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  • #46
    Originally posted by McL0v1n View Post
    Dark Tangent

    I have run multiple Riot/Matrix servers and they are much MUCH better than just plain IRC. Multiple channels that can be end to end encrypted, can be bridged to other media, etc. Better than discord as discord has a bad track record with privacy and they will immediately shutdown our discord server if someone slightly steps foot out of line, even if they are trolling.

    For BROADCAST though, it would be better to stick with twitch or youtube: the infrastructure for thousands of viewers is already in place.

    JRWR and I have a matrix server built for the defconmeshnet, which is also encrypted, and can be scaled.

    Another thing about matrix/riot is you can create "communities", which would allow villages a distinction.
    Completely agree with this. I was coming in here to make the same point, but I'm glad I read the thread. It looks like Riot/Matrix checks almost all of the boxes regarding chat. It can be broken up and segmented in a way that could represent villages already, it has the ability to assign moderation within a community, and it can plug into pretty much anything else, like IRC, discord, etc. And it's all FOSS and self-hosted.

    As for the streaming stuff, I have less experience with that, but something like Twitch or Youtube would be best in my opinion because they can be viewed without having to sign up.

    Happy to help with testing or implementation efforts for Riot/Matrix if that would be helpful.


    • #47
      Hi everyone, we at 8.8 ( together with Green Events ( are doing something similar but on a smaller scale and with less complexity. Based on what we've discussed, this would be a setting that you could apply to Defcon. AWS was chosen because they have services in China (CN). We did not include VR design because we are not yet sure of a good user experience. We in 8.8 discard it. If you are interested we could discuss it and do it together, greetings!


      • Dark Tangent
        Dark Tangent commented
        Editing a comment
        Great to 8.8 here! Welcome!

    • #48
      At this point I think we are narrowing down to Discord and Riot. This week we will have more information from the test Riot server and hope to make a decision shortly after that.

      One of my concerns is that we end up on Discord because of time pressure, only to realize riot would have been a better long term choice, but then having to someone recreate all the work we did in Discord and trying to get people to move over. That would be a mess.

      Another concern is that Riot won't scale as well as Discord. Unless we can find a hosting / cloud provider that can host our Riot instance, essentially what is doing for us, we won't be able to configure, stress test, and tweak in time. That's why I am asking for any advice from people who run or are familiar with large Riot servers and their operation.

      This is where we are at. Any advice is really welcome!
      PGP key: valid 2020 Jan 15, to 2024 Jan 01 Fingerprint: BC5B CD9A C609 1B6B CD81 9636 D7C6 E96C FE66 156A


      • #49
        Hi! We think Discord is the right solution at that point.

        In the case of Discord, there is an integration API that has allowed the community to add various useful tools (guest comments for someone who does not have an account, for example).

        But we must understand that the streaming part (YouTube and Twitch) also has its social part. Will those messages be seen separately? or integrated with Discord messages?

        But it is better to integrate solutions that already have a good market size.


        • #50
          On one side, Discord is well known its limits and big servers already exist on its platform, the API is mostly mature for it as well for doing moderation and management.

          Riot would be great if you got the scaling of the database and application servers correct. Long term, a Riot server would be great, Short term, Discord is the better option.


          • #51
            I am new, and have both Discord and Riot. I like riot better. There is less clutter and overall I support decentralized projects. -two cents


            • #52
              Dark Tangent I currently host my servers on a local stack. It handles really well. Assuming theres a decision to use either AWS/OVH/GCE it should be pretty easy to set up and scale. Matrix/Synapse has things called "workers" that read off the same postgresql back end and spreads out the load. The current server has thousands of users with very little performance impact because of it. I'm more than happy to assist. I can donate compute resources to get it online and then it can be transferred to any hosting provider that works best for defcon.
              Last edited by McL0v1n; May 31, 2020, 14:31. Reason: Typo's


              • #53
                Hope at least some content will be at VR. Good reason to buy headset with money saved on Def con ticket, plane ticket and hotel :)


                • #54
                  highjack I was involved with Infosec Oasis. VR is a cool thing, but honestly if its going to be a pure streaming con it might not be the best. Maybe if people were at home and there was a 360 live stream camera in a live event like normal defcon that would be one thing. But there really isnt a good platform at this time for the scale we are at.


                  • #55
                    Originally posted by highjack View Post
                    Hope at least some content will be at VR. Good reason to buy headset with money saved on Def con ticket, plane ticket and hotel :)
                    Incorporating some pieces of VR would be a fun experience. However, the scalability would be a concern.


                    • #56
                      One thing that I haven't seen yet is any conversation on the video production itself. In know the broadcast side it vital... but some discussion of the inbound streams, mixing, and then outbound broadcast is probably a good idea.
                      Depending on the centralization or decentralization of at least some of the speakers, and/or any video producers (the team usually at the back of the room), and if you want actual "Rooms" with changing speakers instead of individual pre-recorded or multiple live streams following each other... a platform like Lightstream may be an aggregation option, or Livestream/Vimeo... otherwise a cloud install of obs/wirecast/xsplit/livestream may be a possibility... but having multiple rooms/producers/tasks (like sound eq'ing) or schedule hand-off may be tricky. Then we get into audience questions...
                      So assuming things are room based... the feed to the room (youtube/FB/Twitch/VR/other would be from an output stream of the production feed... and possibly the audience/caller question would route back from the "room" to production. note selecting/screening audience/caller/question should be separate and prior to input to production, like an audience cameraman or soundman takes a mic.

                      With decentralization... communication between "production" crew is also vital... and "tech support" for speakers needs to be separate from (but obviously interacting with) production. The recent "Virtual EDC" was kind of funny... but demonstrates my point, although attendees were on Youtube, some DJ's and production seemed to be in person in a warehouse. Even without the physical venue... a lot of the same elements/teams probably need to be replicated.

                      So, basically... we need a virtual production truck (actually several) :)
                      Last edited by DevVar; June 3, 2020, 15:04.


                      • #57
                        Good point DevVar

                        We are starting work on that now, and there seem to be a few options, but one universal seems to be Twitch and YouTube. Some have successfully used Vimeo with many different channels.

                        Let's start a new thread to talk video.
                        PGP key: valid 2020 Jan 15, to 2024 Jan 01 Fingerprint: BC5B CD9A C609 1B6B CD81 9636 D7C6 E96C FE66 156A


                        • #58
                          A small correction with the table on the first page. The official site for the Mumble project is and NOT (which is owned by a for-profit company not affiliated with the project)

                          Re: Matrix/Riot and scaling I know the official "homeserver" has been known to have some scaling issues, but I strongly suspect that's a abnormal usecase since they're the "reference" server that just about everyone uses and it's ran on a "cloud" platform vs dedicated hardware. I don't have any requirement/performance numbers on hand but I know the official developers of the Matrix project are somewhat helpful and assuming you have Riot working you can sometimes catch them in the "Matrix HQ" room (



                          • Dark Tangent
                            Dark Tangent commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Good find! I'll correct it now.

                            I think Matrix aligns more with our open source / privacy goals, but we didn't have time to build and debug server(s) as well as configure and test the software in time. After we see how the summer goes we will consider possibly hosting our own or just continuing with Discord.

                        • #59
                          Dark Tangent Im willing to donate server resources to at least start up a Defcon Matrix for the future. I run a cloud stack based in CA and have access to resources at datacenters all over the US. As well as (if possible) I would like to provide manpower (myself) to help set it up.


                          • #60
                            It isn't free and I haven't checked the TOS, but Restream ( can take one incoming stream and push it to multiple platforms, like YouTube and twitch. It integrates with Discord too. Their $299/mo business plan allows for 20 stream channels (so to speak) and provides extras like their custom broadcast software (though I would recommend OBS if the config can be shared between presenters). OBS has many plugins, for things like using phones as video sources via NDI, etc. I also have a friend that configured a setup for multiple people to stream to one channel more or less seamlessly. I'll reach out and see how they did it.