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README.md

Element Call

Chat Localazy

Group calls with WebRTC that leverage Matrix and an open-source WebRTC toolkit from LiveKit.

For prior version of the Element Call that relied solely on full-mesh logic, check full-mesh branch.

A demo of Element Call with six people

To try it out, visit our hosted version at call.element.io. You can also find the latest development version continuously deployed to call.element.dev.

Host it yourself

Until prebuilt tarballs are available, you'll need to build Element Call from source. First, clone and install the package:

git clone https://github.com/element-hq/element-call.git
cd element-call
yarn
yarn build

If all went well, you can now find the build output under dist as a series of static files. These can be hosted using any web server of your choice.

You may also wish to add a configuration file (Element Call uses the domain it's hosted on as a Homeserver URL by default, but you can change this in the config file). This goes in public/config.json - you can use the sample as a starting point:

cp config/config.sample.json public/config.json
# edit public/config.json

Because Element Call uses client-side routing, your server must be able to route any requests to non-existing paths back to /index.html. For example, in Nginx you can achieve this with the try_files directive:

server {
    ...
    location / {
        ...
        try_files $uri /$uri /index.html;
    }
}

By default, the app expects you to have a Matrix homeserver (such as Synapse) installed locally and running on port 8008. If you wish to use a homeserver on a different URL or one that is hosted on a different server, you can add a config file as above, and include the homeserver URL that you'd like to use.

Element Call requires a homeserver with registration enabled without any 3pid or token requirements, if you want it to be used by unregistered users. Furthermore, it is not recommended to use it with an existing homeserver where user accounts have joined normal rooms, as it may not be able to handle those yet and it may behave unreliably.

Therefore, to use a self-hosted homeserver, this is recommended to be a new server where any user account created has not joined any normal rooms anywhere in the Matrix federated network. The homeserver used can be setup to disable federation, so as to prevent spam registrations (if you keep registrations open) and to ensure Element Call continues to work in case any user decides to log in to their Element Call account using the standard Element app and joins normal rooms that Element Call cannot handle.

Configuration

There are currently two different config files. .env holds variables that are used at build time, while public/config.json holds variables that are used at runtime. Documentation and default values for public/config.json can be found in ConfigOptions.ts.

Translation

If you'd like to help translate Element Call, head over to Localazy. You're also encouraged to join the Element Translators space to discuss and coordinate translation efforts.

Development

Frontend

Element Call is built against matrix-js-sdk. To get started, clone, install, and link the package:

git clone https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-js-sdk.git
cd matrix-js-sdk
yarn
yarn link

Next, we can set up this project:

git clone https://github.com/element-hq/element-call.git
cd element-call
yarn
yarn link matrix-js-sdk

You're now ready to launch the development server:

yarn dev

Backend

A docker compose file is provided to start a LiveKit server and auth service for development. These use a test 'secret' published in this repository, so this must be used only for local development and never be exposed to the public Internet.

To use it, add SFU parameter in your local config ./public/config.json:

"livekit": {
  "livekit_service_url": "http://localhost:8881"
},

Run backend components:

yarn backend

Documentation

Usage and other technical details about the project can be found here:

Docs