When will the L5 be a Matrix-powered smartphone?

Since the beginning of this project, the Librem 5 is announced as the " first ever Matrix-powered smartphone, natively using end-to-end encrypted decentralised communication in its dialer and messaging app."

The integration work has already started on Gnome Chats (Chatty) with purple-matrix, the matrix.org plugin for libpurple.
But the git doesn’t seem to have been active for months and it lacks many functions to make it usable on a daily basis.

Gnome Fractal is the other app designed to use matrix protocole, but oriented to public rooms.
There are more features than in purple-matrix and it’s also an convergent app but it is not an official software supported by Element. The resources are less and development progresses more slowly.
The main limitation is the lack of encryption I think.

As for Gnome calls, I couldn’t find any matrix integration work on the git.

Despite the delays in the hardware development of the Librem 5, the smartphone is still far from being Matrix-powered.
Do you think that the situation could evolve quickly, despite the development of purple-matrix which seems to be abandoned by matrix.org?

Purism maintains a matrix server via Librem Chat, so they will certainly continue to integrate this into PureOS, but how long will this take in the face of other priorities?


That is an interesting question imo … :slight_smile:

Regarding chatty and therefore purple-matrix, clearly this software (purple-matrix) lacks development effort so, unless Purism (or anyone else) would be willing to invest time from their dev to improve purple-matrix, I do not see this as a viable option any time soon.

On the Fractal side, I have more hopes from this one to be honest: Fractal has a GSOC student (Alejandro Domínguez) and part of the work planned is to migrate from their own matrix API implementation (the crate called fractal-matrix-api) to matrix-rust-sdk (see here).
matrix-rust-sdk would help support E2EE and cross-signing which is a must for private chats since most matrix users are using Riot/Element. I would certainly keep an eye on Fractal and what their GSOC student delivers in the coming weeks.

Finally, there might be some PWA options. I think FluffyChat ships a PWA and support E2EE. Althought riot-web does not support mobile, it is listed as with experimental support on their git repo and few pull requests got merged to improve rendering on small screens.


Very good news about fractal!

Latest news about Fractal:

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For giggles I just rewatched Lunduke’s interview of Todd during the initial Librem 5 campaign - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SwE9W8JasA&t=37s - where he he stated how important it was to him for the L5 to handle calls over IP, via matrix. Personally, I value the L5 more as a communication device than a multimedia device, and would prefer development effort focus more on matrix support than the camera.


Some update about this topic:

  • Official product page:
    There is no more mention of Matrix. It’s now an “IP-Native Communication First” smartphone.

  • Purism’s development:
    They are 2 matrix compatible client listed in Fund Your App program: Element and Librem chat. The second one is a rebranded fork of Element Android by Purism.
    None of them are in the top five and the funding is stuck at 46%.
    GNOME Chats and Fractal are not listed.

Mohammed Sadiq is working on Matrix support in Chats (on the basis of purple-matrix library) but it’s not usable for the moment.

  • Fractal:

A lot of work has been done over the last few months to refactor the code, prepare the transition to GTK4, base the application on the rust Matrix SDK and add new features (such as HTML support).
There is still a lot of work to be done before the application is fully based on the new SDK and the encryption is up and running.


In the meantime, until Fractal’s E2EE is working, you could take a look at Mirage (https://matrix.org/docs/projects/client/mirage). It’s quite usable on a phone and supports encryption.

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That seems misleading. Librem Chat is a brand, not an app (per se). As element itself is a Web/Desktop client, and element Android basically a wrapper for it, it would not make sense to port that web-wrapper to other platforms. I’d rather expect Element (for Linux) to be a Linux-native wrapper of that web app, and Librem Chat either a slightly modified version of that, or a rebranded version of Chatty, in case Librem Chat is supposed to offer multiple protocols in the future :thinking:

In the context of “fun-your-app” its obvious that Librem Chat refers to an app:

Minor nitpick, as far as I know it is not based in purple-matrix it would be native support. And this is still a work in progress.


Thank you for this clarification, I misinterpreted the changes on the git.

I see that there is now a a merge request on this topic:


This is outstanding news, as a Matrix user and future L5 owner, I am delighted to read this!

A review of Matrix clients for Linux phone:


Fractal team is woking to rewrite the software:

We are working on rewriting Fractal from scratch using GTK4 and the matrix-rust-sdk. This effort is called fractal-next.
We already talked several times in the past about rewriting the application, but for different reasons we didn’t do it. Now that the matrix-rust-sdk exists, which does a lot of the heavy lifting for us, we have a good starting point to build Fractal without the need to implement every single feature from the Matrix API. Finally with the release of GTK4 we would need to rework most of Fractal’s code anyways. Therefore, it just makes sense to start over and build Fractal with all features (e.g end-to-end encryption) we have in mind.
The main development branch is fractal-next. Issues that target fractal-next should be labeled accordingly as “fractal-next”.

The new rep is here:


Further info to fractal works in the next months:

They also plan to work on E2EE!

And another interesting fact, FOSDEM used matrix this year:


11 posts were split to a new topic: Messaging networks

I moved the recent messages to a new topic, because the new subject changed a lot while it’s not clear the original discussion died out yet, and because of Torrone’s request.


I’ve seen Julian Sparber listed on the https://puri.sm/about/team/ team. So is the full time work on Fractal a Purism initiative?

No, he’s working on it via NLNet if I remember correctly.


There is now a ARM64 build of FluffyChat:


Version 0.30.0 will be the first version with arm64 support. You can download binaries from the CI and we will try to publish it on Flathub. Together with the new Linux Desktop Notifications feature, this might be interesting for the Librem 5 or the PinePhone. Sadly I don’t own one of these very interesting devices. If you have one, I would very like to see some screenshots of it! :slight_smile: