Find an open source RSS reader today | Opensource.com

Find an open source RSS reader today

Posted 26 Jun 2013 by 

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We'll be quick about this.

Google Reader is shutting down on Monday. This is disappointing to more than a few RSS junkies—and we get it. We're right there with you.

In our recent poll, many folks from our community told us they're seeking alternatives to Google's beloved tool. So that you don't miss a single unread item, and for those of you who have been searching for an open source RSS reader, we've put together a short list of Google Reader replacements.

Desktop clients

You can install these RSS readers on your personal computer and hand them the list of feeds you exported from Google Reader. Then they'll download unread news items just like email and check periodically to make sure you're reading the latest. Easy.

Most open source desktop RSS readers feature the three-pane configuration that has become so familiar over the years.

  • Liferea. Ideal for Linux users preferring the GNOME desktop environment. For something similar, see Blam!
  • Akregator. Better for Linux users who are fans of KDE, and (apparently) a favorite in our community.
  • Vienna. A mainstay in the Mac RSS reader lineup. Like fan favorite NetNewsWire—but open source.
  • RSS Guard. A lean, clean, cross-platform reader that's been revived for the post-GReader age. Windows users might also like RSS Owl (there's just something about that cute little guy).
  • Newsbeuter. A text-only reader that runs from a console in Linux, FreeBSD, and Mac OS X. This one's for the diehards.
  • Thunderbird. Don't forget that this trusty ol' email client can double as an RSS reader, too. Heck, it's probably already installed on your machine.

Web-based, self-hosted

Some RSS users don't like using desktop clients to peruse their feeds. Desktop clients don't often synchronize feeds across multiple computers and other devices (at least, not without some secret assistance from Google Reader—but we all know how that'll end up next week). So you might want to set up a server to host your own RSS reader. Then your reading list is accessible over the Net and up-to-date no matter where you are. No sweat. Try these. Just download the open source code and follow the installation instructions.

  • Tiny Tiny RSS. A lightweight server-side application that visually mimics Google Reader. This one even has an Android client.
  • Feed on Feeds. Another web-based option licensed under the GPL. Some assembly required.
  • Selfoss. An install-yourself option featuring a slick user interface that embraces responsive Web design.
  • Snownews. For the no-frills power user that's spent some time in a terminal. Like Newsbeuter (above), but runs server-side.

Web-based, other-hosted

Other users like storing their reading lists online, but they don't want to be responsible for maintaining the servers that house their data. Understandable. The following online news reading services work just like Google Reader: you make an account, you subscribe to feeds, and you leave site maintenance to someone else. The only difference: these puppies are built on open source software.

  • NewsBlur. A recent redesign has this service looking much prettier. Choose from free or paid accounts.
  • CommaFeed. Self-described "bloat-free" reader. The code for this one is also on Github, so you can download and maintain your own instance.

You've probably heard of a few more. Start listing—real quick like.

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13 Comments

Juan Rodriguez

I can't say I've used this one but I'm setting up "OwnCloud News" later today.

https://github.com/owncloud/news

There's an Android Client and a mobile webapp in the works but both could use more time in the oven.

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Nawaf

I've been using owncloud news app for a few weeks now and I'm quite pleased with its performance and gui.

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r
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Vesa

i'm using feedly. Great substitute for Google Reader and works fine for me at least..

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PuTTy

And what will you do when feedly become paid ? Feedly is going to offer free and paid service whice made me to switch on Liferea, personally got already deployed tiny tiny rss server with ssl encryption on virtual machine.

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DWA

Digest is a RSS reader extension for Firefox. Using Firefox Mobile client and Sync it is possible to share feeds between a computer and phone/tablet (though I haven't tried that yet):

http://www.circuidipity.com/firefox-rss-reader.html

Been using it for a week and quite happy with it.

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bbehrens
Open Source Sensei

Great suggestions so far, folks.

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bronsen

I use stringer and am very pleased with it: https://github.com/swanson/stringer

It is open source, and you can host it yourself: the instructions do actually work unlike those from newsblur

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holmja
Open Source Sensei

I usually use the RSS plugin for Evolution. I also, ocassionally, use Liferea, but the fact that it sorts feeds in ASCII order, instead of alphabetically, means I end up manually sorting all my feeds. (And my C coding skills are way too poor to be able to submit a patch to fix that issue.)

And for anyone who wants to take the ownCloud news app route, I'd like to point out the owncloud demo site will let you test out the news app (and all the other features) before you install it on your own server.

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0xfg

If you want a minimalist and web-based rss reader, you can try miniflux: http://miniflux.net/

It's simple and easy use.

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Matt8
Newbie

i used http://www.mxhub.com/reader/ which is a hosted tt-rss . Great substitute for Google Reader !

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bbehrens
Open Source Sensei

I was wondering when we'd see something like this! Nice one, Matt!

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Rob Szarka

I'm using Tiny Tiny RSS to provide a web-based reader service at http://readtiny.com/. Feel free to stop by and create an account to try out TT-RSS -- it's a great little program! :)

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Bryan Behrenshausen | Bryan is a doctoral candidate in Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Since 2011, he's been the Opensource.com summer intern. When he's not thinking or writing about all things open source, he's playing video games or reading classic science fiction. Around the Net, he goes by the nickname "semioticrobotic."

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