Newsboat, Nextcloud News, Nitter

Newsboat, Nextcloud News, Nitter

  • mdo  k3tan
  •   FOSS
  •   May 2, 2021

I've recently started exploring Newsboat an RSS feed reader within terminal.

RSS feeds are an excellent tool to get updated with the latest headlines and information. You can customise your feed to what you want to see and it's presented to you in text format within your terminal.

But, if you want to sync your feeds across multiple devices, you'll need to store it in a cloud. Enter Nextcloud News, an app for your Nextcloud instance.

I have 3 devices I want to access the feeds from - my phone, my laptop and my desktop. You can subscribe to your feeds with Nextcloud News (server), and each device (client) can access the feeds synchronising with the server as to what has been read.

To access the feeds on my laptop and desktop, I'm using newsboat as the client. For my phone, I'm using Nextcloud News Android app, available on F-Droid.

Clients have been configured to call out to my Nextcloud and fetch the content of the feeds. Any time I've marked it as read on one client, this will be sent to the server so I won't see it again on my other clients.

A cool feature of newsboat is that you can set YouTube content to open in mpv with youtube-dl. If there's an article you're interested in, you can also open the link in your browser. There's an ability to customise font colours and how the terminal looks when you enter newsboat. It's very neat.

There's also the ability to view tags in newsboat, which categorises your content. For example, my content is split into:

  • News
  • Podcasts
  • Reddit
  • Shopping
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Odysee

There are some accounts you might want to follow on Twitter, but unfortunately, Twitter does not have RSS feeds. Enter Nitter, an alternative front-end to Twitter. You can either self-host a Nitter instance, or you can use one of the various instances online hosted by others. One of the features, among others, is that it has RSS feeds for so you can import this into your RSS feed reader (in my case, Nextcloud News) and follow your favourite twitter accounts via RSS feed.

If you're on a debian/ubuntu based linux distro, installing with sudo apt install newsboat will install it for you. There's two files to edit, both contained within the ~/.newsboat directory. There's ~/.newsboat/urls and ~/.newsboat/config. If you intend to use a server/client model with your nextcloud, the urls file becomes irrelevant. Be sure to read through the newsboat documentation for a full explanation of all the functionality.

Video tutorial I found useful is here.

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