The FSFE offers a Matrix instance for everyone with a FSFE account. Matrix is a modern standard for chat, similar to the older XMPP/Jabber which we also offer. You can read the Wikipedia entry for details.
As XMPP, Matrix offers one-to-one chats and chatroom, but has a few additional features:
- Encryption by default, and easier than OMEMO/OTR
- Images, videos etc are supported without extra configuration or plugins.
- Chats can be organised in spaces
Matrix is not perfect, and XMPP has a few advantages over it. The FSFE does not mandate a specific technology but allows its community to experience both worlds.
Enter the Matrix
Presuming you have an FSFE account, the easiest way to log in is via chat.fsfe.org. You'd just have to enter your username (no @fsfe.org!) and password.
Afterwards, you should back up your encryption key! You will be asked to set and backup this key, which can either be generated automatically, or be entered by you. In case you are not prompted to set it up after login, you find it when you click on your name and from there to "Security & Privacy" and there in "Secure backup".
Save it in you password manager or elsewhere secure. This encryption key is necessary to authenticate your different devices, especially if you lost access to all of them for some reason. With it, you can also re-decrypt older chats if necessary.
Screenshots: Dialogue asking you for encryption key backup methods (we recommend "Generation" as it takes away the burden from you). The generated key has to be downloaded or copied to a save place. If you then create a new session (e.g. because you use another client) you'll have to verify your identity by providing the backup key. It's important to do this to receive encrypted messages!
Please be aware that if you log out of chat.fsfe.org (or any other client) you will also lose this session, and have to re-verify yourself. The more often this happens, the more likely it is that encrypted messages to you will fail somehow!
Besides the web client on chat.fsfe.org (which runs Element), you can also use the Desktop version of Element or nheko. On mobile devices, you can also find an Element app, or SchildiChat with a more conservative design. Terminal lovers could have a look at gomuks.
You will have to provide your homeserver address. Often it's preset to matrix.org, but you should just enter fsfe.org (or matrix.fsfe.org if your client cannot find it).
FSFE Space and rooms
The FSFE has an own space. A space is a collection of rooms and people that can be logically combined. Of course you are invited to join the space and its rooms. To do so, you can use this link, or search a new room with the name #fsfe:fsfe.org (perhaps you have to activate the "Spaces" beta first). After joining, you'll see suggested rooms, e.g. #community:fsfe.org, the public FSFE community chat room.