I am searching for a selfhosted and secure (end to end encryption) chat platform for my family (5-20 users), possibly one i can host on a raspi.

Is matrix a good choice, or should i try something else?

  • Im_old@lemmy.world
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    29 days ago

    I’ve been using matrix for years to this purpose, but moving to xmpp/prosody now

      • Im_old@lemmy.world
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        29 days ago

        No.

        Yeah ok. First of all, because I can 😁. I mean z what’s good being an IT nerd if I can’t change stuff when I want?

        Jokes aside, I’ve been reading more recently on matrix and looks like there are some security issues in the design of the app/protocol. I’m on mobile now, I’ll look for sources when I’m on pc. Also I don’t like that it is a server centric system (so data is primarily on the server instead of the clients). Also it takes more resources than I was expecting. For less than 10 users I can’t have less than 4gb of ram (on a dedicated debian server, running docker) or it swaps so much it kills the system.

        So basically I’m testing out if xmpp is a better system for those issues.

        • chordsphere1@sh.itjust.works
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          20 days ago

          Conversations being paid on the google play store is what’s stopping me from going xmpp… I can’t just say “message me via xmpp, you can use the Conversations app”. Now I’d have to explain what F-Droid is and why would they even get another app store and enable “unknown apps”. it’s not doable. I remember telling my mom to install Signal (before I got into self hosting) because I deleted whatsapp and she got angry like she worked for the zuck, saying “what do you mean you don’t use whatsapp” with an astonished face, started lecturing me on why I was destroying my social life… That just made me realize right now they probably wouldn’t download conversations either…welp I just wanted to share

          • Im_old@lemmy.world
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            19 days ago

            I know exactly what you mean. Just for general information, I’ve found another android client that I think it’s better than Conversations. It’s called Monocles chat (and it’s on f-droid). On matrix/xmpp I install the whatsapp bridge. I can convert a few close family members but no way everyone. For me it’s an acceptable compromise. I get the close members to use my servers/apps, everyone else through the bridge so I can at least have all the chat in one place

      • Im_old@lemmy.world
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        29 days ago

        Gajim on pc (I use arch btw - well endeavourOS because I can’t be bothered) and don’t remember what on android (there is the full list or clients and capabilities on xmpp.org)

    • lemmyvore@feddit.nl
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      29 days ago

      So all of these encrypt the conversations so not even the server admin can access them?

      • Lemmchen@feddit.de
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        29 days ago

        XMPP only does it with certain client extensions. And Matrix only does it when the rooms are set up this way. SimpleX does what you want, but is kind of unintuitive for the average user.
        I say go with Signal, it does what you want and is idiot-proof.

        • philpo@feddit.de
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          29 days ago

          It is literally one setting in Matrix to force all rooms to only do encrypted messages.

          Signal is pretty unintuitive when it comes to multiple devices per user, device transfers after a device has been lost,etc.

          • essteeyou@lemmy.world
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            28 days ago

            Signal is perfectly good under normal usage. Everything is unintuitive when it comes to extremes like losing your device.

            • EngineerGaming@feddit.nl
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              28 days ago

              Signal is annoying to use if you don’t have a smartphone you can trust, since they do not allow registration from desktop. So either an Android VM or Signal-cli. But maybe it was just a one-off bug that the desktop client didn’t bind to signal-cli for me. Still, the fact that you need an unofficial command-line application just to register makes it not exactly user-friendly.

              • essteeyou@lemmy.world
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                28 days ago

                I imagine that most people’s families will find Singal easier than using a CLI program anyway. It’s rare to find an entire family without typical cellphones.

                • EngineerGaming@feddit.nl
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                  28 days ago

                  Yea, but a typical cellphone is not as easy to make private as a typical laptop or desktop. Lineage has some tradeoffs and not accessible on all devices, and Graphene needs even more specific, quite expensive hardware!

            • philpo@feddit.de
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              28 days ago

              Wouldn’t say that. With most Matrix Clients, WhatsApp, etc. it’s far easier. Especially from a perspective of a elderly,less tech adept user.

        • EngineerGaming@feddit.nl
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          28 days ago

          To be fair, pretty much all major XMPP clients have adopted OMEMO encryption, so doesn’t seem like much of an issue.

  • poVoq@slrpnk.net
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    29 days ago

    https://snikket.org/ (xmpp based) is perfect for that. Matrix will work, but you will likely reach the limits of your Raspi with it fairly soon if you allow federation with other servers.

  • oldfart@lemm.ee
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    29 days ago

    XMPP. It just works, requires very little resources, is stable and has decent clients.

    I would go with Snikket instead of Prosody if I had been starting now.

    Conversations on phones, Dino or Gajim on PCs, plus a conversejs install on the xmpp server, to allow web access when needed.

    Conversations is easy for the family to figure out.

    • Mom Nom Mom@nom.mom
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      29 days ago

      This is what my family (and a few friends) use. We have been using it for a while now because it just works. Also, the kids have never complained about using Conversations, or about using it only for us (like if you have that one family member who won’t leave SMS behind - we’re that guy, I guess), and we can make as many channels as we need for the house, the kids, with each kid individually, for our MTG cards, with our couple of friends that use it, etc…

      I don’t personally do the hosting, so I can’t speak to that. That’s the hubby’s thing
      ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • adr1an@programming.dev
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    29 days ago

    E2E is complicated, if you self-host for a group, having TLS and encrypting data at rest (storage) may be enough. Get a threat model. That being said, I would recommend snikket.org which is a superset of extensions over XMPP which is the open source IM that was the base of almost every app out there. Matrix and Rocket are both alright too. Depends too on your resources, synapse requires too much RAM (or so I heard)

      • EngineerGaming@feddit.nl
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        28 days ago

        I am suspicious of it because you pretty much cannot host a node. Well, you can - but you’d have to deposit an INSANE amount of money (like $2k or something). While Simplex, even though I do have a concern with its initial centralization by the power of default, is decidedly easy to selfhost.

        • teawrecks@sopuli.xyz
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          29 days ago

          Simplex is the first platform I’ve heard of that doesn’t use IDs (which doesn’t make much sense to me, practically, but sure). So would you say everything is less secure than simplex?

          • Rebellious Trickster@monero.town
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            28 days ago

            I say it depends on what you are looking for. Depends on your “threat model” – among other things.

            For example, if you are looking for something more private (smaller chance on linking identities with digital footprint, smaller chance on identifying a person, etc), I suggest SimpleX. They also have a great protocol. Their white paper is worth reading as well. But it might be a little challenging for non-tech people. And the thing is still in development.

            If you don’t mind Session’s IDs (after all you can still store them somewhere and change them), it’s a good one. The protocol is promising, and they have a nice white paper. Unlike SimpleX, it’s much easier to set up for a non-tech person, although it’s also in development.

            XMPP (Conversations, Monal, etc) rely on a well-known technology, and it is stable. And the interface doesn’t scream “hacking”, " techy" etc.

            Lastly, Delta Chat is also a nice project, with a well-known record. The interface looks super convenient and familiar. And the functionality is feature-rich enough in case you want to doe something special.

            I would say the thing with IDs (or absence of IDs) is yet another layer that ensures privacy and security. But all of the apps are secure enough. Even Signal is secure enough if you don’t mind exposing your phone number.

            I guess the real question is about convenience. That is, knowing about SimpleX, Session, XMPP, and DeltaChat, which one is convenient, private enough, and secure enough for your particular case.

  • youmaynotknow@lemmy.ml
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    29 days ago

    I just have my kids, wife, close friends and in-laws on SimpleX.

    Sure, some of them use mainstream stuff as well, but if they want to reach me, that’s their only option.

    Matrix is a pretty good choice for self-hosted. The reason I don’t do it is because I’ve become lazy lately.

  • geography082@lemm.ee
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    29 days ago

    Still no suggestion that has wide cross platform and it’s just simple . Matrix has that all . So for now I choose matrix and clients

    • poVoq@slrpnk.net
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      29 days ago

      Lol, Snikket/xmpp has been suggested multiple times, and it is as good if not better regarding “wide cross platform” support. To get the same with Matrix you basically have to use a web-client or Electron, while XMPP has very efficient native clients.

      • iarigby@lemmy.world
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        29 days ago

        just looked it up and couldn’t find a decent client for ios. There was Monal but it looks more like a draft rather than a finished application. Things don’t even have padding or margins. The snikket one I won’t even mention, you can’t expect people to use something that gives them visual discomfort.

        • ambitiousslab@lemmy.ml
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          29 days ago

          I originally suggested Monal to my friend (who is quite into iOS and really appreciates a well designed application) and she found the same, but then she tried Siskin, and was happy enough to use it to this day.

        • poVoq@slrpnk.net
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          29 days ago

          Visual discomfort because it looks like an slightly older app? What kind of issue is that???

          And Monal has improved a lot in recent months, the current version is mostly fine.

          • gaylord_fartmaster@lemmy.world
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            29 days ago

            Visual discomfort because it looks like an slightly older app? What kind of issue is that???

            You’ve met an iOS user.

          • danl@lemmy.world
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            29 days ago

            …exactly the kind that discourages 60-something, non-technical family members.

            • poVoq@slrpnk.net
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              29 days ago

              It discourages 60-something nontechnical family members that the app looks like WhatsApp? Are you being serious?

  • kugmo@sh.itjust.works
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    29 days ago

    I know it’s not self hosted but why not Signal? Matrix is demanding on a SBC and your family would probably get the ‘unable to decrypt message, please re-verify keys’ error that happens in encrypted matrix group chats and Element does not have the best UI especially if you want your grandma to use it.

    • Senshi@lemmy.world
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      28 days ago

      What’s your source on the reverify thing? I use matrix a lot, and this hasn’t been an issue I ever experienced anymore since they introduced cross-signing a couple years ago.

      Same goes for the common clients such as element. It has been clunky in the past, but after the past major overhauls ( also years ago now) everything has been silky smooth for me, if not better than others. The one thing left I prefer from Signal is the one-time photo share.

      Matrix is great, clients are great too, only the server part still is annoyingly complicated and messy. Would only recommend that for tinkerers, on that case it’s a great path to learning about the complexity of addressing lots of security concerns that others gloss over.

      Edit: to add - there’s a reason why the French government and the German military decided to build their secure internal IM infrastructure on Matrix. Obviously they are hosting their own private network, but if the concept is good enough for European government and military, it is an indicator for quality especially in terms of security and privacy.

  • ogarcia@lemmy.world
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    28 days ago

    I recommend Matrix with the Conduit server. This server requires almost no resources and even runs on a Raspberry Pi.

    Cinny works perfectly as a desktop client (in case you want to escape from the ubiquitous Element). And for mobile I would use Element for Android/iOS although FluffyChat also works very well.

    • Flax@feddit.uk
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      28 days ago

      Conduit seems to have next to no docs on actually installing it for some reason.

      • ogarcia@lemmy.world
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        26 days ago

        They are very focused on development and therefore the documentation is a bit sparse (maybe).

        The truth is that it is not very complicated to install. It is simply to download the binary (it is statically compiled so it has no dependencies) place it in /usr/bin and execute it (the best is to create a user in the machine with the home in /var/lib/conduit and then launch it with systemd).

        Another option is to simply launch it with docker.

        In any case, if you have problems, comment it here and we will look to see what could be happening.

    • Lumisal@lemmy.world
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      28 days ago

      This is nice to know. Cinny looks beautiful from a UX perspective, wish they made an app too. Not enough good UX in open source stuff.

      • ogarcia@lemmy.world
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        26 days ago

        Yes, without a doubt, for me it is the most balanced client, a pity that there is not for Android, but well, in mobile Element does not give problems either.

  • foremanguy@lemmy.ml
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    29 days ago

    For me you can try to host a SimpleX server and then connect to it (with SimpleX it is pretty as much secure to run its one server than use a public one).

    Or maybe use XMPP but try to use a good encryption protocol. This option is great in term of power efficiency, XMPP would run great on a RasPI

    • EngineerGaming@feddit.nl
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      28 days ago

      Did you have trouble setting up XFTP one? SMP was fine but XFTP seemed to have some error in the systemd settings provided in the manual.