Raspberry Pi 4 - News

Raspberry Pi 4: Chronicling the Desktop Experience – News – Week 19

This is a weekly blog about the Raspberry Pi 4 (“RPI4”), the latest product in the popular Raspberry Pi range of computers.

A news aggregator is software which collect news, weblog posts, and other information from the web so that they can be read in a single location for easy viewing. With the range of news sources available on the internet, news aggregators play an essential role in helping users to quickly locate breaking news.

For individuals that read lots of weblogs, a news aggregator makes keeping track of them effortless, and particularly useful if the weblogs are only updated occasionally.

The top 5 open source news aggregators are Newsboat, FeedReader, Liferea, Akregator and RSSguard. There are only Raspbian packages for the first three programs. Akregator is KDE based. RSSguard needs Qt 5.8 installed. I didn’t fancy trying to compile either Akregator or RSSguard as time was limited this week, and I expect compilation will be non-trivial. Instead, I’ll focus on Newsboat, FeedReader and Liferea, as they are each, in their own right, quality software.


Newsboat

Raspberry Pi 4 - newsboat
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newsboat is a rather special RSS/Atom feed reader for the text console. It’s entirely controlled by the keyboard, and works really well on the RPI4.

newsboat offers a good feature set such as support for OPML import/export, podcasts (via companion program podboat), and can serve as a client to various feed aggregators (TT-RSS, The Old Reader, Newsblur, FeedHQ, ownCloud/nextCloud News). Its interface draws inspiration from mutt and slrn.

There’s a package in Raspbian repositories. You get version 2.13.0 which is about 3 months worth of development behind the latest version, which at the time of writing is version 2.18.


FeedReader

Raspberry Pi 4 - FeedReader
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FeedReader has lots in its favour. I love its graphical interface which can be described in a single word, sublime. Even better is that it works with many popular online RSS services like feedly. But I prefer to use local RSS, as depicted in the image adjacent.

The software also lets you push articles to services like Pocket and Instapaper and read then later.

We get version 2.7.1 from the Raspbian repositories. That version was published in February 2019. Since then, there’s been a few fairly substantial new releases

FeedReader is fast and responsive on the RPI4. It works a charm even with its oldish Raspbian version.


Liferea

Raspberry Pi 4 - Liferea
Click for full size image

Liferea is an abbreviation for Linux Feed Reader.

Liferea is multi-functional. It’s a feed reader, a news reader, and a podcast client. It offers a good feature set.

Like FeedReader, Liferea sports an attractive and easy-to-use graphical interface. The software is stable in operation, and perfectly functional on the RPI4. Another success.

The Raspbian repositories host version 1.12.6 of Liferea. That’s the latest stable of release.


Memory Usage

Depending on the model of the RPI4 (1GB RAM, 2GB RAM or 4GB RAM), you might want to focus on software that’s frugal with memory. It’s unsurprising that newsboat beats its peers. After all, it’s the only console based application among the three. With a footprint of a mere 5.8MB of RAM, you’ll be able to have it open at all times regardless of other desktop activity.

Raspberry Pi 4 - News Aggregators

Liferea and FeedReader are also lightweight. The memory figures for these two include their WebKitWebProcess and WebKitNetworkProcess processes.

Summary

A leitmotif of the RPI4 from my perspective is that I always miss the Intel architecture. Some open-source software is simply out of reach with the ARM architecture for mere mortals like myself. I’d really like to see the community produce packages for great software that’s missing from the Raspbian repositories. And where packages are available, they are sometimes very old versions. A legacy of Raspbian being based on Debian stable.

In the field of news aggregators, the Raspbian repositories offer a reasonable range of choice. newsboat, Liferea and FeedReader are excellent software with different target audiences.


Read all my blog posts about the RPI4.

Raspberry Pi 4 Blog
Week 36Manage your personal collections on the RPI4
Week 35Survey of terminal emulators
Week 34Search the desktop with the latest version of Recoll
Week 33Personal Information Managers on the RPI4
Week 32Keep a diary with the RPI4
Week 31Process complex mathematical functions, plot 2D and 3D graphs with calculators
Week 30Internet radio on this tiny computer. A detailed survey of open source software
Week 29Professionally manage your photo collection with digiKam
Week 28Typeset beautifully with LyX
Week 27Software that teaches young people how to learn basic computing skills and beyond
Week 26Firefox revisited - Raspbian now offers a real alternative to Chromium
Week 25Turn the Raspberry Pi 4 into a low power writing machine
Week 24Keep the kids learning and having fun
Week 23Lots of choices to view images
Week 22Listening to podcasts on the RPI4
Week 21File management on the RPI4
Week 20Open Broadcaster Software (OBS Studio) on the RPI4
Week 19Keep up-to-date with these news aggregators
Week 18Web Browsers Again: Firefox
Week 17Retro gaming on the RPI4
Week 16Screen capturing with the RPI4
Week 15Emulate the Amiga, ZX Spectrum, and the Atari ST on the RPI4
Week 14Choose the right model of the RPI4 for your desktop needs
Week 13Using the RPI4 as a screencaster
Week 12Have fun reading comics on the RPI4 with YACReader, MComix, and more
Week 11Turn the RPI4 into a complete home theater
Week 10Watching locally stored video with VLC, OMXPlayer, and others
Week 9PDF viewing on the RPI4
Week 8Access the RPI4 remotely running GUI apps
Week 7e-book tools are put under the microscope
Week 6The office suite is the archetypal business software. LibreOffice is tested
Week 5Managing your email box with the RPI4
Week 4Web surfing on the RPI4 looking at Chromium, Vivaldi, Firefox, and Midori
Week 3Video streaming with Chromium & omxplayerGUI as well as streamlink
Week 2A survey of open source music players on the RPI4 including Tauon Music Box
Week 1An introduction to the world of the RPI4 looking at musikcube and PiPackages

This blog is written on the RPI4.

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