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What is it?

Matrix is a next generation communication protocol with the end goal of being a open standard for secure, decentralised, real-time communication. Part of what makes Matrix interesting is how the protocol was designed with bridging in mind, and one of these bridges is for IRC. AfterNET has decided to stand up our own federated Matrix home server with bridging to the IRC network to expand on available ways to communicate / participate through the AfterNET community. Think of Matrix as basically Slack / Discord, only its open in both its protocol and source, it also permits federation with other servers / communities.

Matrix is in active development and items and names of components may change over time, for progress reports you can view their This Week in Matrix blog posts.

What do I need to do to use the AfterNET home server?

Before you can use the AfterNET home server you need to have an account with us. Currently you can do this by registering an account with our IRC services. Once you've done this your options include:

  • Element - Web-client built by the roughly the same team behind Matrix.
    • NOTE By default they use their home server, in order to use ours click Sign In, then click Change and make sure is put in for the Homeserver URL
  • Element-desktop - Same but packaged as an electron app so you don't need to go to their website. See note from above as well.
  • Our own hosted instance of Element - Same as above but configured for our homeserver by default.
  • Android and iOS versions are also available.
  • There are multiple other clients available but Element is the most feature-rich due to it being from the same team as Matrix, You can view a list of them here.

First Login With Element

Because Matrix aims to be secure one of the first things it will do the first time you log in is to setup your security key. This will just be another password used in the event you need to restore your key should you lose it due to data loss or corruption. You can also use it to verify your login if you're doing a second login via another computer or mobile device (cross-signing).

Getting Around

Once you get in you'll be greeted by a message telling you to find a room or begin a room. In order to search for rooms go ahead and click on the room explorer icon: A window will open showing all publicly listed rooms on the homeserver:

By default you are seeing all rooms listed on AfterNET's homeserver. We also have our web client configured to allow you to view the rooms on Matrix's homeserver and other clients can add different servers as well. To do so click the dropdown Matrix rooms, for our hosted Element you can select and view their rooms or you can select Add a new server and enter a server such as Mozilla's server at

Room and Account Names

  • Matrix rooms utilize the following format, also called an alias: #roomname:homeserver.tld
  • Matrix accounts utilize the following format: @account:homeserver.tld
  • AfterNET IRC bridged rooms utilize the following format:
  • Other bridged networks and their room formats are available here.

Matrix's core team started off using IRC, as a result getting around or running rooms is fairly similar. If you want to join a room its /join #room:homeserver.tld, to leave /part. If you wish to send a direct message to someone use /query @account:homeserver.tld

Managing Rooms

Matrix breaks users down into three categories for room members: Administrator, Moderator and User. To tell who is what level simply look at the member list and their status will be on the right side of their name in Element. The categories are also denoted by a numerical value of 0-100 called Power Levels: 0-49 - User, 50-99 - Moderator and 100 - Administrator. These power levels come into play when configuring a rooms roles and permissions.

When you create a room you are by default a room Administrator but do be careful when changing power levels especially on yourself. If you were to lower yourself from 100 to anything less you cannot get 100 again and AfterNET staff will not be able to do so for you as well due to the federated nature of Matrix. You will need someone else in the room who is an Administrator to set you back to 100.

In order to modify a room's setting, in Element, click on the gear icon in the top right which will open the room settings.

General Settings

This tab contains all the generic room settings such as name, topic, icon, you can also add the room alias, make the room public or private on the room explorer, flair from communities (still under heavy work), enable/disable url and image previews for yourself or as a default for new members joining the room and leave the room.

Security & Privacy

The next tab, Security & Privacy, determines who can join the room, who can read the history of the room and whether or not the enable full encryption (you can only turn this on, it cannot be turned off) Do not enable encryption on rooms that are bridged to IRC as this will make the bridge in that room fail to function.

Roles & Permission

This tab is where you will define who can do what in your room or the room you are managing. This is also a way to reference who has what power levels that is non-default (0), by selecting custom level you can set a power level value different than 0, 50 and 100.

Notifications and Advanced

These final two tabs are more for you and advanced users. Notifications defines the notification sound you'll hear if you get one on this room. Advanced will show you the current room version, the room's ID on the server and the dev tools which will give you a deep dive into the room's current state and settings. You should avoid devtools unless you know what you are doing.

Room Members / Users

Users in Element are listed on the right-hand side for the room. Clicking on a user provides more information on that user as well as commands you can do that will affect the user, ie: kick / ban. Depending on room settings and your powerlevel you can also mute and remove recent messages from a user.

Normal users can view this as well, however the Admin Tools will not be available to them. This is also where you can set a user's power level, simply click on the edit icon next to the level.

Verify sessions allows you to confirm that this user is who they say they are.

Other Room Items

Commands you can use to manage the room:

  • /op <user> [PL] - Gives the user power level 50 unless another PL is specified.
  • /deop <user> - Sets their power level to Default (0)
  • /kick <user> [reason] - Removes a user room the room
  • /ban <user> [reason] - Bans a user room the room
  • /unban <user> - Removes a user ban
  • /topic <topic - Sets the room's topic