Overview of RSS Readers - Self-hosted Alternatives to Google Reader

    Based on a recent recording, I decided to try out a number of products that, firstly, are open, and secondly, are installed on your own server. The review includes:
    1. rssLounge
    2. Selfoss
    3. Feed on feeds
    4. Managing news
    5. Lilina
    6. Tiny Tiny RSS
    7. ZebraFeeds
    8. Rnews
    9. Newsblur

    All readers require PHP (except the last - NewsBlur runs on python).


    Muscle is required for work, in general, installation takes about five to ten minutes. The OPML file was imported without problems, the subsequent loading of feeds also went off with a bang.


    In addition, the view view is “image only”, in which all entries are displayed in tiles.
    Functionality is generally on top. There is a calendar where you can select a date (or date range), it is possible to assign feeds priorities and filter them accordingly. You can configure authorized access and enable public read-only. Even a bookmarklet is provided. Entries can be added to favorites, and then they will not be deleted after a certain period (the term can be specified in the settings). You can easily add user feeds for devianart, twitter, and tumblr. There is definitely one or two clients for android, but this, of course, is not always enough.

    A barrel of tar in a spoon of honey was a strange work with the Cyrillic alphabet. At initial download, everything is ok, but turning on any feed will crash - and all Cyrillic characters will appear with question marks. When viewing records, they are not automatically marked as read, you can’t change this behavior in the settings. Well, the most important drawback: the project is no longer supported by the author - all his forces are now focused on Selfoss, which will be discussed below.

    Summary: A handy, easy to install, fast RSS reader with several unexpected features and few expected.

    Official site , Google Code


    Selfoss from the very beginning bribed me with its design. Of the online beauty aggregators (this is my IMHO, of course), only Feedly can compare with it. Installation took three minutes including downloading the distribution kit. The program is ready for use immediately after downloading and installing the necessary rights to folders - all possible settings are optional. You can use Sqlite (by default) or MySQL as a database. Google OPML clings, but with problems - about them below. Hotkeys are almost identical to those in Google Reader.

    Standard view (and there are no others, actually):

    As I said above, Selfoss is the brainchild of the same developer as rssLounge, and it inherited some features of its predecessor. For example, the ability to cling feeds of Twitter and Tumblr users, the possibility of public access and adding entries to favorites with the removal of obsolete entries. Hotkeys are the same. Some disadvantages also migrated: for example, records are also not marked as read when viewed.


    I have a little over a hundred subscriptions in Google Reader. Selfoss when loading tapes every time dropped to 504 - and even raising the limits to some sky-high values ​​did not help. It is possible that these are temporary problems (or even local to my server, in addition, I did not try to connect Selfoss to MySQL), but the sediment remained.
    The most important minus, in my opinion, is the inability to view a separate feed, you can watch only either everything or by tags. Also, the meaning of dividing the contents of the record into three columns, regardless of its size, is somewhat incomprehensible:

    In general, Selfoss leaves a very pleasant feeling, and there is hope that he will be able to quickly get rid of childhood diseases and study the skills of his predecessor. The adaptive design made according to all the canons is very pleased - the service is quite convenient for use on both tablets and smartphones.

    Official website , github

    Feed on feed

    Pretty old reader - the last time it was updated in 2007, and still hung on version 0.5. And yet.


    OPML loaded quickly, but this is perhaps the only thing that can be said good about this reader. Web 1.0, minimum JS. The search for some advantages ended in nothing, since all subsequent launches of the main page tightly hung the chrome tab - everything loads immediately, naturally. But there seems to be a plugin for Wordpress.

    The official site , Google Code
    PS There is also FeedOnFeeds-Redux, the successor to the FoF project, but it doesn’t do the weather: it is also hopelessly outdated.

    Managing news

    Based on the description on the site, Managing news is a powerful tool for collecting and analyzing news. The list of its features includes:
    • Subscribe to RSS / Atom
    • The ability to display news on a map
    • News Search
    • Social functions and so on.


    Managing news is based on Drupal. It was not possible to install, because I didn’t want to connect to the database, so I couldn’t do any detailed review here. An interesting little thing is the widget code with the latest news, which can be embedded anywhere. There is a bookmarklet.

    Official site.



    Minimum of functions: feed management (including auto-detection of feeds), OPML import, viewing ... and ... that's it. Two complete plug-ins add the ability to save the post in instapaper and send the link to the post to your blog on Wordpress. By the way, about Wordpress. It can be seen that the author was inspired by this particular engine, the built-in system of plugins and themes, template tags the_content (), the_title (), etc., and even the address of the knowledge base - codex.getlilina.org are hinting at this

    drawbacks. records read, no search, nothing at all. Not updated for more than a year.

    Official site , Google Code , GitHub
    PS There is lylina - It seems like a successor to lilina, but was last updated in 2006.

    Tiny Tiny RSS


    One of the most famous server RSS readers. It has (in comparison with the others) a rather extensive community, is regularly updated and full of functions. The only product presented in the review has a Russian-language interface.
    The kit comes with a couple of dozens of plugins that add a mobile interface, hotkeys like in Google Reader, auto-updater, bookmarklet and the ability to publish entries to G +, Pocket and Twitter.
    It supports multi-user mode, there is a mobile version, an application for Android, search and much more.

    Looking ahead, I will say that despite its name, this reader is the most advanced and functional of all presented in the review.

    Official website , github


    An absolute minimum of functions - the project was originally intended for further completion, customization and integration and, as you can see, is completely unsuitable for use “out of the box”.

    Official website , github


    Quite an advanced reader, but the project stalled, unfortunately, back in 2009 (however, there is still some activity on the forum ). For some reason I didn’t want to get on my server, so a screenshot from the official website:

    Opportunities: multi-user mode, public access, several types of viewing, rubrication, OPML import, and so on - all that is what you usually expect from an RSS reader.

    In general, if the project had not died, it would be a very good competitor to Tiny Tiny RSS.

    Official site


    To test NewsBlur, it is absolutely optional to install it; a fully functional demo is on the project website . Functionality on top: in addition to the standard features for this kind of software, NewsBlur allows you to view posts in the form of bare text, in the feed and in the original design. Great emphasis is placed on socialization.

    In general, the functionality is almost similar to the capabilities of GReader, however, in my opinion, the interface is very much overloaded with unnecessary elements.

    Official website , github


    I decided to reduce only those readers that are actively supported to the final table (+ rssLounge - those functions that are in it are likely to migrate to Selfoss)
     rssLoungeSelfossTiny Tiny RSSNewsblur
    Last update2011-022013-03-162013-03-152013-03-17
    RequirementsPHP, MySQL, ApachePHP, MySQL / PostgreSQL / Sqlite, Apache / Ngnix / lighttpdPHP ≥ 5.3, PostgreSQL / MySQL (InnoDB, ≥ 5.0)Python, Fabric, MySQL / PostgreSQL, MongoDB
    Import OPMLthere isthere isthere isthere is
    Import starred.json and shared.jsonNotNotNot yet)Not
    Public mode (read-only)there isthere isNotJudging by the official site, there is
    Multi-user supportNotNotYesYes
    Community activityLow , author no longer supports the projectMedium , development is carried out mainly by the authorHighDevelopment is carried out by the author
    mobile versionNotThere is a very decent adaptive designThere are several optionsNot
    Client for Androidthere isNotAt least twothere is
    Client for iOSNotNotIn developingthere is
    Automatic updatecronjobcronjobdemon, cronjobthere is
    Plugin supportNotNotNative, about 20 includedNot
    Delete old recordsCustomizableCustomizableCustomizableI did not find the settings
    Add notesNotNotthere isthere is
    Adding to Favoritesthere isthere isthere is there is
    SharingNotNotThere is a public RSS sharing in G +. Twitter, saving to Pocket, etc.There is:
    Other featuresYou can set priorities and filter accordingly, bookmarkletHeir rrsLoungeOpen API (json), tags, automatic filters, multilingualism, there is an extension for chrome, individual settings for folders and feedsAvailable as a service, extensions for browsers, individual settings for feeds, one of the main features is an intelligent filter

    Of all the readers I have found, only Tiny Tiny RSS and NewsBlur can be compared in functionality with Google Reader. Selfoss seems quite promising - given the good functionality of its predecessor, there is hope that Selfoss will become a glamorous Tiny Tiny RSS by the time Google Reader closes. All other review participants are either completely non-functional or no longer supported. I do not pretend to cover the entire range of self-hosted solutions, so if someone offers a couple more alternatives, I will be happy.

    For me personally, the Tiny Tiny RSS has become the undisputed leader - although it lacks the appearance of Selfoss (or Feedly), it is the most advanced and convenient RSS reader of all that I tested, and, most likely, I will use it.

    Finally, a survey:

    Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

    After the final shutdown of Google Reader, I ...

    • 2.9% I will stop using RSS 57
    • 49.4% I’ll go to one of the alternative services (e.g.: Feedly, Yandex.Subscriptions, The Old Reader, Digg Untitled Project, etc.) 965
    • 17.3% I will use the RSS reader on my own server 338
    • 10.8% I am Google Reader and have never used 212
    • 7.6% Never Used RSS 150 Before
    • 6% I will use a PC application (Feeddemon, NetNewsWire, etc.) 119
    • 5.7% I will write my bike (: 112

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