My own Matrix id

Another step in my personal quest to own my own (online) identity and control my own data.

One of the most important Internet developments these days is the Matrix. Think about how email is not controlled by any single provider: you can message any other user of the system, no matter which company you choose to host your account, and no matter what software you use to access it, commercial or open-source, free or paid. Matrix is like that, but for instant messaging and voice/video calls (and potentially much more).

This week I set up my own copy of the Matrix server software at home. Why? Not because I like running servers — I’d rather somebody else did it for me. What I do want is ownership of my user identifier. Just as now I use an email address
    julian@foad.me.uk
instead of one like …@gmail.com that’s totally under the control of a third party, so too I now have a Matrix id in my own domain
    @julian:foad.me.uk

Right now, running my own server is the way to achieve that. In future it should be possible to register an account with my own user identity on a server run by somebody else. For email, I use julian@foad.me.uk but I don’t run the email server software on my own domain, I pay another company to host it for me. That option is not yet mature in Matrix.

I would like to detail how I set up my server but although I got it working I can’t recommend the way I did it this time. I’m going to set it up again, and this time I will use https://github.com/spantaleev/matrix-docker-ansible-deploy which appears to be by far the best available guide or method.


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