Getting Started With rss2email
We highly recommend that you watch the rss2email project on GitHub
so you can keep up to date with the latest version, bugfixes and
A quick way to get rss2email going is using pre-made packages. There are
releases for Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, NetBSD, NixOS, OpenBSD,
openSUSE, and Ubuntu.
Installing by hand
Before you install rss2email, you’ll need to make sure that a few
things are in place.
- Ensure that a version of Python ≥3.6 is installed.
- Install the required Python packages.
- Figure out how you are going to send outgoing email. You have two
options here: either use an SMTP server or a local sendmail
- determine your outgoing email server‘s SMTP address, or
- install sendmail (or a compatible replacement like postfix).
Download the latest rss2email source and unpack it. You can choose
from several equivalent formats.
.zipfile (suggested for Microsoft Windows users)
.tar.gzfile (suggested for everyone else):
* Navigate to https://github.com/rss2email/rss2email/releases * Click either the ``zip`` or ``tar.gz`` icon for the latest release * Download and extract the archive
A Git checkout (suggested for developers):
$ git clone git://github.com/rss2email/rss2email.git
From the unpacked directory, run:
$ python setup.py install
You can pass all the usual options to the
--user. If you don’t want to install rss2email, you can
r2e directly from the source directory.
Upgrading to a new version
Just repeat the installation procedure for the new source package. If
your config file and data file were in the old source directory, move
them over to the new source directory. If the config and data files
were in another directory (e.g.
there is no need to move them.
Create a new feed database to send updates to your email address:
$ r2e new email@example.com
This command will create a configuration file
$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/rss2email.cfg by default) and a feed database
$XDG_DATA_HOME/rss2email.json by default). If you’d rather those
files were stored in other locations, use the
XDG_CONFIG_HOME defaults to
XDG_DATA_HOME defaults to
You should edit the default configuration file now to adjust rss2email
for your local system. Unless you’ve installed a local
sendmail-equivalent, you’ll need to edit the SMTP options.
Subscribe to some feeds:
$ r2e add eff https://www.eff.org/rss/updates.xml
That will cause rss2email to notify you when there is a new announcement from
the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Repeat this for each feed you want to
When you run rss2email, it emails you about every story it hasn’t seen
before. But the first time you run it, that will be every story. To
avoid this, you can ask rss2email not to send you any stories the
first time you run it:
r2e run --no-send
Then later, you can ask it to email you new stories:
When a run is made, rss2email stores the list of already seen items for each feed in $HOME/.local/share/rss2email.json.
There are a number of options, described in full in
rss2email/config.py, to customize the way rss2email behaves. If
you want to change something, edit the configuration file that was
For example, if you want to receive HTML mail, instead of having
entries converted to plain text:
html-mail = True
To be notified every time a post changes, instead of just when it’s
first posted (see also
reply-changes, described in
trust-guid = True
And to make the emails look as if they were sent when the item was
date-header = True
If you get an error message
Sender domain must exist, add the
following to your configuration file:
from = firstname.lastname@example.org force-from = True
You can make the email address whatever you want, but your mail server
requires that the
yoursite.com part actually exists.
By default, rss2email uses sendmail (or an equivalent) to send
outgoing email. If you don’t have such a program installed, or simply
prefer to use SMTP directly, edit the configuration file and fill in
your outgoing email server‘s details:
[DEFAULT] ... email-protocol = smtp smtp-server = smtp.example.net:587 smtp-auth = False ...
If your server requires you to login, change
smtp-auth = False to
smtp-auth = True and enter your email username and password:
smtp-auth = True smtp-username = username smtp-password = password
If your server requires an TLS/SSL connection (SMTPS), change
smtp-ssl = False to
smtp-ssl = True. If your server does
not require a SMTPS connection but you request authentication,
rss2email will use STARTTLS to encrypt the connection before sending
your login credentials to the server.
rss2email has a mechanism to post-process entries. A post-processor can be used to change the content of each entry
before rss2email sends the email out. A hook is added by defining the variable
post-process in the
config file. It takes two arguments, the module and the function to call. For example:
post-process = rss2email.post_process.prettify process
Examples of built-in post-processors:
prettify.pyprettifies the HTML content with BeautifulSoup.
redirect.pyremove redirects on the post URL for privacy or durability.
More than likely you will want rss2email to run automatically at a
regular interval. Under Windows this is can be easily accomplished
using the Windows Task Scheduler. This site has a
nice tutorial on it. Just select
r2e.bat as the program to run. Once
you’ve created the task, double click on it in the task list and
change the Run entry so that
r2e.bat. For example, if you installed rss2email in
C:rss2email directory, then you would change the Run
On Unix/Linux systems, you should add a cron job that runs
For example, run
r2e every night (at 1:23 am) with:
23 1 * * * r2e run
User discussion and development take place on GitHub. Please feel free
to post bug reports, feature requests, comments, and patches. If you do
not have a GitHub account and do not wish to acquire one, please come
chat in the IRC channel.
There is a developer chat on the freenode IRC server, in the
rss2email channel. Feel free to idle.
Tips and tricks
When adding a new test case, it is possible to just add the new input
files, and then run the test suite with
and the test suite will automatically generate the output file. Just
make sure to check that the output file does match what is wanted before
checking it in.