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Last pushed: 2 years ago
Short Description
Vector client for Matrix
Full Description


Vector is a Matrix web client built using the Matrix React SDK (

Getting started

  1. Install or update node.js so that your npm is at least at version 2.0.0
  2. Clone the repo: git clone
  3. Switch to the vector directory: cd vector-web
  4. Install the prerequisites: npm install
  5. If you are using the develop branch of vector, you will probably need to
    rebuild one of the dependencies, due to
    (cd node_modules/matrix-react-sdk && npm install)
  6. Start the development builder and a testing server: npm start
  7. Wait a few seconds for the initial build to finish (the command won't
    terminate: it's running a web server for you).
  8. Open in your browser to see your newly built Vector.

With npm start, any changes you make to the source files will cause a rebuild so
your changes will show up when you refresh. This development server also disables
caching, so do NOT use it in production.


Configure the app by modifying the config.json file:

  1. default_hs_url is the default home server url.
  2. default_is_url is the default identity server url (this is the server used
    for verifying third party identifiers like email addresses). If this is blank,
    registering with an email address or adding an email address to your account
    will not work.

You will need to re-run npm run build after editing config.json.


On a Unix-based OS, run npm run package to build a tarball package. Untaring
this file will give a version-specific directory containing all the files that
need to go on your web server.

The package script is not supported on Windows, so Windows users can run npm run build, which will build all the necessary files into the vector
directory. Note that the version of Vector will not appear in Settings without
using the package script. You can then mount the vector directory on your
webserver to actually serve up the app, which is entirely static content.


For simple tweaks, you can work on any of the source files within Vector with
the setup above, and your changes will cause an instant rebuild.

However, much of the functionality in Vector is actually in the
matrix-react-sdk and matrix-js-sdk modules. It is possible to set these up
in a way that makes it easy to track the develop branches in git and to make
local changes without having to manually rebuild each time.

[Be aware that there may be problems with this process under npm version 3.]

First clone and build matrix-js-sdk:

  1. git clone
  2. pushd matrix-js-sdk
  3. git checkout develop
  4. npm install
  5. npm install source-map-loader # because webpack is made of fail (
  6. popd

Then similarly with matrix-react-sdk:

  1. git clone
  2. pushd matrix-react-sdk
  3. git checkout develop
  4. npm install
  5. rm -r node_modules/matrix-js-sdk; ln -s ../../matrix-js-sdk node_modules/
  6. popd

Finally, build and start vector itself:

  1. git clone
  2. cd vector-web
  3. git checkout develop
  4. npm install
  5. rm -r node_modules/matrix-js-sdk; ln -s ../../matrix-js-sdk node_modules/
  6. rm -r node_modules/matrix-react-sdk; ln -s ../../matrix-react-sdk node_modules/
  7. npm start
  8. Wait a few seconds for the initial build to finish; you should see something like:

     Hash: b0af76309dd56d7275c8
     Version: webpack 1.12.14
     Time: 14533ms
              Asset     Size  Chunks             Chunk Names
          bundle.js   4.2 MB       0  [emitted]  main
         bundle.css  91.5 kB       0  [emitted]  main  5.29 MB       0  [emitted]  main   116 kB       0  [emitted]  main
         + 1013 hidden modules

    Remember, the command will not terminate since it runs the web server
    and rebuilds source files when they change.

  9. Open in your browser to see your newly built Vector.

When you make changes to matrix-js-sdk or matrix-react-sdk, you will need
to run npm run build in the relevant directory. You can do this automatically
by instead running npm start in each directory, to start a development
builder which will watch for changes to the files and rebuild automatically.

If you add or remove any components from the Vector skin, you will need to rebuild
the skin's index by running, npm run reskindex.

Enabling encryption

End-to-end encryption in Vector and Matrix is not yet considered ready for
day-to-day use; it is experimental and should be considered only as a
proof-of-concept. See for an overview
of the current progress.

To build a version of vector with support for end-to-end encryption, install
the olm module with npm i
before running npm start. The olm library will be detected and used if

To enable encryption for a room, type

/encrypt on

in the message bar in that room. Vector will then generate a set of keys, and
encrypt all outgoing messages in that room. (Note that other people in that
room will send messages in the clear unless they also /encrypt on.)

Note that historical encrypted messages cannot currently be decoded - history
is therefore lost when the page is reloaded.

There is currently no visual indication of whether encryption is enabled for a
room, or whether a particular message was encrypted.

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