: recorded for posterity/to avoid duplicates. No intention to resolves right now.
bug or feature: **compulsory**
* bug
* feature
bug severity: **compulsory, if bug**
* critical - whole app doesn't work
* major - entire feature doesn't work
* minor - partially broken feature (but still usable)
* cosmetic - feature works functionally but UI/UX is broken
* type:* - refers to a particular part of the app; used to filter bugs
on a given topic - e.g. VOIP, signup, timeline, etc.
additional categories (self-explanatory):
* release blocker
* ui/ux (think of this as cosmetic)
* network (specific to network conditions)
* platform specific
* accessibility
* maintenance
* performance
* i18n
* blocked - whether this issue currently can't be progressed due to outside factors
community engagement
* easy
* hacktoberfest
* bounty? - proposal to be included in a bounty programme
* bounty - included in Status Open Bounty