TinyTiny RSS

Published on 03.03.2018 - 12:23 - 3 minute read

RIP Google RSS

This Post is long time over do. I once was a heavy user of the Google Reader, a RSS feed reader, developed by Google. However, Google discontinued the Reader in June 2013. Ever since the shutdown, I was forced to use a different services to read my news.

At first I used feedly. But whenever I used feedly on my Android phone it turned into pain.The App was loading content very slow, even with wifi enabled. A 2015 note: I don’t know how feedly has improved since 2015, but the another issue is that the feedly is not open source. So I was looking for some open source service. There are quite some options. TinyTiny Rss(TT-RSS) seems to be what I was looking for.

Installation of TT-RSS

The features provide by TT-RSS can be seen as satisfying, however they dependency with PHP give me a unpleasant pain in the back of my brain. For the databases backend Postgresql can be used.

Package

There are no debian package from the project itself(2018 Note: Nowadays there are package for debian). Only the people doing home-made repository. The installation is quite simple. You can download the archive from they github site. For my local system I use Gentoo. someone was to kind and added the package the portage tree and with a simple:

emerge -avq www-apps/tt-rss

For Ubuntu you can use the PPA from webupd8.org

2018 update

Debian Sid has a package of it’s own:

apt-get install tt-rss

Should work fine on modern debian based distribution

Database

Before you can use TT-RSS you need to run a Database.

CREATE USER rss LOGIN PASSWORD 'rss';
CREATE DATABASE rss OWNER 'rss';
ALTER ROLE rss ENCRYPTED PASSWORD 'rss';

Next is to alter the /etc/postgresql-9.1/pg_hba.conf to allow access to the right databases.

host    rss        rss        127.0.0.1/32          md5

Now I can access it via 127.0.0.1 with the psql.

psql -U rss  rss
psql (9.1.9)
Type "help" for help.

rss=>

Webserver

For the my POC I do use an Apache Web service. I do use a simple vhost configuration.

<VirtualHost *:80>
        ServerName localhost
        Include /etc/apache2/vhosts.d/default_vhost.include

        <Directory /var/www/localhost/htdocs/tt-rss>
                        Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
                        AllowOverride None
                        Order allow,deny
                        allow from all
        </Directory>

        <IfModule mpm_peruser_module>
                ServerEnvironment apache apache
        </IfModule>
</VirtualHost>
</IfDefine>

and making sure that PHP is in the /etc/config.d/apache enabled.

Configuration of TT-RSS

Configuration from web

From here the installation is simple, login to the 127.0.0.1/tt-rss/ and follow the installation instructions or you change it within the config.php like this:

define('DB_TYPE', "pgsql"); // pgsql or mysql
define('DB_HOST', "localhost");
define('DB_USER', "rss");
define('DB_NAME', "rss");
define('DB_PASS', "rss");
define('DB_PORT', '5432');

Testing

Just subscribe to some feeds and you’re done! One great plugin is FeedMode (2018 note: this project is abandoned.) The plugin fetches the content of an article instead the header. This way, it’s possible to read the context out of Tiny-Tiny-RSS itself. That becomes particular useful on a smartphone.

Android Application

One last thing, you can use TT-RSS with an App for a Android Phone. You can get it from the play store or from F-Droid. For the usage of the App you need to enable the API on Tiny-Tiny-RSS.

Summary

TinyTiny-RSS is a good alternative for the Google Reader. With the plugins it become almost a replacement for the Google Reader. There is also a great Android App that can be used to connect and read feeds from an Android Phone.

2018: I had this article done since 2015… however never finished it… the original post was on 5th of January in 2014! But I’m getting going!

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