Matrix

A new basis for open, interoperable, decentralized real-time communication

How to Install Matrix Synapse on Debian 11

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THIS GUIDE IS NO LONGER RECOMMENDED OR MAINTAINED


Introduction

Matrix is an open standard for interoperable, decentralised, real-time communication over IP.


This guide will detail how to stand up your own Matrix homeserver from start to finish on Debian 11. We will configure Synapse and Nginx as a reverse proxy to implement HTTPS/TLS connections between clients and the homserver. We will also be configuring a TURN/STUN service to allow video, voice, and screen sharing. This guide will also detail how to set up a PostgreSQL database for enhanced performance.

Note: We make use of the Tor network to connect to our remote server. We do this for anonymity and to prevent network observers from determining ownership of the VPS. This may be overkill for your threat model, so modify the given commands to suit your needs.

Prerequisites

Overview

Debian 11 Expert Install with Full Disk Encryption

  1. Select Advanced Options
  2. Select Expert Install
  3. For Choose Language select English
  4. For Select your Location select United States
  5. For Configure locales select United States - en_US.UTF-8
  6. Skip Additional locales by selecting Continue
  7. For Configure the keyboard select American English
  8. For Detect and mount installaion media select Continue
  9. For Load installer components from installation media select Continue
  10. For Configure the network select Yes under Auto-configure networking
  11. Under Wait time for link detection select Continue with the default 3 seconds
  12. For Configure the network under hostname enter your-hostname-here
  13. Leave the default domain name under domain name. unknown in this instance.
  14. For Set up users and passwords under Enable shadow passwords select Yes
  15. For Set up users and passwords under Allow login as root select No
  16. For Set up users and passwords under Full name for the new user type superuser
  17. For Set up users and passwords under Username for your account type superuser
  18. For Set up users and passwords under Choose a password for the new user copy paste from KeePassXC entry
  19. For Configure the clock under Set the clock using NTP select Yes
  20. For Configure the clock under NTP server to use leave the default 0.debian.pool.ntp.org
  21. For Configure the clock under Select your time zone choose Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)
  22. For Partition disks under Partitioning method choose Guided - use entire disk and set up encrypted LVM
  23. For Partition disks under Select disk to partition select Virtual disk 1 (vda)
  24. For Partition disks under Partitioning scheme select All files in one partition
  25. For Partition disks under Write the changes to disk and configure LVM select Yes
  26. For Partition disks under Enter LUKS Password copy paste long and complex KeePassXC PASSPHRASE
    • MAKE SURE YOU USE AN EASY TO TYPE PASS PHRASE!!!! I CAN'T STRESS THIS ENOUGH!!
  27. For Partition disks under Name of the volume group use your-hostname-vg
  28. For Partition disks under Amount of volume group to use for guided partitioning use ##.# GB
    • Use the default value to partition the entire drive
  29. For Partition disks under Overview select Finish partitioning and write changes to disk
  30. For Partition disks under Write the changes to disk select Yes
  31. For Install the base system under Kernel to install select linux-image-amd64
  32. For Install the base system under Drivers to include in the initrd select generic: include all available drivers
  33. For Configure the package manager under Scan extra installation media select No
  34. For Configure the package manager under Use a network mirror select Yes
  35. For Configure the package manager under Protocol for file downloads select http
  36. For Configure the package manager under Debian archive mirror country select United States
  37. For Configure the package manager under Debian archive mirror select deb.debian.org
  38. For Configure the package manager under HTTP proxy information leave blank and select Continue
  39. For Configure the package manager under Use non-free software select No
  40. For Configure the package manager under Use contrib software select No
  41. For Configure the package manager under Enable source repositories in APT select Yes
  42. For Configure the package manager under Services to use select security updates and release updates
  43. For Configuring discover under Updates management on this system select No automatic updates
    • Consider enabling unattended security upgrades, but it may (but probably won't) break something down the line
  44. For Configuring popularity-contest under Participate in the package usage survey select No
  45. For Software selection under Choose software to install select standard system utilities and deselect all other options
  46. For Install the GRUB boot loader under Install the GRUB boot loader on your primary drive select Yes
  47. For Install the GRUB boot loader under Device for boot loader installation select dev/vda
  48. For Install the GRUB boot loader under Force GRUB installation to the EFI removable media path select No
  49. For Finish the installation under Is the system clock set to UTC select Yes
  50. In the control panel shutdown the server, change boot order, and remove the ISO from the machine
  51. Restart the server and enter the luks pass phrase.

Configure SSH

  1. Update/Upgrade if needed
    • sudo apt update
    • sudo apt upgrade -y
  2. Install SSH
    • sudo apt update
    • sudo apt install ssh
  3. Change Default SSH Port
    • sudo nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config
    • Port 55555
      • Use any port you want, but we recommend high ports
      • For the rest of this guide, we'll be using port 55555 for reference

Create and Install SSH Keys

NOTE: THESE INSTRUCTIONS ARE FOR YOUR LOCAL HOST, NOT THE REMOTE SERVER!

  1. Create a directory in a safe place on your local host to store the private key
    • NOTE: CHANGE THESE DIRECTORY LOCATION TO SUIT YOUR NEEDS AND USERNAME
    • mkdir /home/user/ssh
    • cd /home/user/ssh
  2. Generate SSH Keys (ON YOUR LOCAL LINUX HOST)
    • ssh-keygen-b 4096
    • NOTE: Make sure you use a password for your private key, store it in KeePassXC
  3. Copy public SSHkey from local host to remote server
    • NOTE: CHANGE THIS IP TO YOUR HOMESERVER IP
    • torsocks ssh-copy-id -p 55555 -i matrix.pub superuser@88.777.66.55
  4. Test Login with SSH Keys
    • NOTE: The 'matrix' key is the private SSH key / identity file, change this
    • torsocks ssh -p '55555' 'superuser@88.777.66.55' -i 'matrix'
  5. If test was successful, disable SSH password logins
    • sudo nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config
    • PubKeyAuthentication yes
    • PasswordAuthentication no
  6. Restart sshd
    • sudo service sshd reload
    • sudo service sshd restart

Install State(less) Firewall

Note: We chose ufw over iptables due to simplicity and lack of need for a stateful firewall

  1. apt install ufw
    • sudo apt update
    • sudo apt install ufw -y
  2. allow ports for services
    • Allow TURN ports
      • sudo ufw allow 3478
      • sudo ufw allow 5349
      • sudo ufw allow 49152:65535/udp
    • Allow SSH port
      • sudo ufw allow 55555
    • Allow Synapse Federation Port
      • sudo ufw allow 8448
    • Allow HTTP/S Traffic
      • sudo ufw allow 443
      • sudo ufw allow 80
    • Enable ufw
      • NOTE: MAKE SURE YOUR SSH PORT IS CORRECT, OTHERWISE YOU'LL BE LOCKED OUT
      • sudo ufw enable

Create your DNS A record and point it towards your server

Install Synapse

  1. Install the necessary packages

    • sudo apt install -y lsb-release wget apt-transport-https
  2. Add the Matrix PGP key for APT

    • sudo wget -O /usr/share/keyrings/matrix-org-archive-keyring.gpg https://packages.matrix.org/debian/matrix-org-archive-keyring.gpg
  3. Add the GPG key and Matrix repository to APT

    • echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/matrix-org-archive-keyring.gpg] https://packages.matrix.org/debian/ $(lsb_release -cs) main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/matrix-org.list
  4. Update and Install Synapse

    • sudo apt update
    • sudo apt install matrix-synapse-py3
  5. Enter hostname from DNS A record

  6. Select NO when asked to report anonyomous statistics

Install PostgreSQL

  1. sudo apt install postgresql
  2. Authenticate as database user
    • sudo -u postgres bash
  3. Create postgres user and database
    • createuser --pwprompt synapse_user
    • createdb --encoding=UTF8 --locale=C --template=template0 --owner=synapse_user synapse
  4. Setup access to postgresql service
    • nano /etc/postgresql/13/main/pg_hba.conf
  5. Add the following line as seen below
    • host synapse synapse_user ::1/128 md5
# Database administrative login by Unix domain socket
local   all             postgres                                peer
# TYPE  DATABASE        USER            ADDRESS                 METHOD
host    synapse     synapse_user    ::1/128     md5
# "local" is for Unix domain socket connections only
local   all             all                                     peer
# IPv4 local connections:
host    all             all             127.0.0.1/32            md5
# IPv6 local connections:
host    all             all             ::1/128                 md5
# Allow replication connections from localhost, by a user with the
# replication privilege.
local   replication     all                                     peer
host    replication     all             127.0.0.1/32            md5
host    replication     all             ::1/128                 md5
  1. Type exit to quit postgresql shell

  2. Reload the Postgresql configuration

    • sudo systemctl reload postgresql
  3. Edit homeserver.yaml

    • sudo nano /etc/matrix-synapse/homeserver.yaml

OPTIONAL:

  1. Comment out existing database settings in homeserver.yaml
#database:
#  name: sqlite3
#  args:
#    database: /var/lib/matrix-synapse/homeserver.db
  1. Uncomment the entry for postgres configuration while adding postgresql password from earlier
database:
  name: psycopg2
  txn_limit: 10000
  args:
    user: synapse_user
    password: secretpassword
    database: synapse
    host: localhost
    port: 5432
    cp_min: 5
    cp_max: 10
  1. OPTIONAL Configure homeserver.yaml settings for user privacy
# Whether to require authentication to retrieve profile data (avatars,
# display names) of other users through the client API. Defaults to
# 'false'. Note that profile data is also available via the federation
# API, unless allow_profile_lookup_over_federation is set to false.
#
require_auth_for_profile_requests: true
# Uncomment to require a user to share a room with another user in order
# to retrieve their profile information. Only checked on Client-Server
# requests. Profile requests from other servers should be checked by the
# requesting server. Defaults to 'false'.
#
limit_profile_requests_to_users_who_share_rooms: true
# Uncomment to prevent a user's profile data from being retrieved and
# displayed in a room until they have joined it. By default, a user's
# profile data is included in an invite event, regardless of the values
# of the above two settings, and whether or not the users share a server.
# Defaults to 'true'.
#
include_profile_data_on_invite: false
# If set to 'true', allows any other homeserver to fetch the server's public
# rooms directory via federation. Defaults to 'false'.
#
allow_public_rooms_over_federation: true
# How long to keep redacted events in unredacted form in the database. After
# this period redacted events get replaced with their redacted form in the DB.
#
# Defaults to `7d`. Set to `null` to disable.
#
redaction_retention_period: 1m
# How long to track users' last seen time and IPs in the database.
#
# Defaults to `28d`. Set to `null` to disable clearing out of old rows.
#
user_ips_max_age: 1m
retention:
  # The message retention policies feature is disabled by default. Uncomment the
  # following line to enable it.
  #
  enabled: true

  # Default retention policy. If set, Synapse will apply it to rooms that lack the
  # 'm.room.retention' state event. Currently, the value of 'min_lifetime' doesn't
  # matter much because Synapse doesn't take it into account yet.
  #
  default_policy:
    min_lifetime: 3d
    max_lifetime: 3w

  # Retention policy limits. If set, and the state of a room contains a
  # 'm.room.retention' event in its state which contains a 'min_lifetime' or a
  # 'max_lifetime' that's out of these bounds, Synapse will cap the room's policy
  # to these limits when running purge jobs.
  #
  allowed_lifetime_min: 3d
  allowed_lifetime_max: 3w
  purge_jobs:
    - longest_max_lifetime: 3w
      interval: 1d
    - shortest_max_lifetime: 3d
      interval: 1d
# The minimum TLS version that will be used for outbound federation requests.
#
# Defaults to `1`. Configurable to `1`, `1.1`, `1.2`, or `1.3`. Note
# that setting this value higher than `1.2` will prevent federation to most
# of the public Matrix network: only configure it to `1.3` if you have an
# entirely private federation setup and you can ensure TLS 1.3 support.
#
federation_client_minimum_tls_version: 1.2
# Uncomment to disable profile lookup over federation. By default, the
# Federation API allows other homeservers to obtain profile data of any user
# on this homeserver. Defaults to 'true'.
#
allow_profile_lookup_over_federation: false
# Uncomment to disable device display name lookup over federation. By default, the
# Federation API allows other homeservers to obtain device display names of any user
# on this homeserver. Defaults to 'true'.
#
allow_device_name_lookup_over_federation: false
## Metrics ###

# Enable collection and rendering of performance metrics
#
enable_metrics: false
user_directory:
    # Defines whether users can search the user directory. If false then
    # empty responses are returned to all queries. Defaults to true.
    #
    # Uncomment to disable the user directory.
    #
    enabled: false
  1. OPTIONAL Require Invite Tokens to Register
# Require users to submit a token during registration.
# Tokens can be managed using the admin API:
# https://matrix-org.github.io/synapse/latest/usage/administration/admin_api/registration_tokens.html
# Note that `enable_registration` must be set to `true`.
# Disabling this option will not delete any tokens previously generated.
# Defaults to false. Uncomment the following to require tokens:
#
registration_requires_token: true
# If set, allows registration of standard or admin accounts by anyone who
# has the shared secret, even if registration is otherwise disabled.
#
registration_shared_secret: "ENTER YOUR REGISTRATION SHARED SECRET HERE"
# Allows users to register as guests without a password/email/etc, and
# participate in rooms hosted on this server which have been made
# accessible to anonymous users.
#
allow_guest_access: false

Install and configure nginx reverse proxy

  1. sudo apt install nginx -y

Install ZeroSSL certs with acme.sh

  1. Switch to root user

    • sudo su
  2. Change to root home directory

    • cd
  3. Install prerequisite packages

    • apt install git curl
  4. Clone the acme.sh git

    • git clone https://github.com/acmesh-official/acme.sh.git
    • cd acme.sh
  5. Enable execution permissions

    • chmod +x acme.sh
  6. Run acme.sh and register an account using a valid email

    • ./acme.sh --register-account -m you@yoursite.com --server zerossl
  7. Take note of your ACCOUNT_TRUMBPRINT value

  8. Standup an nginx site to validate domain ownership

    • sudo nano /etc/nginx/conf.d/matrix.conf

NOTE: acme.sh will modify this nginx site config to validate certificates, but add your ACCOUNT_THUMBPRINT value after the return 200 value if needed.

server {
    listen 80;
    listen [::]:80;
    server_name yoursite.com;
    location ~ "/.well-known/acme-challenge/" {
    default_type text/plain;
    return 200 "$1.YOUR_ACCOUNT_THUMBPRINT";
	}
}
  1. Create SSL Certs Directory

    • mkdir -p /etc/zerossl/live/yoursite.com/
  2. Issue New Certs for your site

    • ./acme.sh --issue -d yoursite.com --nginx --server zerossl
  3. Copy and Install the Certificates (Be sure to replace all the domains and paths)

    • ./acme.sh --install-cert -d yoursite.com --cert-file /etc/zerossl/live/yoursite.com/cert.pem --key-file /etc/zerossl/live/yoursite.com/privkey.pem --fullchain-file /etc/zerossl/live/yoursite.com/fullchain.pem --ca-file /etc/zerossl/live/yoursite.com/chain.pem --reloadcmd "service nginx force-reload"

You should see the following output:

Installing cert to: /etc/zerossl/live/yoursite.com/cert.pem
Installing CA to: /etc/zerossl/live/yoursite.com/chain.pem
Installing key to: /etc/zerossl/live/yoursite.com/privkey.pem
Installing full chain to: /etc/zerossl/live/yoursite.com/fullchain.pem
  1. Configure nginx config file (completely replace the earlier conf lines)
    • sudo nano /etc/nginx/conf.d/matrix.conf
server {
    listen 80;
    listen [::]:80;
    server_name yoursite.com;

    access_log off;
    error_log off;
    server_tokens off;

    return 301 https://$host$request_uri;
}

server {
  server_name www.yoursite.com;
  return 301 $scheme://yoursite.com$request_uri;

  error_log off;
  access_log off;
  server_tokens off;
}


server {
    listen 443 ssl;
    listen [::]:443 ssl;
    server_name yoursite.com;

    ssl on;
    ssl_certificate /etc/zerossl/live/yoursite.com/fullchain.pem;
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/zerossl/live/yoursite.com/privkey.pem;
    ssl_session_timeout 1d;
    ssl_session_cache shared:MozSSL:10m;  # about 40000 sessions
    ssl_session_tickets off;
    ssl_protocols TLSv1.2 TLSv1.3;
    ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;
    ssl_ciphers "ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA512:DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA512:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384";

    access_log off;
    error_log off;
    server_tokens off;

# NOTE THE BELOW LOCATION IS THERE IF YOU WANT TO RUN A HOME PAGE LOCATED AT /var/www/yoursite.com
    location / { 
	add_header Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=31536000; includeSubdomains" always;
        root /var/www/yoursite.com;
        gzip on;
        gzip_disable "msie6";
        gzip_vary on;
        gzip_proxied any;
        gzip_min_length 1024;
        gzip_comp_level 6;
        gzip_buffers 16 8k;
        gzip_http_version 1.1;
        gzip_types text/plain text/css application/json application/javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript;

    }

# NOTE THE BELOW LOCATION IS CONFIGURED FOR MATRIX REGISTRATION
    location /register {
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
	add_header Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=31536000; includeSubdomains" always;
	proxy_pass http://localhost:5000;
        gzip on;
        gzip_disable "msie6";
        gzip_vary on;
        gzip_proxied any;
        gzip_min_length 1024;
        gzip_comp_level 6;
        gzip_buffers 16 8k;
        gzip_http_version 1.1;
        gzip_types text/plain text/css application/json application/javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript;
    }

# NOTE THE BELOW LOCATION IS CONFIGURED FOR MATRIX REGISTRATION
    location /static {
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_pass http://localhost:5000;
        gzip on;
        gzip_disable "msie6";
        gzip_vary on;
        gzip_proxied any;
        gzip_min_length 1024;
        gzip_comp_level 6;
        gzip_buffers 16 8k;
        gzip_http_version 1.1;
        gzip_types text/plain text/css application/json application/javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript;
    }

# NOTE THE BELOW LOCATION IS CONFIGURED FOR MATRIX REGISTRATION
    location /api {
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_pass http://localhost:5000;
    }
# NOTE THE BELOW LOCATION IS REQUIRED FOR MATRIX/SYNAPSE 
    location ~ ^(/_matrix|/_synapse/client) {
        # note: do not add a path (even a single /) after the port in `proxy_pass`,
        # otherwise nginx will canonicalise the URI and cause signature verification
        # errors.
        proxy_pass http://localhost:8008;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
        proxy_set_header Host $host;

        # Nginx by default only allows file uploads up to 1M in size
        # Increase client_max_body_size to match max_upload_size defined in homeserver.yaml
        client_max_body_size 50M;
    }
}

server {
    listen 8448 ssl http2 default_server;
    listen [::]:8448 ssl http2 default_server;
    server_name yoursite.com;

    ssl on;
    ssl_certificate /etc/zerossl/live/yoursite.com/fullchain.pem;
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/zerossl/live/yoursite.com/privkey.pem;
    ssl_protocols TLSv1.2 TLSv1.3;
    ssl_session_timeout 1d;
    ssl_session_cache shared:MozSSL:10m;  # about 40000 sessions
    ssl_session_tickets off;
    ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;
    ssl_ciphers "ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA512:DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA512:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384";

    add_header Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=31536000; includeSubdomains; always";

    access_log off;
    error_log off;
    server_tokens off;

    location ~ ^(/_matrix|/_synapse/client) {
        # note: do not add a path (even a single /) after the port in `proxy_pass`,
        # otherwise nginx will canonicalise the URI and cause signature verification
        # errors.
        proxy_pass http://localhost:8008;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
        proxy_set_header Host $host;

        # Nginx by default only allows file uploads up to 1M in size
        # Increase client_max_body_size to match max_upload_size defined in homeserver.yaml
        client_max_body_size 50M;
    }
}

Install and Configure Turn Server

  1. sudo apt install coturn

  2. Create coturn readable ssl keys

    • mkdir -p /etc/coturn/certs
    • sudo chown -R turnserver:turnserver /etc/coturn/
    • chmod -R 700 /etc/coturn/
  3. Create your static-auth-secret for TURN using pwgen

    • pwgen -s 64 1
  4. Modify /etc/turnserver.conf

    • sudo nano /etc/turnserver.conf
  5. Add the following lines to the bottom of the turnserver.conf file

use-auth-secret
static-auth-secret=YOUR-STATIC-AUTH-SECRET-HERE
realm=yoursite.com:5349
no-tcp-relay
denied-peer-ip=10.0.0.0-10.255.255.255
denied-peer-ip=192.168.0.0-192.168.255.255
denied-peer-ip=172.16.0.0-172.31.255.255
allowed-peer-ip=10.0.0.1
user-quota=12
total-quota=1200
cert=/etc/coturn/certs/fullchain.pem
pkey=/etc/coturn/certs/privkey.pem
  1. Restart turn server

    • sudo systemctl restart coturn
  2. Modify homeserver.yaml to reflect new turn server

turn_uris: [ "turns:yoursite.com:5349?transport=udp", "turns:yoursite.com:5349?transport=tcp" ]`
turn_shared_secret: "YOUR-STATIC-AUTH-SECRET-HERE"
turn_user_lifetime: 86400000
turn_allow_guests: false
  1. Enable Cert support for coturn
    • sudo cp /etc/zerossl/live/yoursite/fullchain.pem /etc/coturn/certs/
    • sudo cp /etc/zerossl/live/yoursite/privkey.pem /etc/coturn/certs/
    • sudo chown turnserver:turnserver -R /etc/coturn/
    • sudo service coturn force-reload
    • sudo service coturn restart

Enable Token Based Registrations with Matrix-Registration

  1. Create Admin User

    • register_new_matrix_user -c homeserver.yaml http://localhost:8008
    • Make sure you register user 'admin' as an admin
    • Store the Username/Password in KeePassXC
  2. Create Registration User

    • register_new_matrix_user -c homeserver.yaml http://localhost:8008
    • Make sure you register user 'registration' as an admin
    • Store the Username/Password in KeePassXC
  3. Login to your Matrix Homeserver as 'registration' using a client (like Element) and take note of your access token (starts with syt_)

    • This will be the access token used by the matrix registration service to register new accounts
    • Save this access token in your KeePassXC notes.
  4. Install Matrix Registration

    • sudo apt install python3-pip
    • pip3 install matrix-registration==1.0.0.dev7
    • pip3 install psycopg2-binary
  5. Update Flask_limiter usage

    • https://github.com/zeratax/matrix-registration/pull/83/commits/92087a6e221482194b42b63848735e9e6d92b1f6
    • (replace get_ipaddr with get_remote_address)
      • line 9 of matrix_registration/app.py
      • line 60 of matrix_registration/app.py
  6. Create empty postgresql database

    • sudo -u postgres bash
    • createuser --pwprompt matrix_reg_user
      • Store this Password in KeePassXC, you'll need it later
    • createdb --owner=matrix_reg_user matrix_reg
  7. Setup access to postgresql service

    • nano /etc/postgresql/13/main/pg_hba.conf
  8. Add the following line below to pg_hba

    • host matrix_reg matrix_reg_user ::1/128 md5
  9. Restart postgresql and verify pg_hba accepted

    • sudo service postgresql status
  10. Create the following config.yaml file for matrix-registration

server_location: 'http://localhost:8008'
server_name: 'yoursite.com'
registration_shared_secret: 'YOUR-REGISTRATION-SHARED-SECRET' # see your synapse's homeserver.yaml
admin_api_shared_secret: 'syt_YOUR-REGISTRATION-ACCESS-TOKEN' # to generate tokens via the web api
base_url: '/' # e.g. '/element' for https://example.tld/element/register
client_redirect: 'https://element.yoursite.com'
client_logo: 'static/images/element-logo.png' # use '{cwd}' for current working directory
db: 'postgresql://matrix_reg_user:YOUR-matrix_reg_user-PASSWORD@localhost:5432/matrix_reg'
host: 'localhost'
port: 5000
rate_limit: ["100 per day", "10 per minute"]
allow_cors: false
ip_logging: false
logging:
  disable_existing_loggers: true
  version: 1
  root:
    level: DEBUG
    handlers: [console, file]
  formatters:
    brief:
      format: '%(name)s - %(levelname)s - %(message)s'
    precise:
      format: '%(asctime)s - %(name)s - %(levelname)s - %(message)s'
  handlers:
    console:
      class: logging.StreamHandler
      level: INFO
      formatter: brief
      stream: ext://sys.stdout
    file:
      class: logging.handlers.RotatingFileHandler
      formatter: precise
      level: INFO
      filename: m_reg.log
      maxBytes: 10485760 # 10MB
      backupCount: 3
      encoding: utf8
# password requirements
password:
  min_length: 14
# username requirements
username:
  validation_regex: [ '[a-zA-Z0-9]' ] 
  invalidation_regex: [ '(info|admin|null|123456|mail|fuck|webmaster|root|test|guest|adm|mysql|user|administrator|oracle|ftp|pi|puppet|ansible|ec2-user|vagrant|azureuse|mod|moderator|host|postgres|synapse|support)' ] 

Create Matrix Registration Service

  1. Create new user
    • sudo useradd -m registration
      • Store Password in KeePassXC
      • NOTE: Make sure matrix-registration files are available in the /home/registration/ user folders as referenced in the below service file
  2. Create service file
    • sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/matrix-registration.service
[Unit]
Description=Matrix Registration
After=matrix-synapse.service
BindsTo=matrix-synapse.service

[Service]
Type=simple
User=registration
Group=registration
WorkingDirectory=/home/registration/matrix-registration
ExecStart=/home/registration/.local/bin/matrix-registration --config-path /home/registration/matrix-registration/config.yaml serve
Restart=always

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target
  1. Enable Service

    • systemctl daemon-reload
    • systemctl --user enable matrix-registration
    • systemctl --user start matrix-registration
  2. Confirm matrix-registration is available by browsing to https://yoursite.com/register

  3. Create an Invite Token and test matrix-registration is working

curl -X POST \
     -H "Authorization: SharedSecret syt_your_shared_secret_token" \
     -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
     -d '{"max_usage": 1, "expiration_date": "2023-01-01"}' \
     http://localhost:5000/api/token

Install Element Web

  1. Add new elementweb user
    • sudo useradd -m elementweb
    • Store password in KeepassXC
  2. Change directories in the elementweb home dir
    • cd /home/elementweb/
  3. Download the latest element-web release (v1.10.12 of today)
    • sudo --user elementweb wget https://github.com/vector-im/element-web/releases/download/v1.10.12/element-v1.10.12.tar.gz
    • sudo --user elementweb tar -xvf element-v1.10.12.tar.gz
  4. Create config.json file
    • Make sure to replace yoursite.com with your actual site domain
{
    "default_server_config": {
        "m.homeserver": {
            "base_url": "https://element.yoursite.com",
            "server_name": "yoursite.com"
        },
        "m.identity_server": {
            "base_url": "https://vector.im"
        }
    },
    "disable_custom_urls": true,
    "disable_guests": true,
    "disable_login_language_selector": false,
    "disable_3pid_login": true,
    "brand": "Element",
    "integrations_ui_url": "https://scalar.vector.im/",
    "integrations_rest_url": "https://scalar.vector.im/api",
    "integrations_widgets_urls": [
        "https://scalar.vector.im/_matrix/integrations/v1",
        "https://scalar.vector.im/api",
        "https://scalar-staging.vector.im/_matrix/integrations/v1",
        "https://scalar-staging.vector.im/api",
        "https://scalar-staging.riot.im/scalar/api"
    ],
    "bug_report_endpoint_url": "https://element.io/bugreports/submit",
    "uisi_autorageshake_app": "element-auto-uisi",
    "default_country_code": "GB",
    "show_labs_settings": false,
    "features": { },
    "default_federate": true,
    "default_theme": "dark",
    "room_directory": {
        "servers": [
            "yoursite.com"
        ]
    },
    "enable_presence_by_hs_url": {
        "https://yoursite.com": false,
        "https://element.yoursite.com": false
    },
    "setting_defaults": {
        "breadcrumbs": true
    },
    "jitsi": {
        "preferred_domain": "meet.element.io"
    },
    "map_style_url": "https://api.maptiler.com/maps/streets/style.json?key=iCksBQ1EHZmZ8OkgfZvV"
}
  1. Add a DNS record for element.yoursite.com

  2. Generate ZeroSSL Certs for element.yoursite.com

    1. sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/element.yoursite.com
server {
    listen 80;
    listen [::]:80;
    server_name element.yoursite.com;
    location ~ "/.well-known/acme-challenge/" {
    default_type text/plain;
    return 200 "$1.YOUR_ACCOUNT_THUMBPRINT";
	}
}
  1. Install SSL certs

    • sudo mkdir /etc/zerossl/live/element.yoursite.com/
    • ./acme.sh --install-cert -d element.yoursite.com --cert-file /etc/zerossl/live/element.yoursite.com/cert.pem --key-file /etc/zerossl/live/element.yoursite.com/privkey.pem --fullchain-file /etc/zerossl/live/element.yoursite.com/fullchain.pem --ca-file /etc/zerossl/live/element.yoursite.com/chain.pem --reloadcmd "service nginx force-reload"
  2. Create Element Web Directory

    • mkdir /var/wwww/element
    • sudo --user elementweb mv /home/elementweb/element /var/www/
  3. Update element nginx conf

    • sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/element.yoursite.com
server {
    listen 80;
    listen [::]:80;
    server_name element.yoursite.com;

    return 301 https://$host$request_uri;

    access_log off;
    error_log off;
    server_tokens off;
}

server {
    listen 443 ssl http2;
    listen [::]:443 ssl http2;
    server_name element.yoursite.com;

    ssl on;
    ssl_certificate /etc/zerossl/live/element.yoursite.com/fullchain.pem;
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/zerossl/live/element.yoursite.com/privkey.pem;

    ssl_protocols TLSv1.2 TLSv1.3;
    ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;
    ssl_ciphers "ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA512:DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA512:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384";
    ssl_session_timeout 1d;
    ssl_session_cache shared:MozSSL:10m;  # about 40000 sessions
    ssl_session_tickets off;
    
    gzip on;
    gzip_disable "msie6";
    gzip_vary on;
    gzip_proxied any;
    gzip_min_length 1024;
    gzip_comp_level 6;
    gzip_buffers 16 8k;
    gzip_http_version 1.1;
    gzip_types text/plain text/css application/json application/javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript;

    access_log off;
    error_log off;
    server_tokens off;

    add_header X-Frame-Options SAMEORIGIN;
    add_header X-Content-Type-Options nosniff;
    add_header X-XSS-Protection "1; mode=block";
    add_header Content-Security-Policy "frame-ancestors 'none'";
    add_header Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=63072000" always;

    index index.html;
    root /var/www/element;

    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ =404;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $remote_addr;
    }
}
  1. Restart nginx
    • sudo service nginx restart

Automate Cert Renewals using DNS API

  1. /root/acme.sh/./acme.sh --issue --dns dns_njalla -d yoursite.com --server zerossl && /root/acme.sh/./acme.sh --install-cert -d yoursite.com --cert-file /etc/zerossl/live/yoursite.com/cert.pem --key-file /etc/zerossl/live/yoursite.com/privkey.pem --fullchain-file /etc/zerossl/live/yoursite.com/fullchain.pem --ca-file /etc/zerossl/live/yoursite.com/chain.pem --reloadcmd "service nginx force-reload && cp /etc/zerossl/live/yoursite.com/fullchain.pem /etc/coturn/certs/ && cp /etc/zerossl/live/yoursite.com/privkey.pem /etc/coturn/certs/ && service coturn force-reload && service coturn restart"

  2. /root/acme.sh/./acme.sh --issue --dns dns_njalla -d element.yoursite.com --server zerossl && /root/acme.sh/./acme.sh --install-cert -d element.yoursite.com --cert-file /etc/zerossl/live/element.yoursite.com/cert.pem --key-file /etc/zerossl/live/element.yoursite.com/privkey.pem --fullchain-file /etc/zerossl/live/element.yoursite.com/fullchain.pem --ca-file /etc/zerossl/live/element.yoursite.com/chain.pem --reloadcmd "service nginx force-reload"

  3. acme cron should now do the renewals automatically

Congrats! Enjoy your new server!