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. Also check out our announcement with more details and background.
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 and password. The username looks like the following: @yourname:fsfe.org, where "yourname" is your FSFE user name that can be set in my.fsfe.org.
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. More simplistic alternatives are nheko or SchildiChat Desktop. 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.
There are many more clients but you should check whether they support the features you need. Especially encryption in 1:1 chats and rooms is very important.
Most clients will automatically detect your homeserver if you enter your username (e.g. @yourname:fsfe.org). If you have to provide your homeserver address explicitly, it's often preset to matrix.org. You should then 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.