RSS feeds to my mailbox


I wrote before about how I prefer to read, organize and archive (almost) everything with my mail reader (hey, I just love my Mutt ), and that is also true for RSS feeds (from the blogs I read frequently and other news sites).

Until now, I used to fire up a GUI news reader, gather all new posts from my feeds, export them in a mailbox-formatted file and import them to my mailbox to read. I have even tried some online (i.e. browser-based) aggregators/readers, but I was not very happy with the whole procedure!

RSS2email is a very simple program. All it does, when it runs, is to check if there are any new items in the feeds it knows and, if there are, deliver them to a (configurable) email address. I installed the (small) package, added some feeds to test and added a cronjob (my preference is to run it hourly like this: 11 08-23 * * * /usr/bin/r2e run) to ensure frequent updates.

One minor problem however, is that it doesn’t read OPML files (special files for exchanging RSS feeds between readers) and since I have many (>100) feeds to read from, I used a bash command to import all of them to RSS2email’s database.

egrep -o ‘”http://[^”]*”‘ newsfeeds.opml | xargs r2e add


  • newsfeeds.opml is the file where I have my RSS feeds (exported by the other program I used)
  • egrep is GNU grep with extended regular expressions support
  • -o ‘”http://[^”]*”‘ parses each input line and outputs just the URL of each feed
  • xargs runs “r2e add” with every URL previously extracted, adding them to the database file of RSS2email

OK, I admit it! I’m a hard-core computer-dinosaur looking for ways to convert all those fantastic GUI programs to “simple” CLUE ones! Guilty as charged! 🙂

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