Command line admin tool for Synapse (Matrix reference homeserver)

api-client, matrix, python3, synapse
pip install synadm==0.35


synadm - the Matrix-Synapse admin CLI


A CLI tool to help admins of Matrix-Synapse homeservers conveniently issue commands available via its admin API.


  • Python 3.6+
  • a running Synapse instance
  • an admin-enabled user on the instance
  • the admin user's access token

synadm is designed to run either directly on the host running the Synapse instance or on a remote machine able to access Synapse's API port. Synapse's default admin API endpoint address usually is http://localhost:8008/_synapse/admin or https://localhost:8448/_synapse/admin.


Install from PyPI

pip3 install synadm

Install from git

1. Check Python version

python3 --version should show at least v3.6.x

2. Clone repo:

git clone

3. Install package globally

This will install synadm and all dependent Python packages to your system's global Python site-packages directory:

cd synadm
sudo python3 install

Note: If you get an import error for setuptools, make sure the package is installed. Debian based systems: sudo apt install python3-setuptools, RedHat based: sudo yum install python3-setuptools

4. Run

synadm should now run fine without having to add a path in front of it:

synadm -h

Note: Usually setuptools installs a command wrapper to /usr/local/bin/synadm, but that depends on your system.

Note: In case you don't want synadm to be installed to a global system directory see chapter install to virtual environment.

Note: synadm is multi-user aware - it stores its configuration inside the executing user's home directory. See chapter configuration.


Getting an admin token

To find out your admin user's token in Element-Web: Login as this user - "Click User Avatar" - "All Settings" - "Help & About" - Scroll down - "Advanced" - "Access Token"

Or use synadm to fetch a token already. Use the fully qualified Matrix ID of the admin user:

synadm matrix login

If you issue this command in a fresh synadm installation, the configurator will launch anyway.

  • Answer the questions.
  • Set token to "invalid" at first, to convience synadm to launch the matrix login command (otherwise you'd get a "Configuration incomplete" error).
  • After successfully entering your admin password you will be presented a token which you can finally set by re-launching the configurator as described below.

The configurator

synadm asks for necessary configuration items on first launch automatically. Also whenever new mandatory configuration items where added (eg after an update), the user will be prompted for missing items automatically.

Configuration can be changed any time by launching the configurator directly:

synadm config

Configuration will be saved in ~/.config/synadm.yaml

Note: Be aware that once you configured synadm, your admin user's token is saved in the configuration file. On Posix compatible systems permissions are set to mode 0600, on other OS's it is your responsibilty to change permissions accordingly.


To use synadm with Synapse homeservers that were installed using matrix-docker-ansible-deploy you have two options.

Access the Synapse Admin API's "via the public endpoint" similar to a Matrix client.

  • In vars.yaml set matrix_nginx_proxy_proxy_matrix_client_api_forwarded_location_synapse_admin_api_enabled: true.
  • The API's are accessible on the Client-Server API port, at https://matrix.DOMAIN.
  • Install synadm on your Docker host or on a separate machine.
  • Configure synadm to access at https://matrix.DOMAIN:443/_synapse/admin

Alternatively, you can access the API's on the container network matrix.

  • Synapse is accessible via the hostname matrix-synapse resolved by the internal Docker DNS server.
  • The containers are connected internally via a network named matrix by default.
  • Start a container on that same network and install synadm into it.
  • Configure synadm to access at http://matrix-synapse:8008/_synapse/admin (http here, not https).

Find some more details about the topic in this issue post on the matrix-docker-ansible-deploy repo.

Note that currently synadm is using a part of the Server-Server (Federation) API (keys/v2/server) to retrieve "its own homeserver name". This affects some of the media management commands. By default and also as the Matrix spec recommends, this API is not accessible via the Client-Server API port. We are working on a better solution to retrieve the own servername but as a workaround the key API's can be exposed by setting matrix_synapse_http_listener_resource_names: ["client","keys"] in vars.yaml.

Find more details about the topic here.


A detailed Command Line Reference can be found in synadm's readthedocs documentation.

Use the online help of the main command:

synadm -h

and of the available subcommands:

synadm version -h
synadm user -h
synadm room -h

You even can spare the -h option, synadm will show some abbreviated help for the executed subcommand anyway. For example:

synadm user


synadm user details

will show essential help for the particular subcommand right away.

Note: A complete list of currently available commands is found in in chapter implementation status / commands list


Update PyPI package

pip3 install synadm --upgrade

Update git installation

To update synadm to the latest development state, just update your git repo and reinstall:

cd synadm
git pull
python3 install

Note: If you installed to a Python venv, first load it as described in install to virtual environment.

Note: If you installed in development mode you can spare the python3 install command - just git pull any you're done.

Implementation status / commands list

Follow this link to the official Synapse Admin API docs - direct links to the specific API documentation pages are provided in the list below.

Note: Most commands have several optional arguments available. Put -h after any of the below listed commands to view them or have a look at the Command Line Reference.

  • Account Validity
  • Delete Group (delete community)
  • Event Reports
  • Media Admin
    • media list -r <room id>
    • media list -u <user id> (alias of user media <user id>)
    • media quarantine -s <server name> -i <media id>
    • media quarantine -r <room id>
    • media quarantine -u <room id>
    • media protect <media id>
    • media delete -s <server name> -i <media id>
    • media delete -s <server name> --before <date> --size 1024
    • media purge --before <date> (purge remote media API)
  • Purge History
    • history purge <room id>
    • history purge-status <purge id>
  • Purge Rooms (DEPRECATED, covered by room delete)
  • Register Users
  • Manipulate Room Membership
    • room join
  • Rooms
    • room list
    • room details <room id>
    • room members <room id>
    • room delete <room id>
    • room make-admin <room id> <user id>
    • room state <room id>
    • Additional commands and aliases around room management
      • room search <search-term> (alias of room list -n <search-term>)
      • room resolve <room alias>
      • room power-levels
      • room count
      • room top-complexity
      • room top-members
  • Server Notices
  • Shutdown Room (DEPRECATED, covered by room delete)
  • Statistics
  • Users
    • user details <user id>
    • user modify <user id> (also used for user creation)
    • user list
    • user deactivate <user id> (including GDPR erase)
    • user password <user id>
    • user membership <user id>
    • user whois <user id>
    • user shadow-ban <user id>
    • user media -u <user id> (also available as media list -u <user id>)
    • user login <user id>
    • Additional commands and aliases around user management
      • user search <search-term> (shortcut to user list -d -g -n <search-term>)
      • user create <user id> (alias of user modify ...)
      • user prune-devices <user id>
  • Server Version
    • version
  • Registration Tokens
    • regtok list
    • regtok details <registration token>
    • regtok new
    • regtok update <registration token>
    • regtok delete <registration token>

Get in touch / feedback / support

If you need help with installing, usage or contribution or have anything else on your mind, just join public matrix room and get in touch. I am also hanging around on and regularily. Just ask for a jojo ;-)


How can I help?

  • Install synadm and report back whether or not the installation process worked on the OS you're running.
  • Read the Synapse admin API docs, pick a feature, implement it and send a pull-request - see implementation examples chapter, it really isn't hard, take a look!
  • If you don't code, you can still help me prioritize what to code next: Pick a feature from the docs just mentioned, open a github issue in this repo and tell me what it is. Alternatively just catch me on or

Thanks in advance for any help! I can't do this without you!

Install to virtual environment

If you'd rather prefer to install synadm into its own private virtual Python environment or even would like to help code it, this is a much cleaner approach compared to the steps descibed in the main installation chapter

1. Check Python version

python3 --version should show at least v3.6.x

2. Clone repo:

git clone

3. Setup and load a new Python3 virtual environment

Create and activate a virtual environment using the python3 venv module:

python3 -m venv ~/.venvs/synadm
source ~/.venvs/synadm/bin/activate

Once your Python virtual environment is loaded and your prompt looks similar to (synadm) .... $ , install directly into the environment:

4. Install

cd synadm
python3 install

Note: Don't forget to activate the venv when coming back to using synadm after a fresh login: source ~/.venvs/synadm/bin/activate

5. Run

As long as your venv is loaded synadm should run fine without having to add a path in front of it

synadm -h

Install in development mode

If you'd like to contribute to synadm's development, it's recommended to use a venv as described above, and also use a slightly different installation command:

cd synadm
python3 develop

Note: When installed like this, code-changes inside the repo dir will immediately be available when executing synadm. This could also be used as a quick way to just stay on top of synadm's development.

Implementation examples

Without much talk, have a look at this method:


and this one:

def user_details(self, user_id):

That's all it needs to implement command synadm user details <user_id>.

And another example, this time using a POST based API endpoint. It implements command synadm user password <user_id>. This is the CLI-level method:


and again it needs a backend method in

def user_password(self, user_id, password, no_logout):

Developer's documentation

Have a look at synadm's module documentation pages on readthedocs