Modern Communication Platforms - Call for Feedback

You may have given away part of the answer yourself :slight_smile: There are quite a few platforms you mentioned, which are all valuable in their own way. You are right that these provide much opportunity for Canonical to interact with the community, and I do believe we have quite a few people discussing on those platforms. However, if we go for an individual solution per team then we’re fragmenting where teams can be interacted with. It means some people might miss out on important conversations simply because they weren’t aware of the platform being used. The most common denominator right now for synchronous communication is IRC. There is a barrier of entry for IRC that I’d like to reduce, and IRCv3 simply isn’t there yet. (nickserv? SASL? how do I get scrollback? Oh a bouncer, how do I enable that? How do I do a group DM? …)

If a team at Canonical tells me they’d like to interact more with the community, I’d like to point them to one service. If a community member tells me they’d like to chat with others in the community including Canonical, I’d like there to be one “official” answer for the community that is easily accessible.

This is not about controlling the medium. We very much intend to make the community part of the moderation and decision process, just like it has been before with IRC. This is about finding a more modern communication platform that enables many more people to contribute.


It has been announced that Libera is deportalling the Matrix bridge effective August 14th, meaning that all IRC channels will no longer be automatically bridged to Matrix (you’ll no longer be able to join from Matrix via e.g. /join, and any channel you joined via that method you will lose access). Instead, any channel that wishes to be bridged to Matrix must now be plumbed manually and therefore opt-in to the bridge. This is in effort to reduce the issues with the bridge and how buggy it has been in the past to keep a global portalled bridge running.

Therefore, under this proposal, this implies that every Ubuntu IRC channel must now be plumbed to Matrix or lose connectivity to Libera IRC chat. Therefore, we now have a bit of a deadline for this proposal, and I suggest acting quickly without delay.

If you need assistance with plumbing, I’m more than happy to help, but it does require moderator access in a created Matrix room (not simply a portalled room) and operator access in the corresponding IRC channel.


I just want to make a note that Lubuntu bridges IRC and Telegram without issue, in fact Ubuntu Testers on Telegram is bridged with the ubuntu bridge bot (which I run) to IRC and works pretty well. It uses Matterbridge as the core software to do the bridging and that integrates with a variety of platforms, so if bridging various platforms together is important, we can do that. Matrix is the only one with Matrix <–> IRC as a service offering, but we can easily set up the bridge bot with an account on Matrix and elsewhere to be a bridge. Lubuntu has been doing that for years, and it’s been pretty stable.

Wherever the communication platform ends up, it should be noted that the others may still have some level of relevance and if we need to bridge between the platforms we can - the ubuntubridgebot on IRC run by me as an ‘official bot’ for Ubuntu can be used to bridge the various platforms for official channels when we have a decision on if we have a final platform we want to start migrating to and then just use the rest as ‘bridged’.

This “bridge bot” is easily configurable to use any individual endpoint that Matterbridge supports too, and I run it as an “official bot” as well so even if we choose a new primary location (say a Canonical-run Matrix server or similar), we can still use that to bridge the relevant rooms.


I’ve been a Matrix user since 2020 shortly after they came out of beta. I started with a small Linux community instance, then migrated my small business to it, and have since migrated many companies that now rely on Matrix as their primary mode of communication for their organization.

I’d be the first to admit early on, there was significant friction from the standpoint of moderation and the user experience. It was a tool for geeks, “normal” people struggled with it. That was almost 4 years ago, here are some factors to consider based on what the experience of Matrix is like today…

  • Network Effect (Federation) - There is a tremendous benefit to allowing people to join and connect to a conference remotely without having to create an instance specific account. This was hugely successful at FOSDEM and again at Southeast Linuxfest. It provided an easy on ramp for people to join from their existing server. Indeed many of the remote attendees were via federation and were NOT on the event instance.

  • Security – From the perspective of the team hosting, Matrix provides the necessary encryption to quickly and easily exchange sensitive information such as attendee PII or credentials. The keys for the rooms can be easily destroyed creating an easy path to exchange information securely.

  • Longevity - Matrix provides a robust ability to create and maintain contacts AFTER the conference is over. Small groups spin up, small focus rooms are created, and those relationships live far beyond the walls of the conference venue. This is not true with event specific instances on other platforms. You’re either making a trade by way of keeping an event specific instance online after the conference, or you’re relying on a cloud service to provide the communication.

  • Exploration & Discovery - Spaces allow for the conference to be presented to those who join us virtually similarly to how we would interact with a conference in person, ie: you can join a space, browse the available rooms, join the ones of interest to you.

  • Many Clients - There are a number of clients that focus on a range of user experiences. For example, if you find encryption to be a struggle, there are plenty of clients that either handle the setup of encryption much more cleanly then Element proper (Beeper / Syphon come to mind) or disable it entirely, which would not be inappropriate for a public conference.

  • Bridging – I’ve seen numerous posts that reference the stability of bridging. I would bet that those bridges are not self hosted meaning the experience is representative of a free public bridge and NOT a instance specific bridge. I have my instance bridged to Telegram, Signal, IRC, iMessage, Slack, Discord, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram.

For those that have struggled with room moderation I would ask when was the last time you’ve tried Matrix? Every few weeks there are updates and the platform grows and is increasingly better. Obviously, opening an instance up to federation without any restrictions means that anyone from any instance is able to join. There are ways to prevent unrestricted federation if that is our goal, but it’s important to note this isn’t a shortcoming of Matrix, indeed it’s the natural consequence of unrestricted federation. Additionally there are many add-on tools that can be leveraged to make room moderation a breeze.


@ilvipero, you asked us for feedback eight weeks ago and we provided it, including @kernellinux’s excellent summary two weeks ago. I’m confident that no-one here or at Canonical will accuse you of rushing the discussion by contributing your first follow-up to your own thread now.

It’s good to see that continues to post, though it is very much a notification channel which solicits traffic to other places and fails to engage anyone in the Fediverse. Meanwhile folks continue to work on the Ubuntu Matrix Room and the unfortunately named Ubuntu Space Space, the Ubuntu (Linux) and other Communities, Ubuntu Magazine and elsewhere.

PS. is soliciting new memberships, but appears to be failing to deliver the confirmation emails necessary for review.

Thank you all for sharing your stories of success and pointing out some of the problems with Matrix! I really appreciate the engagement.

There are many helpful comments and interesting ideas here. I will discuss some of them in this thread. If we notice that there are multiple discussions going on at once, we can break up the thread as needed.

I’m excited to see that @nbuechner is working with other admins to manage the Ubuntu space. I joined the space, and I am relieved to see that moderation is working well, even though federation is on. I am willing to help the community grow by supporting the existing Ubuntu Space. It would be great to have governance to look after the Matrix space and rooms. If this is interesting to your @nbuechner , I can work with you and other administrators of the Matrix space to make sure that we provide a safe environment for our community. This includes clear rules and a CoC that matches what we have on other platforms, so we will need to contact the Ubuntu IRC Council and the Ubuntu Community Council for guidance. I understand that the lack of bridging with IRC is limiting the growth of our Ubuntu Space on Matrix, and this brings me to the next point.

I completely agree with @teward regarding bridging. Regardless of the chat software being used at a certain point, being able to bridge with other popular platforms promotes inclusivity. Thank you, @teward , for sharing valuable information and for offering to help. I am going to reach out to you soon.

To move things forward on the bridging situation, I spoke with EMS a few times about this issue. After a few chats, it is my understanding that stable, long-lasting portalled bridges between Matrix and Libera.Chat are a bit of a question mark. I believe the best course of action for our community is to rely on our own bridging solution. EMS confirmed that they can, if we want, archive the portalled rooms, set a tombstone and a redirect to our own bridged rooms. This will avoid confusion every time portalling is enabled and then possibly disabled again.

I understand that bridging with Matrix has caused some issues in the past, and a slow and careful approach might be needed. Ultimately, the decision is up to the IRC council, so I reached out and I hope we can hear their thoughts on this very soon.

Regarding issues mentioned by others in this thread, it appears that @kernellinux and @nbuechner are having good success with their setups. I do not want to dismiss any of the concerns expressed by @popey , @sukso96100 and @mikee3005 , though. I think it would be healthy to have specific discussions about those, here in the open. Furthermore, I am going to ask @nbuechner and @kernellinux for guidance and with their help and expertise, we can see where Matrix is nowadays in terms of stability, security, and features. I am happy to start another thread, and why not, dedicated channels on the Ubuntu Space on Matrix for real-time communication.

No matter where various discussions are held, I am going to post regular updates here on Discourse. This will ensure full transparency and demonstrate my commitment to assisting the Ubuntu community in any way I can.


I feel like this is also a question of where Ubuntu stands in the world of technology.

Very big communities like Google related projects all use discord. Generally it looks like almost any younger human with a computer uses discord.

The very Linux world on the other hand found that matrix is where they want to be. Generally it’s important to have those open standards like matrix and it’s not perfect that discord is not open source but it’s just where the most people are.

I have the impression that Ubuntu and it’s community and users would profit more if the IRC replacement would be discord.
Just my two cents, best regards

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I’d be fine in having Discord as a bridged tool, but I’d personally and hardly think that the setup should be: Matrix as main, IRC and Discord bridged.

The reason for this is that even if most of user base folks are in discord, Matrix is where people from the Open Source world expect us to be, and we don’t want to be isolated again from them, since it’s with those people that we work with.


Sure sounds good. This is def. 100% correct for the gnome world.
Flutter on the other hand is on discord, as are young devs also.
The bridge solution sounds like a really good solution to me :slight_smile:


Add freedesktop and debian too (at least via IRC).


@nbuechner recently created a matrix discussion room in the Ubuntu Space. Please note that this chat room is open for anyone to join. Feel free to join and contribute by sharing your knowledge, thoughts and ideas.

Thank you @saviq @chrome0 and @nuccitheboss for listing your Matrix rooms and spaces in the Ubuntu Space. This makes Ubuntu projects that are already on Matrix, a bit easier to find.

If you know other Ubuntu related matrix rooms, you can ask if they would like to be listed in the Ubuntu Space. You can point them to this discussion or directly to the matrix room linked above.


I have an exciting update to share today! We have been working on a Matrix instance for the Ubuntu community to test the platform and protocol. We are currently in early stage testing, so we are focusing on testing the Matrix’s core functionalities before scaling up to more advanced tests.

I want to encourage everyone who want to be an early tester to join our Ubuntu Matrix Project room on Matrix at Get involved in our discussions and please let us know if you want to contribute to during the early testing phase.

We are planning to complete the initial round of testing in early to mid November, and start opening up testing for larger groups then. I will keep you informed on the progress.


Hi all, as promised, I have updates.

We have an Matrix instance and we are ready to start testing. For specific details on testing, please check this Discourse post.

We can keep discussing the Matrix project on this thread, and leave the new one for testing related issues.

Happy testing!


More updates from within the Matrix:

If you have an Ubuntu related project on Matrix and you want it to be listed under the Ubuntu Community space on Matrix, please reply to this thread and tag @nbuechner and myself. If you are using a chat platform that limits your project, contact us here. You can always enter the Matrix with us!


Hey people of the Matrix!

The last few weeks have been fantastic for the Ubuntu Matrix project. We received so many requests from folks and teams asking to create rooms and spaces on the Ubuntu Matrix instance that we actually had to re-prioritize some tasks to accommodate them. I am pleased to see so many of you helping out, offering to help with moderation, reporting bugs and asking questions.

Speaking of questions, we are aware that Matrix is slightly different from other non-federated chat clients. Therefore, we decided to start a small wiki to help our community. The Discourse Wiki backend is not active yet, so for now, they appear like regular discourse posts. Once the front end is ready, we will share the updated link.
There are only a few articles, but we are working to add more. Ideas for new articles and contributions are always welcome.


Hi all, I am back from winter break and I have more updates from the world of Matrix communications.

Temporary Matrix Council

We have a new, temporary Matrix Council. I want to encourage everyone here to read the great post from @merlijn-sebrechts . I also want to send special thanks to all those that offered to help with the temporary Matrix Council. @ulfnic @sarnold @nbuechner @merlijn-sebrechts Thank you. The temporary Matrix Council will soon announce elections. Stay tuned!

The Matrix council meets every week for the time being. First two meeting reports are available on the Ubuntu Discourse:
Matrix Council Meeting report: 4 January 2024
Matrix Council Meeting report: 11 January 2024

Charmhub migration

Charmhub migration from Mattermost to Matrix is still ongoing, full speed ahead. The Mattermost instance is currently scheduled to go read-only at the end of January 2024. Special thanks to @jnsgruk for the great support.

Bridging with IRC

As you can read in the weekly reports linked above, we had great conversations with the KDE community. They have been bridging IRC and Matrix with good success. We are working to deploy our self hosted bridge, while at the same time @nbuechner is working hard to run tests. Special thanks to Kenny from KDE for his energy and patience.

Full federation and room search

We are still working to enable full federation on our Matrix instance. Please be patient with us as we work on the federation proxy.
Room searching from federated servers is still not enabled but the issue was reported and it is being looked at. I will provide updates when both these issues make progress.


We are working on documentation and processes. Our next focus is to create a clear set of documents for users, regarding room publishing and room moderation. @ulfnic contributed with a very useful document that explains How-to change the main address of a room or space to
We are then going to focus our documentation efforts on moderators and defenders.

Stay engaged

If you see topics that interest you on the Matrix Council weekly reports, if you have the passion to help us grow Ubuntu’s presence on Matrix, or if you have questions regarding this project, I encourage to get involved here on Discourse. You can reply on this thread, on any of the Matrix Council meeting report threads. Alternatively, you can also get in touch on Matrix directly. This channel would be a great place:


Thank you for the great update.

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I bring more exciting news today. Launchpad now has a new social accounts section where we can add our IRC, Jabber and… :drum: :drum: :drum: Matrix! :tada:

You can check a write-up by @ines-almeida on the Launchpad Blog

I would like to thank @rbasak , @cjwatson , and @clinton-fung for starting the discussion and approving the work with very short notice.
Special thanks to @pelpsi for working on the backend, @ines-almeida for the frontend and @lgp171188 for planning and code reviews.

First thing I do after this post? Go add my matrix account to my launchpad ID! :smile:


That’s great news. Thanks to all involved in getting this done!

I think the real value of this is that now the data exists to do things like “allow all Matrix accounts of Ubuntu members”, which will hopefully be useful for moderators who can identify a set of people they can trust, while those people can continue mostly unimpeded, in case of moderation emergencies.


Hi all, what is better than weekend time? Matrix news before weekend time!

We have been working hard this week to launch our Matrix documentation frontend. Please note that this is work in progress and we are working to improve the experience, as well as adding more documents. We are very ambitious and we would love it if our Matrix documentation could be referenced by other open-source projects.

If you have a passion for this initiative and you want to help with documentation, please reply to this thread or reach out on the Ubuntu Matrix Ops channel. This is a great opportunity to contribute to Ubuntu!

I wish to thank @aaronprisk for his help with Discourse documentation frontend, and @kewisch for making things happen, his reviews and advice.

Special thanks to all the incredible people of the Matrix Council. Not only they are moving mountains, but they also have to tolerate my incurable optimism on a daily basis. @sarnold @nbuechner @ulfnic @merlijn-sebrechts . Last but not least, @arraybolt3 thank you so much, you are a superstar!