Read Monero Observer inside your terminal using Newsboat RSS feed client
In an effort to increase profits, website owners have started using social media, newsletters, apps and trackers. The main casualty of this process is the user’s privacy.
There is a way to stop trading privacy for content/notifications and break that dependency on browsers, emails and all that bloat: RSS.
Really Simple Syndication1 has been around for a long time. It was and still is arguably one of the best way to consume content. You can use RSS to stay up to date with pretty much any website: blogs, video channels, git repos, tweets, posts and news sites.
Newsboat2 is an open-source RSS feed reader/client for your terminal. It’s lightweight, extensible and has terminal notifications.
- you are running a Unix/Unix-like system (GNU/Linux, FreeBSD or macOS)
There are several ways to install Newsboat:
A. Using a pre-built binary for your OS3 (easy, recommended)
In Debian 10 for instance, you can run
sudo apt install newsboat.
Note that this might install an outdated/legacy version of the application.
There’s a non-exclusive list4 you can refer to. Search for the Newsboat version that is maintained for your OS.
B. From the Snap Store5 (easy, not recommended)
If you want to use Snap, just run:
sudo snap install newsboat.
C. From source6 (advanced, most secure, latest version)
You will get the most up-do-date source code, regardless of what is packaged in your OS, if you can build Newsboat from source.
After you download the source code, install dependencies and compile, you can finally install Newsboat.
Once installation is completed, you can simply type
newsboat in your terminal to start it.
It is expected to get an error message similar to this one:
Error: no URLs configured. Please fill the file /home/ak/.newsboat/urls with RSS feed URLs or import an OPML file.
Let’s do just that.
nano .newsboat/urls(opens the urls file in nano text editor)
Paste in the Monero Observer RSS feed urls, one per line:
https://monero.observer/feed.xml https://monero.observer/feed-ta.xml https://monero.observer/feed-blitz.xml
Save and exit (CTRL+X if you used
nano to edit the file).
This is the minimum configuration needed to run Newsboat. You can tweak it and make it your own by consulting Newsboat’s documentation7.
As soon as you have some feeds in your
urls file, run
newsboat again and press
R to refresh all feeds.
Navigate using your arrow keys and by pressing the Enter key to select a feed; press it again to read a specific article.
Q brings you back to the previous screen. Exmaple: if you are on the article list of a feed and press it once, you go back to the feeds list; pressing it twice quits Newsboat.
This is all basic usage and should help you get around, but you can bind your own keys and do lots of fancy things with Newsboat. Everything is in the docs.
Newsboat is not lacking in features. Here are a few:
Newsboat automatically caches the article that it downloads, so if an article is removed from the RSS feed by the website’s owner, you can still read it.
You can search by pressing
/and entering your query. Newsboat will search both titles and content. If you wish to search every article of every feed, make sure you are on the all feeds screen, otherwise it will only search inside a specific feed.
To add terminal notifications, just edit the config file:
nano ./newsboat/config(opens the config file in nano text editor)
Paste in the following instructions:
auto-reload yes reload-time 5 reload-threads 500 notify-screen yes notify-beep yes notify-xterm yes notify-format "Newsboat: %n new/%f feeds"
Save and exit.
Newsboat will auto-reload all feeds every 5 minutes and notify the terminal of new activity by changing the window title: Newsboat: 21 new/3 feeds. Change the values as you see fit.
Use Newsboat in Qubes/Whonix/Tails, or torify the connection by running one of the following commands:
To further explore Newsboat, I suggest you read the docs and search the net. I will also try to assist, if you email me.
Luke Smith’s videos8 on RSS & Newsboat are excellent guides. You can also subscribe to his feed by adding
https://lukesmith.xyz/rss.xml to your
There are lots of RSS readers out there, you just have to find the one you like best. For people that actually live in the terminal, I’m sure Newsboat is #1.
How are you reading Monero Observer? I’m curious.
If you find these guides helpful, I will create more.
Contact details @ /about.