I recently discovered Liferea, an RSS reader/aggregator that uses Mozilla’s xulrunner as its web browsing engine. Its interface resembles that of a mail client such as Mozilla Thunderbird (a.k.a. icedove), and it works in much the same way, marking items as read when you click on them. Here’s a screen shot of Liferea in action:
Useful features include:
- Items in feeds may be flagged for later reference, and viewed in a separate “Flagged” folder
- Custom folder hierarchies for organising feeds
- “Heads-up display” on-screen notifications
- Selectable web browser (either internal, or any of the GNOME options)
Installation is typically straightforward using the standard package management tools on Debian or Ubuntu. A GNOME menu item is automatically created, and I was immediately productive after finding the basic menu items. Each feed has a number of options available, and Liferea will intelligently choose an appropriate refresh interval for each feed, or use your default if you prefer that instead.
One feature that would be useful to add to Liferea (this review is based on version 1.0.27 from Debian etch) is emailing of links, but this is easily worked around by opening in an external browser, and using the email link option from there.
Despite discovering it largely by accident (I saw it in the user agent portion of my blog’s Apache log), Liferea has become a mainstay desktop application for me. If you don’t find Liferea appropriate for your needs, you might want to check Wikipedia’s list of feed aggregators for one more appropriate to your needs.