Tiny Tiny RSS: More open source Google Reader alternatives

I posted about selfoss last week, an open source and self hosted rss reader as alternative to Google Reader. After installing it and posting about it, I stumbled across an even feature richer software: Tiny Tiny RSS. Despite the name, TTRSS really isn’t tiny, it’s features are for example:

  • Very good import from Google Reader (OPML import and export.)
  • Nice clean AJAX interface, as well as a mobile interface and mobile apps.
  • Keyboard shortcuts.
  • Easy installation, requires PHP&MySQL.
  • Multiuser support.
  • Plugin support.
  • Multiple language support
  • Filtering and scoring, I’m quite curious if I find a cool use for that feature.
  • API to access it with other services, for example desktop clients

Tiny Tiny RSS Screenshot

Installation is quite easy, the official documentation should be sufficient to get you going. After installation you might want to do one or more of the things I did:

First I got my Google Reader data imported: Export your feeds from Reader and extract the subscriptions.xml from the archive. You can upload it to ttrss in the settings dialog under feeds, OPML. Next I activated some plugins under settings and plugins. I activated the Google+-sharing plugin and the mail plugin, but there might be others that could be useful to you. After that I installed a plugin for Chrome to be able to subscribe to feeds directly from the browser. Install the plugin and open the plugins settings to add „http://yourservername/public.php?op=subscribe&feed_url=%s“ as a service. Firefox users might want to check this article instead. If you prefer a more Google Reader like interface, check in this forum, there are lots of CSS snippets going around that try to accomplish that.

And I guess that’s it, ttrss is filling the hole Reader left quite well for me. My workflow hasn’t changed much and the differences might prove to be valuable additions in the future. I’m very curious what kind of plugins the new users create and what more they are going to do with the API. What are you using as a feed reader now?

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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:

[cc lang=“bash“ line_numbers=“off“]
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
[/cc]

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):

[cc lang=“ini“ line_numbers=“off“]
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
[/cc]

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