Fractal: a GNOME Matrix chat client

Matrix is a protocol for decentralized instant messaging that has recently grown in popularity. Matrix can be used for a wide range of communication tasks, such as group chats, video chats, sharing files, and bridging to existing IRC rooms. One of the easiest ways to use Matrix is the RiotIM web client or desktop application. However, Fractal is a Matrix desktop application designed for GNOME, so it arguably feels a lot more at home on Fedora Workstation, as seen here:

Fractal is a new project, and currently doesn’t support some Matrix functionality, including video chats. However, the core functionality of a basic text chat / messaging client works well. Additionally, it is clear that a lot of thought has been put into the user interface.  The UI is clean, neat, and easy to navigate.

Support in Matrix for end-to-end encryption is in beta. However, Fractal currently does not support encryption.

Installing Fractal

The easiest way to install Fractal on Fedora is from  Flathub. First, follow the directions in this article to set up Flathub as a third party software source.

Once Flathub is enabled as a third-party source, simply search and install Fractal from the Software app in Fedora Workstation.

 

Fedora Project community

13 Comments

  1. qrsBRWN

    What sets this apart from the other clients available?
    Honest question. I fail to see how it’s different from the others apart from the name.

    • Norbert

      What other clients? There is Riot.im, which is based on Electron, and hence sucks. What other usable clients are available for Fedora?

      • There is also nheko, which is in Fedora repositories already.

      • Stuart Gathman

        There is the matrix plugin for Pidgin. Works for Me™ – but I don’t use any advanced features.

  2. señor b

    when will this be available via dnf?

    • At the moment, it doesn’t look like they have a maintainer to manage a Fedora RPM. However, since the source is available via Github, I am sure they would be willing to work with someone who might have time to maintain it for them.

  3. Fedora User

    The flatpack from Gnome Software takes 1.3 GIGABYTES installation size?

    I mean…seriously? For a chat client? What kind of joke is that?

    • G-Ray

      I guess it’s because you have no flatpak runtimes. On my machine where I have some flatpak apps installed, gnome-software shows a download size of 2.9MB

  4. http://flathub.org is how I installed it. Works great.

  5. GroovieMan

    Since Fractal is not available via RPM and repos i will not use it. The developers of fractical should better learn, to ship proper rpm packages. Flathub is for systemmanagement hilly billies. If the fractical programmers believe they a good coders, why do they not ship their software with rpm.
    Little companies like TelRed knows how to do it in the right way.

    Ok, flatback may be a good tool for desaster-companies like VMware, who think it is a good idea to mess up a proper fedora installation with 32Bit libs and execs.

    Relying on flatpack will turn your your proper fedora installation into a windows dll hell, with tons of redundant and maybe unattended libs with sec holes.
    No, not with me.

    Flatpack … bugger off!

  6. tyiss

    irc working on very little bandwitch, matrix is better? is possible send messages using edge or less communications and ssh sesion?

    • Stuart Gathman

      IRC has no strong authentication. Matrix chat uses signed append-only logs for each matrix server, and an ingenious algorithm to converge to a defined order globally. Thus logs from a matrix server cannot be forged without the private key of that server.

      A matrix client, on the other hand, is just that – a client. Matrix is actually a federated protocol, and not fully decentralized. It is actually equivalent to IRC in terms of decentralization. However, it improves on IRC with strong authentication, as described above.

  7. So, this is odd. I’m connected to the typical Fedora channels (devel, admin, flock) via Matrix’s Freenode bridge, and Riot would show them just fine — but when I connect via Fractal they don’t show up.

    Anyone else seeing this issue?

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