by matrix-org

matrix-org /sydent

Sydent: Reference Matrix Identity Server

142 Stars 45 Forks Last release: 16 days ago (v2.1.0) Apache License 2.0 631 Commits 71 Releases

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Installing the system dependencies

To install Sydent's dependencies on a Debian-based system, run::

sudo apt-get install build-essential python3-dev libffi-dev \
                     sqlite3 libssl-dev python-virtualenv libxslt1-dev

Creating the virtualenv

To create the virtual environment in which Sydent will run::

virtualenv -p python3 ~/.sydent
source ~/.sydent/bin/activate
pip install --upgrade pip
pip install --upgrade setuptools

Installing the latest Sydent release from PyPI

Sydent and its dependencies can be installed using

by running::
pip install matrix-sydent

Installing from source

Alternatively, Sydent can be installed using

from a local git checkout::
git clone
cd sydent
pip install -e .

Running Sydent

With the virtualenv activated, you can run Sydent using::

python -m sydent.sydent

This will create a configuration file in

with some defaults. If a setting is defined in both the
section and another section in the configuration file, then the value in the other section is used.

You'll most likely want to change the server name (
) and specify an email server (look for the settings starting with

By default, Sydent will listen on
. This can be changed by changing the values for the configuration settings

Sydent uses SQLite as its database backend. By default, it will create the database as

in its working directory. The name can be overridden by modifying the
configuration option. Sydent is known to be working with SQLite version 3.16.2 and later.

SMS originators

Defaults for SMS originators will not be added to the generated config file, these should be added to the

section of that config file in the form::
originators. = :

Where country code is the numeric country code, or

to specify the originator used for countries not listed. For example, to use a selection of long codes for the US/Canada, a short code for the UK and an alphanumertic originator for everywhere else::
originators.1 = long:12125552368,long:12125552369
originators.44 = short:12345
originators.default = alpha:Matrix


A Dockerfile is provided for sydent. To use it, run

docker build -t sydent .
in a sydent checkout. To run it, use
docker run --env=SYDENT_SERVER_NAME=my-sydent-server -p 8090:8090 sydent

Caution: All data will be lost when the container is terminated!

Persistent data

By default, all data is stored in

. The best method is to put the data in a Docker volume.

.. code-block:: shell

docker volume create sydent-data docker run ... --mount type=volume,source=sydent-data,destination=/data sydent

But you can also bind a local directory to the container. However, you then have to pay attention to the file permissions.

.. code-block:: shell

mkdir /path/to/sydent-data chown 993:993 /path/to/sydent-data docker run ... --mount type=bind,source=/path/to/sydent-data,destination=/data sydent

Environment variables

.. warning:: These variables are only taken into account at first start and are written to the configuration file.

+--------------------+-----------------+-----------------------+ | Variable Name | Sydent default | Dockerfile default | +====================+=================+=======================+ | SYDENTSERVERNAME | empty | empty | +--------------------+-----------------+-----------------------+ | SYDENTCONF |

| +--------------------+-----------------+-----------------------+ | SYDENT
| +--------------------+-----------------+-----------------------+ | SYDENT

| +--------------------+-----------------+-----------------------+


Sydent uses matrix-is-tester ( to provide black-box testing of compliance with the

Matrix Identity Service API 
_. This can be run as follows::
pip install git+
trial matrix_is_tester


enviroment variable can be set to launch Sydent with a specific python binary::
SYDENT_PYTHON=/path/to/python trial matrix_is_tester


directory contains Sydent's launcher for
: this means that Sydent's directory needs to be on the Python path (e.g.

Sydent also has some unit tests to ensure some of its features that aren't part of the Matrix specification (e.g. replication) keep on working. To run these tests, run the following with Sydent's virtualenv activated from the root of the Sydent repository::

 trial tests

Internal bind and unbind API

It is possible to enable an internal API which allows for binding and unbinding between identifiers and matrix IDs without any validation. This is open to abuse, so is disabled by default, and when it is enabled, is available only on a separate socket which is bound to

by default.

To enable it, configure the port in the config file. For example::

internalapi.http.port = 8091

To change the address to which that API is bound, set the

configuration setting in the
section, for example::
internalapi.http.port = 8091
internalapi.http.bind_address =

As already mentioned above, this is open to abuse, so make sure this address is not publicly accessible.

To use bind::

curl -XPOST 'http://localhost:8091/_matrix/identity/internal/bind' -H "Content-Type: application/json" -d '{"address": "[email protected]", "medium": "email", "mxid": ""}'

The response has the same format as


To use unbind::

curl -XPOST 'http://localhost:8091/_matrix/identity/internal/unbind' -H "Content-Type: application/json" -d '{"address": "[email protected]", "medium": "email", "mxid": ""}'

The response has the same format as



It is possible to configure a mesh of Sydent instances which replicate identity bindings between each other. See


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