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Working solutions for Instant messaging?

asked 2017-10-29 10:43:32 +0200

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updated 2017-10-30 19:16:13 +0200

bennypr0fane gravatar image

Here I want to collect solutions for IM that use the protocol and work in SailfishOS, or can be expected to work soon. I haven't tested any of them, so I'm just listing approaches I know about so far and hope some people can report usage experience in the answers Here's the information I've collected about the topic so far:

  • Matrix-plugin for libpurple, which somehow works with Sailfish's built-in Telepathy implementation.

  • Sailfish version of Tensor, a Qt-based matrix client (separate TJC-thread here)

  •, a full-blown implementation of Matrix-based messaging, including video call via WebRTC. Currently only Android and web clients. Has anyone tried it under Sailfish?

Keep in mind Matrix is not just text messages. It supports file sharing, conferences. In your answers, please include which features are supported by the solution you mention. Encryption is also a topic of interest, of course. Ideally, we would get a solution that is as full-featured as, including voice and video calls! In, that's accomplished by including WebRTC functionality that uses Matrix as a signalling layer.

Feel free to add other things you find, and of course report your experiences!

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We have a working client only we have some work to do for it would be compleed.

Xray2000 ( 2017-10-29 15:10:20 +0200 )edit

@Xray2000 i'll work with the libqmatrixclient developer and see if we can get the latest library in there, it would also be better to set that up as a git submodule in the project

r0kk3rz ( 2017-10-29 17:54:06 +0200 )edit

If you could integrate it into the Sailfish messages app that would be perfect. The greatest feature for me is to have all conversations in one place (SMS, XMPP, Matrix, whatever the future may bring).

inta ( 2017-10-29 20:16:44 +0200 )edit

@r0kk3rz that would be great thanks!!!

Xray2000 ( 2017-10-29 23:11:36 +0200 )edit

@Xray2000, why don't you put it in an answer for better visibility? Please mention which features of Matrix you plan to support.

bennypr0fane ( 2017-10-30 19:11:52 +0200 )edit

10 Answers

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answered 2019-01-30 10:15:32 +0200

this post is marked as community wiki

This post is a wiki. Anyone with karma >75 is welcome to improve it.

updated 2019-01-30 14:10:36 +0200

There is a Qt library called libQMatrixClient.
It is reported to be working on Ubuntu Touch.
Getting it to run in a native Sailfish app via static linking shouldn't be to hard.

If I do understand right having a working Matrix client on Sailfish could provide a native WhatsApp client via the Matrix-WhatsApp puppeting bridge?

I hope I'll find some time to dig in it someday but currently I'm busy with other projects.

UPDATE: As stated by @BonoNL there is already a project:

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I did not know about until I saw this interesting video from 35C3.

scharelc ( 2019-01-30 10:17:57 +0200 )edit

Its really interesting this matrix watsapp thing. Im not sure how it works but would this be the method by which sailfish os can have native watsapp??

jason roland ( 2019-01-30 21:34:29 +0200 )edit

I am running my own matrix homeserver and using this mautrix-whatsapp bridge. No, you are still need the official whatsapp application (ios, android or any android emulator on your phone/computer/server) to use this bridge. Tulir's bridge doesn't violate whatsapp rules. and users can test my bot if they using matrix and whatsapp clients simultaneous.

Communication between matrix and whatsapp users is very sophisticated: (source ).

fLegmatik ( 2019-01-31 07:00:33 +0200 )edit

Ok, thank you for the clarification!

  1. Running my own Bridge should be doable on my hosted VM.
  2. (Android) WhatsApp can run on my old Jolla1 at home on my WLAN to have an official client somewhere.
  3. Than I can use Matrix to access WhatsApp on my SailfishX devices.

I hope I'll find the time to set this setting up soon.

scharelc ( 2019-01-31 10:57:34 +0200 )edit

answered 2019-03-31 20:50:58 +0200

cy8aer gravatar image

updated 2019-03-31 20:53:25 +0200

It is far away from beeing ready, but - based on matrix-python-sdk. I am just experimenting with the e2e_beta_2 branch...

But non crypto chat already works...

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Finally a native Matrix that works! Never got the alternatives to run on my Jolla. So thanks a lot from me!

DrAtomkraft ( 2019-04-28 23:50:17 +0200 )edit

answered 2019-02-10 00:47:44 +0200

Firefox84 gravatar image

Have you heard the news that french government wants to switch all internal governmental communication to Matrix? This makes millions of new users. And when the people get used to a new solution they will perhaps also use it in their private communication. If now other governments, organizations and corporations would start to switch. Maybe we could build a true competitor to Whatsapp:

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Vive la France! :-D

1984 ( 2019-02-10 11:36:46 +0200 )edit

That's a link from last year, but I looked it up and apparently they have actually started using it. Great news, hopefully other big players will use (and contribute to) it, too.

nthn ( 2019-02-10 13:13:41 +0200 )edit

answered 2019-09-22 15:38:44 +0200

Unkraut gravatar image

I also started to write a basic matrix Client for sailfish. At the moment you can

  • send and receive unencrypted messages (text, image, video, file)
  • send and receive redactions
  • send and receive invitations
  • set favourites
  • create and leave rooms

Be warned: As this is my very first QML App (and ist pure QML), expect many bugs...

If you still want to try, you find the code on gitlab:

Please use gitlab tracker if you would like to report bugs (I won't answer questions here)

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Thanks Do you provide rpm somewhere for testing ?

kaulian ( 2019-09-22 23:41:44 +0200 )edit

Please see the wiki on gitlab:

Unkraut ( 2019-09-23 18:13:21 +0200 )edit

Thanks, i will test it

kaulian ( 2019-09-23 19:33:31 +0200 )edit

answered 2017-10-30 16:42:06 +0200

Mister_Magister gravatar image

updated 2017-10-30 16:42:36 +0200

App is not ready but yeah is working too in Morsender (it's using libpurple plugin).

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answered 2018-02-20 15:42:58 +0200

pakman gravatar image

Another not-yet-ready possibility for the future: Transponder with a matrix client. See the Transponder thread on TMO, in particular

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The github page of this version is marked as archived. Github. So it may be useless to wait for this...

yajo ( 2019-03-31 19:30:54 +0200 )edit

answered 2019-02-23 11:09:25 +0200

Firefox84 gravatar image

Seems that further support is coming, KDE is also adapting the protocol :)

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answered 2019-07-26 17:24:42 +0200

mijutu gravatar image

updated 2019-09-04 23:50:48 +0200

I wrote this matrix-xmpp-filter:

Run it (and perhaps prosody too) on a server somewhere and you don't need to have any matrix application running on the phone. It will forward matrix messages from multiple matrix accounts and multiple matrix rooms to a single xmpp user (no need for MUCs).

Matrix room for further development and other dicussion is

Update (2019-09-04): matrix-xmpp-filter can now be used as an xmpp server. In this mode each matrix room will have its own xmpp conversation.

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answered 2018-02-20 15:37:26 +0200

bennypr0fane gravatar image

updated 2018-02-20 15:39:24 +0200

For the Android client I can report that all features are working on the Jolla 1! I installed it from the f-droid-repository - this version doesn't launch automatically at OS startup - autostart needs to be enabled in settings!

Apparently this is supposed to be a battery saving measure because the f-droid version regularly polls the server and hence has more background activity than the Google Play version, which features push via GCM and has Google Anayltics.

At the first few tries, some UI elements like the in-app back button weren't visible (but working when you tapped that area where they're supposed to be), but later this problem went away somehow. I made video calls, sent text messages and have multiple devices signed in with the same account. Haven't tried sending files from Jolla phone.

Encryption is disabled by default, enabling it requires a number of steps, but it's basically like tapping "OK" many times.

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I find that on Sailfish X has two serious drawbacks:

  • I don't get notified of new content (even when I enable in Android app notifications)
  • VOIP calls to me fail (I answer, but the caller still hears the ringtone).

I'm hoping that the improved Android support later this year will help, if no other solutions become available.

pakman ( 2018-02-20 15:46:47 +0200 )edit

That's crazy for the VoIP stuff:

  • Jolla1: Only Voice working (video crashes)
  • JollaC: Both, audio and video works
  • XA2: crashes on both! Probably beta problems?
cy8aer ( 2019-02-10 18:55:22 +0200 )edit

@pakman, @cy8aer, I fear it has nothing to do with how Sailfish handles it. The problem are probably in Matrix itself, see my answer below. The protocol is officially out of beta, only encryption is still beta.

bennypr0fane ( 2019-03-30 18:05:28 +0200 )edit

answered 2019-03-30 17:59:46 +0200

bennypr0fane gravatar image

updated 2019-03-30 18:06:27 +0200

I regret having to say that I've become very frustrated with Riot/Matrix. It seems to have severe problems that render it less useful for real-time messaging than an IMAP e-mail server with Push service. That's a way more reliable way of getting messages delivered immediately, on any device, with any client, with notifications and all. Thing is, most of my contacts (different Android versions and devices, also iOS) never even receive notifications when they are messaged - there's a couple of contacts I can actually use Riot with. The same is true for me on Jolla1 with Riot - it never gets notified of new messages, unless one actively opens the client. It doesn't matter at all whether one uses the Play store version or F-Droid. My Sony XperiaX (Android!) always receives notifications, but they never make a sound, no settings tweaking can fix it. There have been no updates on the bugs I posted to Riot Github for months. I can't believe they are seriously marketing this as a solution for groups and teams in a professional context! I've stopped recommending Riot/Matrix to anyone, because like I said, e-mail is just way better. Bug reports here: #2800 and #2759 I'm just hoping the French can fix it and make Matrix an actual thing...

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They are working on a new Android client (riotx). Maybe thats why they are slow to respond. ( 2019-03-31 19:18:25 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2017-10-29 10:43:32 +0200

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Last updated: Sep 22