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Riot (formerly known as Vector) is a Matrix web client built using the Matrix React SDK (https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-react-sdk).
The easiest way to test Riot is to just use the hosted copy at https://riot.im/app. The develop branch is continuously deployed by Jenkins at https://riot.im/develop 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:
- Download the latest version from https://github.com/vector-im/riot-web/releases
- Untar the tarball on your web server
- Move (or symlink) the vector-x.x.x directory to an appropriate name
- If desired, copy
config.jsonand edit it as desired. See below for details.
- Enter the URL into your browser and log into Riot!
Releases are signed by PGP, and can be checked against the public key at https://riot.im/packages/keys/riot-master.asc
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
- Add the repository to your sources.list using either of the following two options:
- Directly to sources.list:
echo "deb https://riot.im/packages/debian/ stretch main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
- As a separate entry in sources.list.d:
echo "deb https://riot.im/packages/debian/ stretch main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/riot.list
- Add the gpg signing key for the riot repository:
curl -s https://riot.im/packages/debian/repo-key.asc | sudo apt-key add -
- Update your package lists:
sudo apt-get update
- 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 https://github.com/vector-im/riot-web/issues/1977 for more details.
Building From Source
Riot is a modular webapp built with modern ES6 and requires a npm build system to build.
Install or update
node.jsso that your
npmis at least at version
Clone the repo:
git clone https://github.com/vector-im/riot-web.git
Switch to the riot-web directory:
Install the prerequisites:
If you are using the
developbranch of vector-web, you will probably need to rebuild some of the dependencies, due to https://github.com/npm/npm/issues/3055:
(cd node_modules/matrix-js-sdk && npm install) (cd node_modules/matrix-react-sdk && npm install)
Configure the app by copying
config.jsonand modifying it (see below for details)
npm run distto 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.
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
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.
You can configure the app by copying
config.json and customising it:
default_hs_urlis the default home server url.
default_is_urlis 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 http://matrix.org/docs/spec/identity_service/unstable.html for more details. Currently the only public matrix identity servers are https://matrix.org and https://vector.im. In future identity servers will be decentralised.
integrations_ui_url: URL to the web interface for the integrations server.
integrations_rest_url: URL to the REST interface for the integrations server.
roomDirectory: config for the public room directory. This section is optional.
roomDirectory.servers: List of other Home Servers' directories to include in the drop down list. Optional.
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
win32(for update packages, not installer packages).
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:
usercontent.riot.im. This needs to contain v1.html from https://github.com/matrix-org/usercontent/blob/master/v1.html
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 https://riot.im/desktop.html or, if you prefer, built it yourself.
To run as a desktop app:
Follow the instructions in 'Building From Source' above, but run
npm run buildinstead of
npm run dist(since we don't need the tarball).
Install electron and run it:
npm install electron node_modules/.bin/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
buildsection of package.json as per https://github.com/electron-userland/electron-builder/wiki/Options
See https://github.com/electron-userland/electron-builder/wiki/Multi-Platform-Build 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:
- Follow the instructions in 'Building From Source' above
node_modules/.bin/build -l --x64
All electron packages go into
Many thanks to @aviraldg for the initial work on the electron integration.
Other options for running as a desktop app:
- @asdf:matrix.org points out that you can use nativefier and it just works(tm)
sudo npm install nativefier -g nativefier https://riot.im/app/
Before attempting to develop on Riot you must read the developer guide
matrix-react-sdk at https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-react-sdk, which
also defines the design, architecture and style for Riot too.
The idea of Riot is to be a relatively lightweight "skin" of customisations on
top of the underlying
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
component-index.js for the app (used in future for skinning)
However, as of July 2016 this layering abstraction is broken due to rapid
development on Riot forcing
matrix-react-sdk to move fast at the expense of
maintaining a clear abstraction between the two. Hacking on Riot inevitably
means hacking equally on
matrix-react-sdk, and there are bits of
matrix-react-sdk behaviour incorrectly residing in the
(e.g. matrix-react-sdk specific CSS), and a bunch of Riot specific behaviour
matrix-react-sdk (grep for
riot). This separation problem will be
solved asap once development on Riot (and thus matrix-react-sdk) has
stabilised. Until then, the two projects should basically be considered as a
single unit. In particular,
matrix-react-sdk issues are currently filed
riot-web in github.
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-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
git clone firstname.lastname@example.org:matrix-org/matrix-js-sdk.git
git checkout develop
npm install source-map-loader# because webpack is made of fail (https://github.com/webpack/webpack/issues/1472)
Then similarly with
git clone email@example.com:matrix-org/matrix-react-sdk.git
git checkout develop
rm -r node_modules/matrix-js-sdk; ln -s ../../matrix-js-sdk node_modules/
Finally, build and start Riot itself:
git clone firstname.lastname@example.org:vector-im/riot-web.git
git checkout develop
rm -r node_modules/matrix-js-sdk; ln -s ../../matrix-js-sdk node_modules/
rm -r node_modules/matrix-react-sdk; ln -s ../../matrix-react-sdk node_modules/
Wait a few seconds for the initial build to finish; you should see something like:
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 bundle.js.map 5.29 MB 0 [emitted] main bundle.css.map 116 kB 0 [emitted] main + 1013 hidden modules
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.
Open http://127.0.0.1:8080/ in your browser to see your newly built Riot.
When you make changes to
matrix-js-sdk, you will need
npm run build in the relevant directory. You can do this automatically
by instead running
npm start in the directory, to start a development builder
which will watch for changes to the files and rebuild automatically.
If you add or remove any components from the Riot skin, you will need to rebuild
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.
Issues will be triaged by the core team using the following primary set of tags:
- P1: top priority; typically blocks releases
- P2: still need to fix, but lower than P1
- P3: non-urgent
- P4: intereseting idea - bluesky some day
- P5: recorded for posterity/to avoid duplicates. No intention to resolves right now.
bug or feature:
- cosmetic - feature works functionally but UI/UX is broken
- critical - whole app doesn't work
- major - entire feature doesn't work
- minor - partially broken feature (but still usable)
- release blocker
- ui/ux (think of this as cosmetic)
- network (specific to network conditions)
- platform (platform specific)