Installation Instructions

Choosing your server name

It is important to choose the name for your server before you install Synapse, because it cannot be changed later.

The server name determines the "domain" part of user-ids for users on your server: these will all be of the format It also determines how other matrix servers will reach yours for federation.

For a test configuration, set this to the hostname of your server. For a more production-ready setup, you will probably want to specify your domain ( rather than a matrix-specific hostname here (in the same way that your email address is probably rather than - but doing so may require more advanced setup: see Setting up Federation.

Installing Synapse

Prebuilt packages

Prebuilt packages are available for a number of platforms. These are recommended for most users.

Docker images and Ansible playbooks

There is an official synapse image available at which can be used with the docker-compose file available at contrib/docker. Further information on this including configuration options is available in the README on

Alternatively, Andreas Peters (previously Silvio Fricke) has contributed a Dockerfile to automate a synapse server in a single Docker image, at

Slavi Pantaleev has created an Ansible playbook, which installs the offical Docker image of Matrix Synapse along with many other Matrix-related services (Postgres database, Element, coturn, ma1sd, SSL support, etc.). For more details, see

Debian/Ubuntu packages provides Debian/Ubuntu packages of Synapse, for the amd64 architecture via

To install the latest release:

sudo apt install -y lsb-release wget apt-transport-https
sudo wget -O /usr/share/keyrings/matrix-org-archive-keyring.gpg
echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/matrix-org-archive-keyring.gpg] $(lsb_release -cs) main" |
    sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/matrix-org.list
sudo apt update
sudo apt install matrix-synapse-py3

Packages are also published for release candidates. To enable the prerelease channel, add prerelease to the sources.list line. For example:

sudo wget -O /usr/share/keyrings/matrix-org-archive-keyring.gpg
echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/matrix-org-archive-keyring.gpg] $(lsb_release -cs) main prerelease" |
    sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/matrix-org.list
sudo apt update
sudo apt install matrix-synapse-py3

The fingerprint of the repository signing key (as shown by gpg /usr/share/keyrings/matrix-org-archive-keyring.gpg) is AAF9AE843A7584B5A3E4CD2BCF45A512DE2DA058.

When installing with Debian packages, you might prefer to place files in /etc/matrix-synapse/conf.d/ to override your configuration without editing the main configuration file at /etc/matrix-synapse/homeserver.yaml. By doing that, you won't be asked if you want to replace your configuration file when you upgrade the Debian package to a later version.

Downstream Debian packages

We do not recommend using the packages from the default Debian buster repository at this time, as they are old and suffer from known security vulnerabilities. You can install the latest version of Synapse from our repository or from buster-backports. Please see the Debian documentation for information on how to use backports.

If you are using Debian sid or testing, Synapse is available in the default repositories and it should be possible to install it simply with:

sudo apt install matrix-synapse
Downstream Ubuntu packages

We do not recommend using the packages in the default Ubuntu repository at this time, as they are old and suffer from known security vulnerabilities. The latest version of Synapse can be installed from our repository.


Synapse is in the Fedora repositories as matrix-synapse:

sudo dnf install matrix-synapse

Oleg Girko provides Fedora RPMs at


Synapse is in the OpenSUSE repositories as matrix-synapse:

sudo zypper install matrix-synapse

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

Unofficial package are built for SLES 15 in the openSUSE:Backports:SLE-15 repository at


The quickest way to get up and running with ArchLinux is probably with the community package, which should pull in most of the necessary dependencies.

pip may be outdated (6.0.7-1 and needs to be upgraded to 6.0.8-1 ):

sudo pip install --upgrade pip

If you encounter an error with lib bcrypt causing an Wrong ELF Class: ELFCLASS32 (x64 Systems), you may need to reinstall py-bcrypt to correctly compile it under the right architecture. (This should not be needed if installing under virtualenv):

sudo pip uninstall py-bcrypt
sudo pip install py-bcrypt

Void Linux

Synapse can be found in the void repositories as 'synapse':

xbps-install -Su
xbps-install -S synapse


Synapse can be installed via FreeBSD Ports or Packages contributed by Brendan Molloy from:

  • Ports: cd /usr/ports/net-im/py-matrix-synapse && make install clean
  • Packages: pkg install py37-matrix-synapse


As of OpenBSD 6.7 Synapse is available as a pre-compiled binary. The filesystem underlying the homeserver directory (defaults to /var/synapse) has to be mounted with wxallowed (cf. mount(8)), so creating a separate filesystem and mounting it to /var/synapse should be taken into consideration.

Installing Synapse:

doas pkg_add synapse


Robin Lambertz has packaged Synapse for NixOS at:

Installing as a Python module from PyPI

It's also possible to install Synapse as a Python module from PyPI.

When following this route please make sure that the Platform-specific prerequisites are already installed.

System requirements:

  • POSIX-compliant system (tested on Linux & OS X)
  • Python 3.6 or later, up to Python 3.9.
  • At least 1GB of free RAM if you want to join large public rooms like

To install the Synapse homeserver run:

mkdir -p ~/synapse
virtualenv -p python3 ~/synapse/env
source ~/synapse/env/bin/activate
pip install --upgrade pip
pip install --upgrade setuptools
pip install matrix-synapse

This will download Synapse from PyPI and install it, along with the python libraries it uses, into a virtual environment under ~/synapse/env. Feel free to pick a different directory if you prefer.

This Synapse installation can then be later upgraded by using pip again with the update flag:

source ~/synapse/env/bin/activate
pip install -U matrix-synapse

Before you can start Synapse, you will need to generate a configuration file. To do this, run (in your virtualenv, as before):

cd ~/synapse
python -m \
    --server-name \
    --config-path homeserver.yaml \
    --generate-config \

... substituting an appropriate value for --server-name.

This command will generate you a config file that you can then customise, but it will also generate a set of keys for you. These keys will allow your homeserver to identify itself to other homeserver, so don't lose or delete them. It would be wise to back them up somewhere safe. (If, for whatever reason, you do need to change your homeserver's keys, you may find that other homeserver have the old key cached. If you update the signing key, you should change the name of the key in the <server name>.signing.key file (the second word) to something different. See the spec for more information on key management).

To actually run your new homeserver, pick a working directory for Synapse to run (e.g. ~/synapse), and:

cd ~/synapse
source env/bin/activate
synctl start

Platform-specific prerequisites

Synapse is written in Python but some of the libraries it uses are written in C. So before we can install Synapse itself we need a working C compiler and the header files for Python C extensions.


Installing prerequisites on Ubuntu or Debian:

sudo apt install build-essential python3-dev libffi-dev \
                     python3-pip python3-setuptools sqlite3 \
                     libssl-dev virtualenv libjpeg-dev libxslt1-dev

Installing prerequisites on ArchLinux:

sudo pacman -S base-devel python python-pip \
               python-setuptools python-virtualenv sqlite3

Installing prerequisites on CentOS or Fedora Linux:

sudo dnf install libtiff-devel libjpeg-devel libzip-devel freetype-devel \
                 libwebp-devel libxml2-devel libxslt-devel libpq-devel \
                 python3-virtualenv libffi-devel openssl-devel python3-devel
sudo dnf groupinstall "Development Tools"

Installing prerequisites on macOS:

You may need to install the latest Xcode developer tools:

xcode-select --install

On ARM-based Macs you may need to explicitly install libjpeg which is a pillow dependency. You can use Homebrew (

 brew install jpeg

On macOS Catalina (10.15) you may need to explicitly install OpenSSL via brew and inform pip about it so that psycopg2 builds:

brew install openssl@1.1
export LDFLAGS="-L/usr/local/opt/openssl/lib"
export CPPFLAGS="-I/usr/local/opt/openssl/include"

Installing prerequisites on openSUSE:

sudo zypper in -t pattern devel_basis
sudo zypper in python-pip python-setuptools sqlite3 python-virtualenv \
               python-devel libffi-devel libopenssl-devel libjpeg62-devel

A port of Synapse is available under net/synapse. The filesystem underlying the homeserver directory (defaults to /var/synapse) has to be mounted with wxallowed (cf. mount(8)), so creating a separate filesystem and mounting it to /var/synapse should be taken into consideration.

To be able to build Synapse's dependency on python the WRKOBJDIR (cf. for building python, too, needs to be on a filesystem mounted with wxallowed (cf. mount(8)).

Creating a WRKOBJDIR for building python under /usr/local (which on a default OpenBSD installation is mounted with wxallowed):

doas mkdir /usr/local/pobj_wxallowed

Assuming PORTS_PRIVSEP=Yes (cf. and SUDO=doas are configured in /etc/mk.conf:

doas chown _pbuild:_pbuild /usr/local/pobj_wxallowed

Setting the WRKOBJDIR for building python:

echo WRKOBJDIR_lang/python/3.7=/usr/local/pobj_wxallowed  \\nWRKOBJDIR_lang/python/2.7=/usr/local/pobj_wxallowed >> /etc/mk.conf

Building Synapse:

cd /usr/ports/net/synapse
make install

Running Synapse natively on Windows is not officially supported.

If you wish to run or develop Synapse on Windows, the Windows Subsystem for Linux provides a Linux environment which is capable of using the Debian, Fedora, or source installation methods. More information about WSL can be found at for Windows 10/11 and for Windows Server.

Setting up Synapse

Once you have installed synapse as above, you will need to configure it.

Using PostgreSQL

By default Synapse uses an SQLite database and in doing so trades performance for convenience. Almost all installations should opt to use PostgreSQL instead. Advantages include:

  • significant performance improvements due to the superior threading and caching model, smarter query optimiser
  • allowing the DB to be run on separate hardware

For information on how to install and use PostgreSQL in Synapse, please see Using Postgres

SQLite is only acceptable for testing purposes. SQLite should not be used in a production server. Synapse will perform poorly when using SQLite, especially when participating in large rooms.

TLS certificates

The default configuration exposes a single HTTP port on the local interface: http://localhost:8008. It is suitable for local testing, but for any practical use, you will need Synapse's APIs to be served over HTTPS.

The recommended way to do so is to set up a reverse proxy on port 8448. You can find documentation on doing so in the reverse proxy documentation.

Alternatively, you can configure Synapse to expose an HTTPS port. To do so, you will need to edit homeserver.yaml, as follows:

  • First, under the listeners section, uncomment the configuration for the TLS-enabled listener. (Remove the hash sign (#) at the start of each line). The relevant lines are like this:
  - port: 8448
    type: http
    tls: true
      - names: [client, federation]
  • You will also need to uncomment the tls_certificate_path and tls_private_key_path lines under the TLS section. You will need to manage provisioning of these certificates yourself.

    If you are using your own certificate, be sure to use a .pem file that includes the full certificate chain including any intermediate certificates (for instance, if using certbot, use fullchain.pem as your certificate, not cert.pem).

For a more detailed guide to configuring your server for federation, see Federation.

Client Well-Known URI

Setting up the client Well-Known URI is optional but if you set it up, it will allow users to enter their full username (e.g. @user:<server_name>) into clients which support well-known lookup to automatically configure the homeserver and identity server URLs. This is useful so that users don't have to memorize or think about the actual homeserver URL you are using.

The URL https://<server_name>/.well-known/matrix/client should return JSON in the following format.

  "m.homeserver": {
    "base_url": "https://<>"

It can optionally contain identity server information as well.

  "m.homeserver": {
    "base_url": "https://<>"
  "m.identity_server": {
    "base_url": "https://<>"

To work in browser based clients, the file must be served with the appropriate Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) headers. A recommended value would be Access-Control-Allow-Origin: * which would allow all browser based clients to view it.

In nginx this would be something like:

location /.well-known/matrix/client {
    return 200 '{"m.homeserver": {"base_url": "https://<>"}}';
    default_type application/json;
    add_header Access-Control-Allow-Origin *;

You should also ensure the public_baseurl option in homeserver.yaml is set correctly. public_baseurl should be set to the URL that clients will use to connect to your server. This is the same URL you put for the m.homeserver base_url above.

public_baseurl: "https://<>"


It is desirable for Synapse to have the capability to send email. This allows Synapse to send password reset emails, send verifications when an email address is added to a user's account, and send email notifications to users when they receive new messages.

To configure an SMTP server for Synapse, modify the configuration section headed email, and be sure to have at least the smtp_host, smtp_port and notif_from fields filled out. You may also need to set smtp_user, smtp_pass, and require_transport_security.

If email is not configured, password reset, registration and notifications via email will be disabled.

Registering a user

The easiest way to create a new user is to do so from a client like Element.

Alternatively, you can do so from the command line. This can be done as follows:

  1. If synapse was installed via pip, activate the virtualenv as follows (if Synapse was installed via a prebuilt package, register_new_matrix_user should already be on the search path):
    cd ~/synapse
    source env/bin/activate
    synctl start # if not already running
  2. Run the following command:
    register_new_matrix_user -c homeserver.yaml http://localhost:8008

This will prompt you to add details for the new user, and will then connect to the running Synapse to create the new user. For example:

New user localpart: erikj
Confirm password:
Make admin [no]:

This process uses a setting registration_shared_secret in homeserver.yaml, which is shared between Synapse itself and the register_new_matrix_user script. It doesn't matter what it is (a random value is generated by --generate-config), but it should be kept secret, as anyone with knowledge of it can register users, including admin accounts, on your server even if enable_registration is false.

Setting up a TURN server

For reliable VoIP calls to be routed via this homeserver, you MUST configure a TURN server. See TURN setup for details.

URL previews

Synapse includes support for previewing URLs, which is disabled by default. To turn it on you must enable the url_preview_enabled: True config parameter and explicitly specify the IP ranges that Synapse is not allowed to spider for previewing in the url_preview_ip_range_blacklist configuration parameter. This is critical from a security perspective to stop arbitrary Matrix users spidering 'internal' URLs on your network. At the very least we recommend that your loopback and RFC1918 IP addresses are blacklisted.

This also requires the optional lxml python dependency to be installed. This in turn requires the libxml2 library to be available - on Debian/Ubuntu this means apt-get install libxml2-dev, or equivalent for your OS.

Troubleshooting Installation

pip seems to leak lots of memory during installation. For instance, a Linux host with 512MB of RAM may run out of memory whilst installing Twisted. If this happens, you will have to individually install the dependencies which are failing, e.g.:

pip install twisted

If you have any other problems, feel free to ask in