Command-Line RSS Reader

September 13th, 2008

So, does anybody know of a command-line RSS reader? I want something that will save state and output recent entries in a nicely parsable manner. Maybe URL\tTitle\tDecscription\n or somesuch.

So here’s why I’m asking.

I got to thinking that it might be nice to automatically post to Twitter when I’ve got a new blog post up, rather than manually have to say “just wrote a blog post.”

Then I also got to thinking that when I see an interesting URL that I’m going to Twitter about, I’m also almost always adding it as a bookmark to Delicious. Why not make a fortwitter tag on Delicious, and automatically post my comments about them to Twitter, saving me having to do it twice?

So I’ve got Twidge that can be nicely used in a shell script to do this stuff. I’m hoping to avoid having to write a shell script-friendly RSS aggregator. But I’m just prone to do it if nobody else has already, though I’d really like to avoid reinventing the wheel.

Categories: Software

Tags: Leave a comment

Comments Feed13 Comments

  1. Karen in Wichita

    I can send you a copy of my Perl script, if you want. It’s a quick hack (just enough to smush Net:Twitter and XML::Feed and WWW::Shorten together, and make an attempt at not repeating entries).

    I use Google Reader for the aggregation, though, and just feed off a “myself” tag. This doesn’t work so well for LJ, which doesn’t get polled often/regularly, but that’s my “miscellaneous junk” blog so that’s okay. Your mileage may vary.


  2. Kapil Paranjape

    “rawdog” periodically pulls in feeds. It stores
    its state. It works from the command-line. You may be able
    to tune it for what you have in mind.


  3. E

    Check out

    I know it’s a decent rss reader, I don’t know parsable it is or how well it can dump state


  4. John Goerzen

    Thanks for the tips and offers of code, everyone. I had actually stumbled across rawdog when googling and searching before, but it said it outputs HTML. I’ve taken a closer look, and it looks like I should fairly easily be able to make it output some sort of useful text format.

    Don Stewart also pointed me on twitter at his code that mashes up RSS and IRC over at

    I hadn’t known of newsbeuter. It doesn’t look like it will help me here, but its Bloglines synchronization mode has me interested.

    Thanks for your offer too, Karen. I’m going to try rawdog first, but may ask you about that if it doesn’t pan out. Googled for WWW::Shorten. Interesting module. Would have saved me some time if I could have just read that source when I was solving the similar problem in Haskell, rather than trying to track down obscure APIs for TinyURL.


  5. John Goerzen

    rawdog almost got there, but not quite. I think I’m going to hack something together quickly.


  6. gregoa

    Maybe rsstail is what you are looking for.


  7. martin f. krafft

    “it might be nice to automatically post to Twitter when I’ve got a new blog post up, rather than manually have to say ‘just wrote a blog post.'” — just the idea hurts my brain already. Information flood, anyone?

    (not trying to suggest that John’s blog isn’t one of the few worthwhile ones out there…)


    John Goerzen Reply:

    I’m interested in this perspective. I’m still new to Twitter and don’t want to do anything that people will find annoying.

    I asked about it briefly on Twitter, and one person commented that some other people do it and it seems to be fine.

    Generally, I spend more time on most blog posts than some people do between their personal updates — I tend to average about one or two a week.

    But if people think this would be unfriendly, I’d certainly not do it.


  8. nion

    did you have a look at rsstail?


  9. wren ng thornton

    PaperboyRSS [url][/url] might be worth looking at. It’s not a “reader” per se, but it does give you commandline access to munge with feeds and reformat them to whatever your whim is.


  10. kanor

    Hi..I am pretty new to coding world. But, for one of my projects, I need a Rss Reader, which an output a specific data, which could be used to store in MySQL. From, what I have searched and googled, I have learnt it should be a CLI reader, however I havent been able to make any further progress. All suggesstions are welcomed.


  11. David Ron

    The absolute best command line RSS reader I’ve ever used is Google reader itself. It’s easy. Just install elinks or use putty or a command line based SSH tool to shell into a freeshell account, and then follow the directions in this article I recently wrote:


  12. DougTheBug

    For the love of God!

    rsstail…. seriously.


Leave a comment

Feed / Command-Line RSS Reader