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I'm tired of add ons for browsers to read RSS feeds, so I'm looking for some client that keeps running in my desktop and keeps updated on regular basis.

  • Must run in Linux (preferably with ready to install deb)
  • Standalone (no addons/plugins)
  • Should allow adjust the frequency of updates (preferably per feed)
  • Would be nice to notify me using the desktop notifications about new entries (either using libnotify or other blob)
  • Allow copying the links of the feeds
  • Allow me to read before clicking the link
  • Open the default browser
  • Should have configuration interface and I can import/export both the configuration and feeds list.
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6 Answers 6

I have used RSSOwl daily for several years.

RSSOwl screenshot

It’s

(I’m not sure, it may, technically, be a plugin for Eclipse, but it comes as a stand-alone tool, so you don’t need to install Eclipse beforehand; I guess it just reuses it as a framework, i.e., you don’t have Eclipse after installing RSSOwl. If you have Eclipse, you may install RSSOwl as plugin.)

Your requirements

Should allow adjust the frequency of updates (preferably per feed)

You can set the automatic update frequency per feed, per folder/subfolder, and as global default. The default only applies when you don’t overwrite it per feed/folder, of course.

You can also manually update feeds (again, per feed, folder or globally).

Would be nice to notify me using the desktop notifications about new entries (either using libnotify or other blob)

You can enable notifications.

RSSOwl screenshot: notifier

I never used them, so I don’t know if they use libnotify, but I guess not. You can see a short screen cast about the notifier (using Windows, though).

The notifier can show article excerpts, and also supports some key bindings.

Allow copying the links of the feeds

You can right-click any feed and copy its URL.

Allow me to read before clicking the link

If the feed supports it, you can read the full article in RSSOwl. If not, you may use the embedded browser (never used this myself).

There is also a newspaper view.

Open the default browser

Yes, worked for me.

Should have configuration interface and I can import/export both the configuration and feeds list.

Most of the configuration can be done in the GUI, yes.

You can import/export all feeds (including custom folders) as OPML. (But such an export only includes the URLs, not the downloaded/archived content.)

IIRC, the configuration could also be imported/exported, but I never tried that. I always copied the configuration files directly.

The documentation says:

Use the Export Wizard to export your list of subscriptions including saved searches and news bins to a file. In addition to your subscriptions, you can export labels, news filters and settings to easily setup RSSOwl on a different computer.

My review

I used RSSOwl for a very long time and I was very happy with it.

My primary requirements were: FLOSS, GNU/Linux support, a good/complex search function, and the ability to save/archive all feed articles (i.e., the fulltext content).

It fulfils all these requirements. Especially the search is great (you can add saved searches as a "virtual" feed):

RSSOwl screenshot: saved search

But it had (probably still has) a fixed limit for the database size:

I used it with several hundred feeds (at some point more than 2000) and I let it archive the plain text content of most of them. When RSSOwl’s database was around 2GB in size, it stopped working correctly.

But when you don’t need to archive the articles of so many feeds, you wouldn’t have a problem with this, of course. So I can really recommend this great feed reader to almost anyone (my personal use case is probably rare, and when I’m in need of a "usual" feed reader to consume feed content I’d certainly use RSSOwl again).

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Liferea is a Linux desktop client, which could be suitable for you. I've been using it quite a while.

Your requirements:

Yes It runs on Linux
Yes It's a standalone application
Yes You can configure the frequency of feed updates (global and per feed)
Yes There is an option for popup notification. Additionally it shows the unread feed number in the system tray icon.
Yes Feed and article links can be copied
Yes Articles can be read before clicking
Yes The default browser can be opened. There are other options, too, which can be configured in the preferences.
Yes There is a preference dialog and feeds can be imported and exported

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In the interests of having a number of options, it would be worth adding Seamonkey to the list. It is a Mozilla project, and an "all-in-one internet application suite", including web-browser, advanced e-mail, newsgroup and feed client, IRC chat (Chatzilla - only chat client I use), and HTML editing.

Up front, then, this requires installing the whole suite. The benefit is that the News/Blog reader element runs as a separate (and separately launchable) app.

Feature requirements

  • Y Must run in Linux X (preferably with ready to install deb) Requires installation from *.tar.bz
  • Y Standalone (no addons/plugins)
  • Y Should allow adjust the frequency of updates X (preferably per feed) One setting for all feeds
  • Y Would be nice to notify me using the desktop notifications about new entries (either using libnotify or other blob)
  • Y Allow copying the links of the feeds
  • Y Allow me to read before clicking the link M If I have understood correctly! (Not 100% sure here)
  • X Open the default browser N.b. opens in Seamonkey browser
  • Y Should have configuration interface and I can import/export the configuration. (Import/export OPML)

Seamonkey Blog & News module

I use Feedly now, although a while back when Seamonkey was my main browser, I found it a very convenient package.

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Love the checkmarks! They make for a very easy quick check of the features –  Michiel Feb 21 at 6:34
    
@Michiel - Glad you liked the icons. :) It came from this Meta question - I'm finding it a convenient way to identify the nature of the match with OP requirements. Alt and Title text available for non-image and/or screen readers. –  Davïd Feb 21 at 9:21

The default mail/rss client for Ubuntu, Thunderbird does this wonderfully. Although it is also a mail and a chat client, there are not a whole lot of downsides to using it, in fact, the chat client can become useful if you are active on irc's

Features:

  • Runs on Linux
  • No need to add anything extra to it
  • You can change how often it checks for new feeds (however it doesn't do per feed)
  • Allows you to copy the link
  • You can read the post before you click on the link
  • Configurable interface
  • Able to import and export
  • Search through all feeds or just one
  • Notifies you of new posts (on Ubuntu it gives you a notification in the top right, not sure about other distros)
  • Ability to star posts to find them later
  • If you integrate mail into Thunderbird, you can forward posts to other people

To subscribe to feeds, first create a feed account (menu → “New Message” → “Feed Account”). Then on the feed account (called “Blogs & News Feeds” by default), use the “Subscribe” menu item or the “Manage Subscriptions” button. If you have a list of feeds in OPML or XML format, you can import it.

Screenshot:

Screenshot

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Is this with some plugin/addon help? –  Braiam Feb 20 at 18:17
    
@Braiam Nope. It comes with Thunderbird –  aman207 Feb 20 at 18:26
1  
@Braiam You need to create a feed account first. –  Gilles Feb 20 at 18:55

If you're a KDE user, you'd be familiar with Akregator

enter image description here

Y Must run in Linux (preferably with ready to install deb) - part of the KDE suite and standard with Kubuntu
Y Standalone (no addons/plugins)
? Should allow adjust the frequency of updates (preferably per feed) - lets you set frequency of updates, just not per feed

Y Would be nice to notify me using the desktop notifications about new entries (either using libnotify or other blob) It allows for selective notifications or notifications for all updates
Y Allow copying the links of the feeds - you can rightclick on a title and copy the link
Y Allow me to read before clicking the link - has a 3 pane view or an embedded web browser
Y Open the default browser
? Should have configuration interface and I can import/export the configuration - has a configuration interface, but no import/export

I'd also add that while I don't really run linux as a primary desktop system any more (since most school-related things are windows only), Akregator is the standard I hold all other rss feed clients against - such as the two pane interface with a embedded browser. Its awesome.

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Currently, I have an instance of Tiny Tiny RSS running on my own server. On my desktop, I'm reading the feeds through it's web interface. On my Android devices, I'm using TTRSS-Reader. This method has the big advantage, that articles, which have been marked as read on one device show up as read on every other device.

Liferea is a desktop client, which can connect to Tiny Tiny RSS instances, too. But the integration seemed a little bit buggy to me, last time I tried it.

Tiny Tiny RSS fits you requirements as follows:

Yes The client is a web interface, which is platform-independent. Liferea is a Linux application.
No It's not standalone, as you need a running web server for the server part.
Yes Update frequency is customizable (global and per feed)
No Liferea has desktop notifications, I'm not aware of a browser plugin, which would do that job for the web client.
Yes Feed links can be copied
Yes Feeds can be read, before opening the links
Yes The default browser is used
Yes There is a configuration interface, the feeds can be imported and exported

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If you're running an unsupported mobile device, or even a supported one, g2ttrss is a nice thing to be running alongside ttrss. It's a seperate webapp that gives a google reader style UI –  Journeyman Geek Feb 22 at 0:22
1  
I was looking mostly for something that runs in the desktop with several rss feeds. Could you write in what aspects does any of those recommendations works for me? –  Braiam Feb 22 at 0:29
    
Might be a bit confusing: "It fits you requirements" → which one? Liferea? (Guess not, as you've introduced that separately – but you might wish to make that a little clearer :) –  Izzy Feb 24 at 21:11
    
Yes, you're right. I corrected that one. –  Customizer Feb 25 at 19:03

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