Matrix Synapse: Who is the server admin?

  • Pioneer box connected to router
  • Bought a week ago; set up earlier this week
  • I’m running Debian GNU/Linux buster/sid and FreedomBox version 19.2. FreedomBox is up to date.

I tried creating a community within my server but was met with the error below. In this case, is the admin the hidden “fbx” user? Is it the admin account through which the Matrix Synapse server was installed (think I deleted that user)? Is it supposed to be anyone in the “admin” group? Or is it no one, and this is just a quirk of having it set up on a FreedomBox?


I tried to create a community on my server and failed in the same way. This looks like an issue that should be created in my eyes.

I think a user should have the permissions to create a community out of the box.

I agree with that sentiment. I suppose it’d be good to wait for any others to weigh in before adding it, though?

Running into the same issue on 19.23. From the Vector-im github repository:

So either

How to set a server admin in Synapse on a Freedombox


How do I allow any user in Synapse to create a community (on a Freedombox)

Hi DonQuishot,

haven’t tried it on 19.23 but some time ago I had the same issue and this is how solved it:

  1. SSH into FreedomBox
  2. Open the matrix database: sudo sqlite3 /var/lib/matrix-synapse/homeserver.db
  3. Check which users exist: SELECT * FROM users;
  4. Give your prefered Matrix user the admin rights (replace my example with your username):
    UPDATE users SET admin=1 WHERE name=’’

It is also explained at

I think FeedomBox should add an option to do this when installing matrix via plinth so that SSH into the box is not necessary.

Hope it helps.

Cheers Chris

Note: I think it might be necessary to install sqlite3 via “sudo apt install sqlite3” in order to use it. Not sure anymore.

Hi Chris,

Your information is correct. I had just pieced it all together from the same sources and your post was the confirmation I needed. Thanks!

And indeed, sqlite3 needs to be installed as root. I second your idea to make setting an admin via plinth an option. In the meantime would it be possible to update the documentation with the steps above, as part of the Advanced Usage section of the Matrix setup?

Hi DonQuishot,

thanks for confirming! :+1:
I just got myself an account for the FreedomBox Manual on, however I am not sure if I should just add it myself or if there is some procedure that should be followed (e.g. creating an gitlab issue first). Maybe someone else from the community could help or let me know?

Happy holidays!

@chkmue Please feel free to add the information by yourself.

Other people who are subscribed to that page will see your changes, and can make edits or provide feedback if needed.

Thanks for contributing to the manual!

Hi James, I just added it to the wiki. So this is my first contribution to the manual…I feel proud :slight_smile:

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