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Last pushed: 4 days ago
Short Description
Synapse, reference impl of a Matrix homeserver.
Full Description

Synapse Docker

The matrixdotorg/synapse Docker image will run Synapse as a single process. It does not provide a
database server or a TURN server, you should run these separately.

If you run a Postgres server, you should simply include it in the same Compose
project or set the proper environment variables and the image will automatically
use that server.


Build the docker image with the docker-compose build command.

You may have a local Python wheel cache available, in which case copy the relevant packages in the cache/ directory at the root of the project.


This image is designed to run either with an automatically generated configuration
file or with a custom configuration that requires manual edition.

Automated configuration

It is recommended that you use Docker Compose to run your containers, including
this image and a Postgres server. A sample docker-compose.yml is provided,
including example labels for reverse proxying and other artifacts.

Read the section about environment variables and set at least mandatory variables,
then run the server:

docker-compose up -d

If secrets are not specified in the environment variables, they will be generated
as part of the startup. Please ensure these secrets are kept between launches of the
Docker container, as their loss may require users to log in again.

Manual configuration

A sample docker-compose.yml is provided, including example labels for
reverse proxying and other artifacts. The docker-compose file is an example,
please comment/uncomment sections that are not suitable for your usecase.

Specify a SYNAPSE_CONFIG_PATH, preferably to a persistent path,
to use manual configuration. To generate a fresh homeserver.yaml, simply run:

docker-compose run --rm -e synapse generate

Then, customize your configuration and run the server:

docker-compose up -d

Without Compose

If you do not wish to use Compose, you may still run this image using plain
Docker commands. Note that the following is just a guideline and you may need
to add parameters to the docker run command to account for the network situation
with your postgres database.

docker run \
    -d \
    --name synapse \
    -v ${DATA_PATH}:/data \
    -e \


The image expects a single volume, located at /data, that will hold:

  • temporary files during uploads;
  • uploaded media and thumbnails;
  • the SQLite database if you do not configure postgres;
  • the appservices configuration.

You are free to use separate volumes depending on storage endpoints at your
disposal. For instance, /data/media coud be stored on a large but low
performance hdd storage while other files could be stored on high performance

In order to setup an application service, simply create an appservices
directory in the data volume and write the application service Yaml
configuration file there. Multiple application services are supported.


Unless you specify a custom path for the configuration file, a very generic
file will be generated, based on the following environment settings.
These are a good starting point for setting up your own deployment.

Global settings:

  • UID, the user id Synapse will run as [default 991]
  • GID, the group id Synapse will run as [default 991]
  • SYNAPSE_CONFIG_PATH, path to a custom config file

If SYNAPSE_CONFIG_PATH is set, you should generate a configuration file
then customize it manually. No other environment variable is required.

Otherwise, a dynamic configuration file will be used. The following environment
variables are available for configuration:

  • SYNAPSE_SERVER_NAME (mandatory), the current server public hostname.
  • SYNAPSE_REPORT_STATS, (mandatory, yes or no), enable anonymous
    statistics reporting back to the Matrix project which helps us to get funding.
  • SYNAPSE_NO_TLS, set this variable to disable TLS in Synapse (use this if
    you run your own TLS-capable reverse proxy).
  • SYNAPSE_ENABLE_REGISTRATION, set this variable to enable registration on
    the Synapse instance.
  • SYNAPSE_ALLOW_GUEST, set this variable to allow guest joining this server.
  • SYNAPSE_EVENT_CACHE_SIZE, the event cache size [default 10K].
  • SYNAPSE_CACHE_FACTOR, the cache factor [default 0.5].
  • SYNAPSE_RECAPTCHA_PUBLIC_KEY, set this variable to the recaptcha public
    key in order to enable recaptcha upon registration.
  • SYNAPSE_RECAPTCHA_PRIVATE_KEY, set this variable to the recaptcha private
    key in order to enable recaptcha upon registration.
  • SYNAPSE_TURN_URIS, set this variable to the coma-separated list of TURN
    uris to enable TURN for this homeserver.
  • SYNAPSE_TURN_SECRET, set this to the TURN shared secret if required.

Shared secrets, that will be initialized to random values if not set:

  • SYNAPSE_REGISTRATION_SHARED_SECRET, secret for registrering users if
    registration is disable.
  • SYNAPSE_MACAROON_SECRET_KEY secret for signing access tokens
    to the server.

Database specific values (will use SQLite if not set):

  • POSTGRES_DB - The database name for the synapse postgres database. [default: synapse]
  • POSTGRES_HOST - The host of the postgres database if you wish to use postgresql instead of sqlite3. [default: db which is useful when using a container on the same docker network in a compose file where the postgres service is called db]
  • POSTGRES_PASSWORD - The password for the synapse postgres database. If this is set then postgres will be used instead of sqlite3. [default: none] NOTE: You are highly encouraged to use postgresql! Please use the compose file to make it easier to deploy.
  • POSTGRES_USER - The user for the synapse postgres database. [default: matrix]

Mail server specific values (will not send emails if not set):

  • SYNAPSE_SMTP_HOST, hostname to the mail server.
  • SYNAPSE_SMTP_PORT, TCP port for accessing the mail server [default 25].
  • SYNAPSE_SMTP_USER, username for authenticating against the mail server if any.
  • SYNAPSE_SMTP_PASSWORD, password for authenticating against the mail server if any.
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