Liferea – The Perfect RSS Aggregator For Your Linux Desktop

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liferea intro   Liferea   The Perfect RSS Aggregator For Your Linux DesktopSince our need for information is growing, we need a good, reliable way of getting the information we care about. RSS feeds can do the job well, but managing those feeds is another story. There are some great online services like Google Reader, but there’s a chance you’re not always going to be online, depending on where you are with your machine. Therefore, a desktop client would be best. But for Linux, which client is best? Liferea will easily do the job.

Introduction & Installation

Liferea, short for Linux Feed Reader, is a simple RSS feed reader with some extra functionality. You can easily install it in any distribution by searching for a

liferea

package. Install it, and open it up!

Getting Started

The program is very easy to use. As soon as you open it, you are already within the main program window, and it will already be updating the few default feeds that it has configured. Here you can click on a source in the left pane and view individual articles from that source in the right pane. If you scroll down a little, you’ll find a metafolder of all unread items, so you can quickly read all the unread articles instead of searching for them in each individual news source.

liferea welcome   Liferea   The Perfect RSS Aggregator For Your Linux Desktop

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Adding new feeds is quick and easy. Just click on the “Add Subscription” button, and type in either the full URL of the RSS feed if you know it, or simply type in the home address of the site and Liferea will pick out the default one for you.

liferea articles   Liferea   The Perfect RSS Aggregator For Your Linux Desktop

Features

Migration to Liferea is also very easy. The program does a great job of importing and exporting feed lists. If you’ve been a user of Google Reader, you can export your feed list from there and import it into Liferea, and you’ll have all the sources that you had in Google Reader.

If you happen to peek into the preferences (though you really don’t need to), you’ll find a handful of options to customize your viewing experience, as you might expect from Linux. Surprisingly (for me), there are also a few social media options, such as where to store bookmarks.

Finally, the last great and unique feature of Liferea is a script manager, where you can add custom scripts that run whenever a certain action occurs. You can choose where to hook the script, just as startup. Scripts isn’t my domain, but if you like customizing the world via scripts, this might even be your most-used feature, aside from your actual reading.

Conclusion

Overall, Liferea is among the best RSS feed readers that I’ve seen, especially on Linux. For me, it is feature-complete and does what I want it to do. The extra features and settings will also make those happy who want more out of the program than just simple reading. Even if you’ve never got into reading RSS feeds, try Liferea. Just add a source by entering the website, and you’ll get started in no time.

A word of wisdom for those who may be confused by this – at startup, Liferea needs to write a lot onto your hard drive because it is updating a list of feeds when it starts, and it will take longer if you have more feeds in Liferea. The disk activity may slow down your system until it is done, so be aware of that instead of screaming and kicking at your computer. Just remember, the sooner it’s done, the better.

Are you an active RSS feed reader? Do you or will you be using Liferea? Could Liferea possibly get you into reading RSS feeds? Do you think RSS feeds are even relevant now with other ways to get news and information? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credit: Flickr

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9 Comments - Write a Comment

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Karthik Prabhu

I’ve been using Liferea ever since I installed Ubuntu on my PC. It’s a really simple and feature-rich RSS reader for any linux distro. Among all the RSS readers I had installed on my PC, I found Liferea to be the best one.

Danny Stieben

That’s great. If you don’t mind me asking, what other RSS readers have you tried?

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Vinay Kola

Why would you use this when Google Reader satisfies all your needs? Are there any benefits of using a desktop RSS reader over GReader?

Tina

Vinay,

some people prefer alternatives to Google because Google is almost offering too many convenient services. And on the other hand, it may not satisfy all the needs for everyone!

Anonymous

One of the benefits of a desktop RSS reader is that all the feeds are downloaded to your hard drive so you can read them at your leisure when offline. Particularly useful when you’re travelling and you don’t always have a wifi connection. Google Reader doesn’t work offline. 

Danny Stieben

Yes, what Tina and techandlife said. However, if you’re perfectly happy with using Google Reader, then keep using it!

Reply

Anonymous

I’m using WebReader on all platforms. If I want to change the OS on my PC no need to look for another rss reader.

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Philharmania

I may try Liferea or RSSOwl if either of them starts to support Google Reader, but before that I will stick with GR. With GR, it’s easier to integrate the whole workflow with some other services such as Read It Later and Evernote.

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