Matrix tips they don't tell you

This is a random combination of FAQ and guides about Matrix. Mostly for my own notes but these might be useful for others.


1. Matrix is slow or not working properly. I'm on homeserver is used as default server in many clients. It is known to be slow occasionally. You should pick a server you like from list of public servers and register there. If you already have joined many rooms, you can use migration tool to “copy” your old account to the new account.

After finished, remember to leave all rooms with your account so it won't use any resources on the already overloaded server. You can login to both accounts simultaneously with private browser windows.

This also helps decentralize Matrix which is important for the whole ecosystem.

2. Synapse is slow. I'm running sqlite database

The documentation should be more clear: sqlite is only for testing and development servers and not suitable for production use. You must migrate to PostgreSQL using this script.

If you have further problems, join Synapse Admins room and describe your problem.

3. I'm confused about Matrix terminology

It's a complex beast. Here is a short list of what is what:

4. I'm running Element Android but notifications are unreliable. I installed it from F-Droid.

Unfortunatly F-Droid version doesn't have the google push notification support and there is no open alternative available. Better install from Google Play.

Unifiedpush support is in progress but not finished yet. You may want to follow this pull request if interested.

5. I'm running Element Android and a message is stuck in the bottom of the screen. I can't get rid of it.

Open Element Settings / General and press “Clear Cache”. This is a long standing bug, I hope it gets fixed one day.

Note: This bug should be fixed now. Hooray!

6. My Synapse is not working

If you still can't figure out the issue, come to Synapse Admins room and seek for help.

7. Isn't the main Matrix server?

It is common misconception that is the “main” Matrix server. This is incorrect. is just one (large) homeserver and has no special powers in the federation. staff cannot ban anyone on other servers or give admins on rooms for users who don't have them. This is a conscious decision to keep Matrix decentralized. is used as default server for registration in some clients, notably Element. Users are encouraged to register on other servers if possible to spread the load. has been offline on two occasions in history and Matrix federation kept working without issues for everyone else.

8. How do I disable federation?

Usually this is a mistake – read this post for details.

If you really want to do it, set federation_domain_whitelist: "" in Synapse config.

Hints and guides

Tombstoning a room

With tombstone you can decommission a room and point all it's users to join another room.

Create a new room

Create a new room. Make sure it's not encrypted. Go to Room settings / Advanced and copy-paste the Internal room ID somewhere. Add the alias(es) you removed to this room. Set other room settings to your liking and don't forget a nice room icon picture.

Create tombstone

This will move all Matrix users in the old room to the new room.

Go back to the old room.