Filtering: In or Out, Exclusive or Inclusive and Regular Expressions

My current preferred open source, self-hosted & simple RSS reader is Selfoss. I compared several of these types of RSS readers in a prior post and came to different conclusion, but I’ve been using Selfoss for at least a year now. My having switched to it may have coincided with improvements from the mobile reading side, which used to be… not good.

I have at least one aggregated feed in my lineup which pulls in feeds from multiple sources based on a common topic. But a lot of the posts are about things I care not at all about. I’ll give an example. I really like posts about programming and exploring concepts in certain computer languages, but I really don’t want to know anything about commercial products related to programming or professional conferences. How can I keep that stuff out of my reader? By using Selfoss’s filter feature, of course.
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Keep getting logged out from Selfoss on Debian

I’m running Selfoss RSS reader and loving it!

One thing I don’t love is that it logs me out frequently (BTW, I’m running Apache php-fpm on Debian Jessie). But I think I found a solution. Try adding this to a file called .user.ini in the document root of Selfoss:

The 604800 means one week. If you’re running mod_php rather than FPM, you can add these lines to your .htaccess file.

UPDATE: The format for .user.ini is not the same used in .htaccess. The .user.ini version looks like this:

Use whatever cache_limiter() setting suits your needs best.

Self-hosted open source RSS readers

I think I’ve tried pretty much all of them. After the Google Reader-pocalypse, one of the primary requirements was that I could host it myself. Bonus points go to apps that have configurable keyboard navigation (“j” to open the next item must be distinct from “space” to just scroll down in the browser), as well as decent integration on mobile. Here’s a roundup of the ones I’ve tried.


Awesome platform, but way too big for someone looking to host their own personal solution. I tried upgrading it once and broke it. No idea what I did wrong or how to even figure out how why it wasn’t working. Seems very well designed for a massive multi-user operation, though, if you’ve got the Python chops to figure everything out. Newsblur website.


Commafeed is also a larger piece of software, but requires many fewer components than Newsblur. You need Java, some java tools like maven, a DB and of course more than a little bit of RAM.

TT-RSS (Tiny Tiny RSS)

Nice, but not as configurable as I’d like. This and the rest of the readers listed are written in PHP. There are three larger downsides to tt-rss:

  • I had quite a bit of trouble trying to get it to run from a subdirectory on Nginx. This is not necessarily specific to tt-rss, many apps are hard to config this way.
  • The primary developer is not friendly. He seems to take pleasure in ridiculing people in the support forums.
  • Although it’s supposed to be tiny, and the application part is, it requires Postgres or MySQL with InnoDB support. I would prefer something that uses less memory on the DB side, either MyISAM tables or better yet SQLite.


I ran SelfOSS for a while and liked it. However, I didn’t like the Android experience (what, no swipe?) so I went looking for something else.


I’m currently running FreshRSS and it’s really, really good. But I’m starting to get discouraged by a few nagging bugs and the lack of recent updates to the github repo.


I ran Miniflux for a short time a while back and my memory is a bit hazy on the experience (after a while RSS reader experiences tend to blend in with one another). I think I’m going to give it another shot. On his site, reading down the list of what Miniflux is not vs what it is makes me take heart. The developer is clearly trying to convey a no-BS attitude with his intentions for this app. One thing that gives me a spark of hope is that there was a new point release this month. I will update this post with any news with Miniflux.

Commafeed UI tweak

If you’re not using Commafeed, (and really, why aren’t you) and you like web-based feed readers, you should check it out – it’s pretty great.

There is one UI flaw that bugged me with the latest commit I grabbed today: the left sidebar with the list of feeds was too wide. Luckily, Commafeed makes it easy to adjust the CSS of any theme. Click the settings button, then the Appearance tab, and add the following to the Custom CSS box:

That makes the separator between the main content area and left sidebar shift to the left by 50 pixels. All that glaring extra white space is gone now.