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How to install Riot desktop (Matrix client) on Debian-based systems

Tested on Debian Mint edition, but this should work for Ubuntu too.

These instructions assume you are willing and able to use the command line— that is, open a terminal and type these lines of commands. Unlike the the official desktop install information, these instructions don't assume you already know and remember how to add a new remote source to your package manager and install from it.

First off, don't trust keys and sources given by random sites like this one. Confirm that each comes from the Riot web site's own desktop installation instructions.

Now proceed:

sudo apt-key add repo-key.asc
rm repo-key.asc

sudo vi /etc/apt/sources.list.d/matrix-riot.list

And add (press i to enter insert mode):

# Riot (Matrix client)
deb jessie main
deb-src jessie main

Exit (write and quit) vim (Esc :wq), and then:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install riot-web

Now you should be able to open Riot by typing its name in your favorite launcher.

Your good to connect Riot to the default server available to all users. To set up your own Matrix server:

Searched words: 
install riot matrix client on Debian



Sorry - this description is not working for me.
I am not super good in working with the command line.
Exit (write and quit) vim (Esc :wq) was not working for me - no reaction after pressing Esc - sorry for bothering you guys.

There won't be a reaction after pressing escape

except for a blinking cursor in the bottom of the terminal.

Just continue to press the next characters: :wq

You can also edit the text file in any text editor.

use any other text editor. I

use any other text editor. I also have some problems with command line text editor. Better go with GUI text editor gedit.

Will riot be a debian package

Will riot be a debian package soon?

Riot's already a Debian package

... albeit one not hosted in Debian's official repositories yet.

But it still lets us use the package manager.

It has been requested

There is a "Request For Packaging" bug open about including the packages in the standard Debian project repositories. You can subscribe to that bug (click the "subscribe" link on the bug page: if you want notifications on any activity.

Please don't make people use vim

Can I suggest that the vi commands be changed to nano? As great as vi is for editing code, there is no need to over-complicate things by making people use a non-wysiwyg editor. I mean, Linux already has a reputation of being inaccessible to non-techies.

Hello, Yeah using Vim for


Yeah using Vim for [most|new] users is a problem, in regards of adding a new repository, most developers instructs something like this:

echo 'deb jessie main' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/matrix-riot.list
echo 'deb-src jessie main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/matrix-riot.list

which is just a copy&paste command, and is much easier for users. IMHO ofc.


One-line install

echo "deb $(lsb_release -s -c) main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/matrix-riot-im.list; curl -L | sudo apt-key add -; sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get -y install riot-web


missing step

You also need to "apt install apt-transport-https" in order for it to fetch from's repository.

Keep the vim. Using vim is

Keep the vim.
Using vim is one of those basic skills every *nix user should know. Plus, when using CLI, one has a handy reference for everything that was done (history).

My $.02.

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