Open source, encrypted, responsive chat. Built on node.js/ Super easy to customize.
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.gitignore Create Oct 3, 2014
server.js Merge pull request #77 from ryanlelek/lelek-packages Dec 5, 2017


Open source, fully encrypted chat goodness. Built as an open source clone of ChatStep, with node.js/

I welcome your feedback greatly! Whether you're a beginner trying to use this to learn, or an expert who can poke holes in my encryption, please let me know! This is imperfect software that I'll keep developing as time goes own.

Cool Frontend Things

  • It's repsonsive and mobile friendly!
  • It's built on bootstrap and underscore, so manipulating it is easy
  • It's 100% HTML5 W3C compliant
  • It's iOS web app capable

Cool Backend Things

  • It runs on node.js & 1.1.0 - up to date!
  • It's easy for beginners to extend!

Cool Things

  • 100% encrypted with the Rabbit cipher - encryption can be trusted even over untrusted connections!
  • The key never leaves the user side, nor is there any logging performed whatsoever - extremely anonymous
  • It supports the drag and drop sending of images with the HTML5 File API (encrypted, of course), with fallbacks for mobile
  • It's open source and MIT licensed - you can edit, inspect the code, and tweak to your needs
  • Because it's open source, it's transparent. Don't trust your data to a chat service that is purportedly secure, but unwilling to open the code for you to examine.

Special thanks to tamaspiros, whose project was my main teacher of node and socket, and the spiritual predecessor to this app.


Wondering if FreeStap is right for you? Use the below instructions to get a local demo of FreeStep working on your machine.

  • Clone the repository (git clone
  • Install dependencies (npm install)
  • Start the server (node server.js)
  • View in browser http://localhost:3000


Get the files

  • Install node & npm (sudo yum install nodejs npm for CentOS with EPEL repos; beyond that, try here)
  • Fork this repo to your own account
  • Clone to your box (git clone

Configure & Install the app

  • Change port and host to your own port and IP in server.js:

    app.set('port', process.env.OPENSHIFT_NODEJS_PORT || 80);
    app.set('ipaddr', process.env.OPENSHIFT_NODEJS_IP || "");
  • Change port and host to your own port and IP in public/js/client.js:

    var socket = io.connect("");
  • If desired, change the customMode, appName, and appByline variables in client.js to have a custom name, byline, and home page.

  • Install node and bower dependencies with npm install. Note that this should not be run with admin credentials, as the post-install bower install will cause problems/error out when attempted as root.


  • The current build is configured for SSL. To configure for non-SSL, change https = require("https"), to http = require("http"), remove the sslOptions param from var server = https.createServer(sslOptions, app);, and change port numbers to something more appropriate. You'll also need to delete the big comment-block-bracketed chunk at the top that redirects from HTTP->HTTPS.

Install and run the app

  • Install the app (npm install)
  • Run the app (sudo npm start) (sudo required due to the low port number)
  • Access in your browser at your host's address (or whatever your host is)

For development, I highly recommend supervisor (npm install supervisor) - it watches files for changes and restarts your server when they occur. When combined with the debug variable in client.js, this is powerful way to have the app restarted and be dropped into a room whenever you change a file. My customary command for development was:

sudo supervisor --watch .,public --extensions node,js,css,html server.js

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