Matrix broken again

Update last night to 23.3

Diagnostic fails at
Access URL on tcp4

Update log in web interface shows

Preparing to unpack …/matrix-synapse_1.74.0-1~bpo11+1_amd64.deb …
Unpacking matrix-synapse (1.74.0-1~bpo11+1) over (1.73.0-1~bpo11+1) …
Setting up matrix-synapse (1.74.0-1~bpo11+1) …
Job for matrix-synapse.service failed because the control process exited with error code.
See “systemctl status matrix-synapse.service” and “journalctl -xe” for details.

Running journalctl -xe shows nothing dated this year.

systemctl status matrix-synapse.service shows

● matrix-synapse.service - Synapse Matrix homeserver>
Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/matrix-synapse.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
Drop-In: /usr/lib/systemd/system/matrix-synapse.service.d
Active: activating (start-pre) since Mon 2023-02-20 07:15:58 CST; 1s ago
Docs: file:/usr/share/doc/matrix-synapse/README.rst
Cntrl PID: 30430 (python3)
Tasks: 1 (limit: 9504)
Memory: 12.6M
CPU: 1.236s
CGroup: /system.slice/matrix-synapse.service
└─30430 /usr/bin/python3 -m --config-path=/etc/matrix-synapse/homeserver.yaml --config-path=/etc/matrix-synapse/conf.d/ --generate-keys

Looking through old fixes-

One fix was correcting matrix-common line -

This appears fine in METADATA file (apparently correct >= arrangement with >=1.3.0,<2.0.0)
1.3.0-2 installed. (you can check debian-based builds w/ sudo apt list | grep matrix-common

Other was a lack of require python-matrix-common package -

I don’t see the required specification in METADATA nor do I see a similar/same error (or any error at all) in journal.

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Thank you for posting. I guess I can stop rebooting, uninstalling, reinstalling rebooting again until it’s fixed.

Is there a “revert to previous version” option so I can get it working again?


Good question. And one I don’t know the answer.

Usually when this happens, I’m hundred of miles away from home driving and someone has posted a fix before I could even try troubleshoot or look to revert myself.

This is the first time its happened where I was actually in a place to try do something about it. But I’m in the middle of a big project and its going to be a slammed work day so I can only check the phone and hope someone posts something I can try run during a 5min brain break.

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Looks like the latest version of matrix-synapse made available in bullseye-backports today ( 1.74.0-1~bpo11+1) seems to depend on python3-icu >=2.10.2. However, only an older version is available. This is a bug in matrix-synapse packaging. The solution is for the matrix-synapse maintainer to upload a later version to bullseye-backports and bump the version requirement.

Could someone please report a bug against the matrix-synapse package?

Removing python3-icu package seems to allow matrix-synapse to start. Although I am not sure if that would lead to any loss of functionality.

sudo apt remove python3-icu
sudo systemctl restart matrix-synapse

I see.

Anyone had a chance to test and see if the older version of removing python3-icu breaks anything?

I have not found anything broken but it got Matrix working and that was my main concern. Have not poked about too much to see if anything has dropped out.

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Thanks. Looks to be working fine for me so far as well.

Hope matrix-synapse packaging can resolve the issue soon.

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Follow up - Removal of python3-icu may break push notifications or perhaps presence or read-receipt?

Posted notice on my server but no one appears to have noticed so following up with them via out-of-band channels to see what might be nonfunctional, if anything. Could just be they are all at lunch and not paying attention.

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Belay my last - Read receipt, presence, and notifications all appear to work.

No one was paying attention to their phones. :laughing:

" Hi Matthew,

The Synapse bullseye-backport is maintained by Debian, not us. You need to raise this issue with them at

PS, one of the Synapse team members added this when I asked about your issue:

if the tests on develop and in a icu-related PR pass under the lower version, we’d accept a PR allowing the lower bound on python3-icu.

Best wishes Support"

I think I am already way outside my comfort level and technical knowledge. Hopefully someone else can report this to Debian as I have no idea what I am communicating.

Good to know. I’ll have to read up and try report the issue to Debian. I’ve not done this too many times either.

Usually, if I have a bug report to raise, I just yell at my coworker to fix his bug.

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Alright. Bug report in.


Looks like freedombox pulled in bpo11+2 this morning, which included a change to matrix-synapse that relaxed the optional dependency python3-icu to version 2.5.

I went to test the version package maintainer recommended that was explicitly supposed to handle this issue and found I was already updated.

I am getting an error accessing video chat on Matrix saying “unable to access microphone”. Happening on a windows and a Mac (both ends of the attempted call). Rebooted Mac and Freedombox to no avail.

Anyone else having this problem?

Sorry, I’ve not enabled/used voice calling on mine yet so I will be of no help.

If a forum search has turned up nothing, make a new thread. Hopefully one of these our active guys can point the way.


Yes, it happened to me to after the upgrade to Element 1.11.24. It seems that it’s an old problem reappearing. After trying multiple things (incl. deleting settings and reinstalling) the only thing that helped was downgrading to version 1.11.23. So I guess I’ll stick with the Appimage until the problem is resolved.

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We’ve approached version 1.11.39 now and on my computer the problem still persists. Does anybody have a different experience?

Is this for the matthewguy described or my original issue w/ synapse?