[Freedombox-discuss] Matrix Synapse and Riot.im, some success and some questions.

A. F. Cano afc54 at comcast.net
Thu May 14 04:27:39 BST 2020


I've set up the Matrix Synapse FreedomBox app.  That was the easy part.
The desktop client (Riot.im) has been hard to set up but it finally works.

I have also tried to launch the Web Riot from the FreedomBox but it fails
with the error:

Your Riot is misconfigured
Invalid homeserver discovery response

Why does it even go to https://riot.im/app/#/home since the whole point
of installing the FreedomBox app was to have a local server?

So, Web Riot is not usable.  The desktop client has apparently no documentation
beyond a FAQ file.  After a lot of trial and error I got it to work.  I have
established a chat room and invited 2 other people.  Text chat and video
conferencing work, but there are issues with the riot.im client I haven't been
able to solve.

I did install jitsi at some point but couldn't get it to work by itself.
I was surprised to find that the riot.im client uses it for video

The video screen is quite tiny and there seems to be no way to make it
larger.  My camera is 720p so that's not the limiting factor.  When a
video conference starts, there is an overlaid circle with "SD" on it,
so for some reason (bandwidth?) the client (or the server) has apparently
decided to go SD.  The extra small screen of my own video on the top right
shows consistently but the small screens of the other 2 behave quite
differently.  One is mostly dark when that person is on the main screen but
the other person (when not on the larger screen) barely shows.  There is a
very narrow horizontal sliver of the bottom of that person's video and it
goes away when the mouse is hovered anywhere on the video screen.  No matter
where I click (in the video part of the screen or other places on the
riot.im client) I can't change the appearance of the way video is displayed.
It would be nice if the center column (about 1/3 of the area of the riot.im
client) could be expanded so that the small screens would not overlap the
larger/main one, but this is apparently not possible.  Even if the main
video area can't be expanded, it would be nice if it were possible
to move the small video screens out of the larger one.

There is a "popout widget" just above the top right corner of the video area
that opens a browser and goes to

https://riot.im/app/jitsi.html#conferenceDomain=jitsi.riot.im&conferenceId=JitsiConferenceTerrificMammothIsland&isAudioOnly=false&displayName=<my user id>&avatarUrl=&userId=%40<my user id>%3A<my server name>.freedombox.rocks

Why does it even go to the riot.im web site? The whole reason for installing
the FreedomBox Matrix Synapse server was to stay local and private.
The fact that it also leaks my user id and server name is not too encouraging.
Is there some option to prevent this?

I have never clicked the "join video conference" button presented in the
browser as I certainly don't want my video conference to go through the riot.im
site, or them having details of my video conference.

I have enabled end-to-end encryption for the chat room in question, and I have
read that video is sent via WebRTC, which means that it is encrypted.  The
server name configured in all 3 clients begins with "https://".  Am I

I'm also not too pleased that at the end of every video conference something
pops up asking me to leave feedback.  I've always clicked "Cancel".

I have looked for a riot.im client manual but there seems to not be one:


Having not used other video conferencing apps, I possibly don't know the
standard tricks to move the small video windows so they don't overlap the
main one, or how to move them around or make them bigger.  Does anyone know?

Any hints?



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