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Fractal

Fractal is a Matrix messaging app for GNOME written in Rust. Its interface is optimized for collaboration in large groups, such as free software projects.

Scale to fit:

App ID:

org.gnome.Fractal [flatpak] OR fractal [apt]

automatic-app-scaling

Phone Compatibility:

5 of 5 Points, fully optimized

How to install:

APT:
sudo apt update
sudo apt install fractal
Flatpak:

Flathub: https://flathub.org/apps/details/org.gnome.Fractal

Command:

# You will need to trust and add the flathub repo in flatpak
flatpak install flathub org.gnome.Fractal

Website:

Repo:

Known Issues:

Using the apt-version of Fractal doesn't remember login information. This is due to the way the Gnome Keyring works - will presumably be fixed in the future. As a workaround you can try unlocking the keyring by first starting an application that unlocks the keyring successfully (f.e. geary, epiphany - if you have saved passwords and try login to a site for which you have a saved password).

Tips & Tricks

Fractal does currently not support E2E (see the issue in their bug tracker), so encrypted chatrooms are virtually inaccessible through this client. However, you can use Pantalaimon as a proxy-server to your Fractal client.

Pantalaimon works as the “good man in the middle”, between your client and the Matrix Server. It deals with de- & encryption and forwards the unencrypted messages to Fractal (or encrypted ones to the room). This also works with media.

Pantalaimon is a daemon, written in Python, that can directly run as a systemd process on Mobian. It can be installed with pip (sudo apt install python3-pip). The setup is a bit tricky, however and the Repository's notes do not go into great detail.

Setting up Pantalaimon

It's recommended to do this via SSH, as it involves a lot of copying and typing.

Enable the sid-repo

Just follow the instructions (make sure to not forget setting the priorities). Afterwards sudo apt update.

Install Pantalaimon

sudo apt install pantalaimon

Setting up Pantalaimon

Create a 'pantalaimon' folder in ~/.config

mkdir -p ~/.config/pantalaimon

and create a file pantalaimon.conf in that folder with the following content (make sure to exchange matrix.org with your actual homeserver:

[Default]
# LogLevel = Debug
SSL = True

[local-matrix]
Homeserver = https://matrix.org
ListenAddress = localhost
ListenPort = 8009
SSL = False
# UseKeyring = True
# IgnoreVerification = True

Optional lines are commented out here (#).

Now you should be able to run pantalaimon by executing it pantalaimon.

Optional: systemd service

Optional: In order to start pantalaimon automatically via systemd, create a file pantalaimon.service in /lib/systemd/user/pantalaimon.service

[Unit]
Description=Pantalaimon E2E Matrix reverse proxy

[Service]
ExecStart=/usr/bin/pantalaimon

[Install]
WantedBy=default.target

and start the service with systemctl –user enable –now pantalaimon.service.

Log In

In Fractal, set your homeserver to http://localhost:8009 (if you set a different ListenPort, you need to adjust it here, too) and login with your username and password. To access encrypted messages from other devices/sessions, you will need to establish trust on your other logged in Matrix clients.