Chat & collaboration
In order to facilitate secure real-time communication within D-PHYS and with the outside world, we provide a Matrix chat infrastructure. The service can be used from modern web browsers (up-to-date versions of Firefox, Safari or Chrome based browsers), mobile apps (Android, iOS) and standalone desktop applications (macOS, Linux, Windows).
Matrix is an open source project that publishes the Matrix open standard for secure, decentralized, real-time communication.
Our Matrix homeserver for the domain
phys.ethz.ch hosts your Matrix ID (
@id:phys.ethz.ch) similar to an email address,
your account settings and secure end-to-end encryption key backups, stores a copy of your rooms history and connects you to the whole Matrix network
including any other bridged networks like IRC, Slack, Discord, Telegram and many more.
Connect to our Matrix server using Element Web:
- Point your browser to element.phys.ethz.ch
- Log in using your Matrix ID:
usernameis your D-PHYS account
- Use your D-PHYS password
See also Connect with Element (Web, Desktop, App).
After the first login you will be auto-joined to these rooms:
- #lobby:phys.ethz.ch - discover others that are using Matrix
- #isg-news:phys.ethz.ch - announcements and news
- #isg-status:phys.ethz.ch - current IT system status (problems)
These rooms provide an excellent way for us to connect with you and inform instantly. The News room contains an RSS bot that sends all announcements from our blog, and provides an alternative to our newsletter. If you do not wish to participate in these rooms, opt-out at any time by leaving.
Please join our other rooms:
- #matrix:phys.ethz.ch - help & news for Matrix & Element
- #helpdesk:phys.ethz.ch - for all other IT requests & help
Customise your notification levels across the app and per room. Reduce the notification level of chatty rooms like the Helpdesk to 'Mentions & Keywords'. Keep the default for the News and Status room, where only moderators are allowed to send messages.
More public rooms can be found in our public room directory via the 'Explore rooms' button next to the search field.
The documentation for Matrix/Element is split into several pages. Please read on in the following order to get started:
- Connect with Element (Web, Desktop, App)
- Connect with Element Android
- Element FAQ (frequently asked questions)
- Element end-to-end encryption
- Element security
- Invite many users to join a room or group
- Use communities (groups)
- Integrations (widgets, bridges, bots)
- Matrix bots
- Matrix bridges
- Use the Matrix Client-Server API
- Moderate rooms
- Other chat & collaboration software
- It is not a file server! While you can upload and share files, please do so with reason. Use it to share a PDF or graph with your colleagues, but do not send research data - that's what our group shares are for.
- To chat with D-PHYS external people, you need to invite them using their Matrix ID (
@username:domain). Except for Matrix users on the ETH homeserver (
staffchat.ethz.ch), where you can use the search function as usual.
Matrix offers an extremely wide range of features and connectivity. The following list is currently implemented on the D-PHYS server and is considered to be stable:
- Basic chat functionality (instant messaging, push notifications)
- Private and public rooms (explore in the public room directory)
- Media uploads (2 GiB initial quota per user, max. 100 MiB per upload)
- Search the D-PHYS & ETH user directory (username, display name, email, phone number)
- End-to-end encryption and cross-signing (instructions)
- Federation with "the internet" and other ETH homeservers
- Integrations: widgets, bridges & bots (instructions)
- Bots (gitlab integration, reminders, RSS feeds and more)
- Slack compatible Webhooks
- Slack bridge or puppeting bridge
- Migrate Slack workspace to Matrix (export your workspace and contact us)
- Labs features enabled Element Web or configure your Desktop App
- Custom room tags for grouping, create tags at tags.mbot.ethz.ch (requires Labs)
Other features are either not tested as much or known to be buggy
- Direct (1:1) voice/video calls (basically works, but can still be buggy)
- Group web-conferencing using Jitsi (rooms with more than 2 members)
- Screen sharing (e.g. for helpdesk)
- Communities (known to lack features, currently being reworked)
- Shared whiteboard integrations (widget)
- Community invite bot
- Native maths support (labs feature) enabled in D-PHYS Element
Things we have on the radar and will be looking into
- More bots as they come in from the community
- More bridges to connect to other networks (like IRC, email)
Roadmap (probably in this order)
- Improving performance & monitoring
- Stabilizing 1:1 calls (turn) and jitsi (group calls)
- ISG made bots
- Add email or phone numbers to your profile (automatic discovery via LDAP)
- Invite users via email (but you may very well search by email)