Newsbeuter – A Command line RSS/Atom Feed Reader For Unix-like Systems

Newsbeuter - A Command line RSS Feed Reader

Newsbeuter is a free, open source RSS/Atom feed reader for text consoles. It supports GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and other Unix-like operating systems. Newsbeuter is the best choice for those who are looking for a simple, slick and fast feed reader.

Concerning about the features, we can list the following:

  • Subscribe to RSS 0.9x, 1.0, 2.0 and Atom feeds.
  • Download podcasts.
  • Configure your keyboard shortcuts as per your wish.
  • Search through all downloaded articles.
  • Categorize and query your subscriptions with a flexible tag system.
  • Integrate any data source through a flexible filter and plugin system.
  • Automatically remove unwanted articles through a “killfile”.
  • Define “meta feeds” using a powerful query language.
  • Synchronize newsbeuter with your account.
  • Import and exporting your subscriptions with the widely used OPML format.
  • Customize the look and feel of Newsbeuter as per your liking.
  • Keep all your feeds in sync with Google Reader.
  • And many.

In this brief guide, let us see how to install and use Newsbeuter.

Newsbeuter – A Command line RSS/Atom Feed Reader


On Arch Linux and derivatives:

Newsbeuter is available in the default repositories of Arch Linux. So, you can install it using pacman command as shown below.

sudo pacman -S newsbeuter

On Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint:

It is also available in the default repositories of DEB based systems such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint. To install it, run the following command:

sudo apt-get install newsbeuter

On Fedora:

Newsbeuter is available in the official repositories of Fedora. To install it, run:

sudo dnf install newsbeuter

Once installed, launch it using command:


Sample output:

XDG: configuration directory '/home/sk/.config/newsbeuter' not accessible, using '/home/sk/.newsbeuter' instead.
Starting newsbeuter 2.9...
Loading configuration...done.
Opening cache...done.
Loading URLs from /home/sk/.newsbeuter/urls...done.
Error: no URLs configured. Please fill the file /home/sk/.newsbeuter/urls with RSS feed URLs or import an OPML file.

newsbeuter 2.9
usage: ./newsbeuter [-i <file>|-e] [-u <urlfile>] [-c <cachefile>] [-x <command> ...] [-h]
                -e              export OPML feed to stdout
                -r              refresh feeds on start
                -i <file>       import OPML file
                -u <urlfile>    read RSS feed URLs from <urlfile>
                -c <cachefile>  use <cachefile> as cache file
                -C <configfile> read configuration from <configfile>
                -X              clean up cache thoroughly
                -x <command>... execute list of commands
                -o              activate offline mode (only applies to Google Reader synchronization mode)
                -q              quiet startup
                -v              get version information
                -l <loglevel>   write a log with a certain loglevel (valid values: 1 to 6)
                -d <logfile>    use <logfile> as output log file
                -E <file>       export list of read articles to <file>
                -I <file>       import list of read articles from <file>
                -h              this help

As you see in the above screenshot, we haven’t added any URLs yet in Newsbeuter.

Managing Feeds

We can add, edit, tag, and delete feeds by editing the urls file. The default urls file is ~/.newsbeuter/urls.

Add feeds

To add a feed, edit this file:

vi ~/.newsbeuter/urls

Then, add the feed URLs one by one.

If the feed URL has protected with user name and password, you need to mention the username and password as shown below.

http://username:[email protected]/feed.rss

After adding all urls, save and close the file.

Add tags to the feeds

You can add one or more tags to categorize the feeds as per your liking. Specify the tags separated by space if you want to add more than one tags to a single feed. If you want to specify a single tag that contains a space, just mention it within double quotes  like below. "All Linux news" "Only Arch Linux related news"

Read feeds

To read feeds, just launch the Newsbeuter utility from the Terminal using command:


Sample output:


As you see in the above screenshot, I have added two RSS feeds.

Press ENTER key to open the current selected feed.


Press n to go the next unread entry. Press r (small letter) to reload the currently selected feed. Press R (capital) to reload all feeds. Press A to mark as read, press C to catchup all, press ? (question mark) to open the help window at any time, and q to go back and exit.

Remove feeds

To remove the feeds, just delete the URL in the urls file.

Additional tip for Arch Linux users

If you’re using a Arch based Linux distribution, I know a good advice to read the Arch news page before updating your system. The reason for doing this is you can read the Arch news about current updating issues before updating your Arch Linux.

Add the Arch news link in ~/.newsbeuter/urls file:

Open your ~/.bashrc file and add the following line:

alias update='newsbeuter -r && sudo pacman -Syu'

Now, run the following command to update your Arch Linux system.


Whenever you run the above command, you will read the Arch news feed about current issues and then update the system.

For more details, refer the Newsbeuter help section using command:

newsbeuter -h

Also, refer the official documentation page for more detailed information.

And, that’s all. Hope this helps. I will be soon here with another useful guide. If you find this article helpful, please take a moment to share it on your social, professional networks and support OSTechNix.



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