CLI Apps: Newsbeuter RSS Reader

I use Irssi for IRC, and ocasionally TTYter for twitter so when Google Reader finally died a few months back I had to find a replacement. I was looking for a console based application, and I found one in Newsbeuter. This is a linux console based program to read your RSS feeds with minimal fuss. It runs great on a shell server, and plays nicely with screen.



It is configured with a simple text file list of URLs and associated tags (think, folders for your feeds). Once it’s configured simply run the program in your shell and learn the keybinds to get started. Shiftl+R reloads all of your feeds. Press Enter to go into a specific feed, Q to go back. To filter based on tags simply press t at the main screen and select your desired tag. Simple.

Newsbeuter showing a tupcast post

Press ‘n’ to go to the next article, ‘s’ to save them (I beleive you can even set up scripts to add stuff to read it later but I’ve not really looked into it!), and once again ‘q’ to go back. My config file is found at ~/.newsbeuter/config and only has one setting. I tell newsbeuter to use the browser links, rather than my shells default of lynx. It copes with tables and layout much better in a text based environment. This is handy if I am away from my local machines and don’t want to open feed links on a computer that isn’t mine.

browser links

My list of URLs is found at ~/.newsbeuter/urls and is in the format URL tags like this: hack geek technology news uk

In this example Tupcast has no tags set, Hack a day has three tags (hack, geek, and technology) , and BBC news has two. There is a special tag you can use to rename feeds in the program too. This works as follows to rename the ask reddit feed. “~New feed name here”. reddit "~Reddit: Ask Reddit"

The URL file is compatible with comments, just start lines with #. Useful for organising your list.

Putty URL Selection Trick

It is possible to make links easily clickable in Putty. Just go to your connection settings, then Window > Selection. You’ll need to change the colon (:) to class 2. Set this, save your configuration and give it a whirl. When you double click any link, it’ll automatically select the whole thing!

Putty URL Selection Options