Liferea, a Linux Feed Reader

Taking a cue from
Lately I've been somewhat remiss in following my friend's blogs. I've simply been overwhelmed by my backlog on Bloglines that I've simply given up on it. I thought I'd start anew with a local feed reader on my home system.

Taking a cue from something I read off, I installed Liferea on my Xubuntu machine. The results are mixed.

Liferea -- it's supposed to be a contraction of "Linux feed reader" but I pronounce it as "lee-fe-ree-ya"-- aims to be a simple feed reader for Linux. On that account, it succeeds. It doesn't need a whole lot of libraries to work, unlike, say, Akgregator (though that shouldn't be a problem if you're on KDE.)

Liferea works well enough. Just type in the URL of the site you want to track and it automatically searches for the feed. You can organize your subscribed feeds into folders. There are a number of customizable options, such as the number of feeds to cache. There are also advanced options which allow you to create CSS skins and scrape web pages (none of which I've bothered to use.)

On the other hand, there are some small annoyances.

First, Liferea seems to hang momentarily when I put in a new feed subscription or when it's updating the feeds.

Second, some strange behavior in its caching. I opted to maintain a minimal five articles per feed. That it did. But when I updated the content, I found that it had started pulling in some older articles, though it did keep the number at five. Like I said, it's a little strange.

And finally, it seems a little slow. I could probably fix that by opting to optimize for speed instead of memory, but I don't have much memory to go around to begin with.

Anyway, drawbacks aside, its small footprint makes it attractive and for now it works well enough for me. I'll keep it for a while.

To install Liferea,

sudo apt-get install liferea

Its menu item should appear in the Networking category of your applications menu. Liferea is intuitive enough to use. Just right click on the feed list and start adding subscriptions. Be warned, though, that it can be a little slow at first.