selfoss: Self hosted alternative to Google Reader

Screenshot of selfoss with the special source to get the full article in the heise feed
Screenshot of selfoss with the special source to get the full article in the heise feed

Update: I switched to Tiny Tiny RSS, which already has far more features I wanted, I also blogged about my experiences.

Since Google Reader announced that it is going down, lots of articles describing alternatives came up. I wanted to host my own RSS-Reader for some time so this was the final reason to do it. Since I couldn’t make Newsblur work on my own host last time I tried it, I tried selfoss which is a great deal easier. Here are my first impressions of selfoss:

  • Nice user interface, even on my android phone.
  • Got keyboard shortcuts very similar to Google Reader.
  • Not only RSS sources but some special sources to get full content of sites that only have a teaser in their RSS feed.
  • The article text is divided into three panes much like a newspaper.
  • Easy to install (only PHP needed, MySQL optionally.)
  • At the moment there is sadly no way to read by feed, only by category or tag. Hope this will be integrated in the future. I would like to be able to have a view just like in Google Reader, where I can view whole categories but also a single feed from the category. But I’m managing by creating categories with only one feed in them.
  • I’m also missing an option to automatically mark an item read when I open it.

So selfoss isn’t a perfect solution for me, but I might try and add some of the missing features myself and I bet after todays news more user will use and therefore enhance it. If you just want to install it on your hoster without MySQL, it is really simple. To let it run in my Ubuntu server I had to enable the rewrite and headers modules and create a cronjob for the updates:

sudo a2enmod headers
sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo service apache2 restart
sudo echo "*/5 * * * * nobody wget -o /dev/null http://your.domain/selfoss/update" >> /etc/cron.d/selfoss

Update: If you are running on a Debian with default settings or get a 500 server error on other distributions, try to add „AllowOverride All“ in your webserver/vhost config. (source)

I’m running it with MySQL and authentication with this configuration file (config.ini in the selfoss directory):

db_type=mysql
#db_file=data/sqlite/selfoss.db
db_host=localhost
db_database=selfoss
db_username=selfoss
db_password=YOUR_DB_PASS
db_port=3306
logger_level=ERROR
items_perpage=50
items_lifetime=400
base_url=
username=username
password=YOUR_PASSWORD_HASH
salt=YOUR_RANDOM_SALT
public=
rss_title=selfoss feed
rss_max_items=300
rss_mark_as_read=0
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3 Antworten auf „selfoss: Self hosted alternative to Google Reader“

  1. I had the same problem with newsblur. I tried to set it up a couple of days ago but the install instructions are not the greatest.

  2. I switched from selfoss to Tiny Tiny RSS, which isn’t that tiny at all. It has lots of features already and an easy installation. I might blog about it as well, but I didn’t have time so far.

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