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Tiny Tiny RSS

Published: 01-09-2012 | Author: Remy van Elst | Text only version of this article

❗ This post is over twelve years old. It may no longer be up to date. Opinions may have changed.

Tiny Tiny RSS - The best Free and Open Source alternative to Google Reader


This is an article about Tiny Tiny RSS. Tiny Tiny RSS is an open source web-based news feed (RSS/Atom) reader and aggregator, designed to allow you to read news from any location, while feeling as close to a real desktop application as possible. I will go over the features of TIny Tiny RSS, compare it to Google Reader and write some things I like about it, and things I miss about it.

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Features of Tiny Tiny RSS
  • Server-side application, user only needs a web browser
  • Client side SSL certificate based login
  • Supports RSS, RDF and Atom feeds using Magpie and SimplePie libraries
  • Easy setup and configuration
  • Streamlined interface using AJAX Free software, licensed under GNU GPL
  • Authentication for reading protected feeds (e.g. LiveJournal friend-only posts)
  • Feed aggregation
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • OPML import/export
  • Multiple and single user operation
  • Mobile devices
  • Internationalization
  • Detecting and filtering duplicate articles
  • Podcasts
  • Article scoring
  • Content filtering
  • JSON-based API
  • Twitter feeds
  • Feed sharing between instances

On the desktop/client side you only need a modern web browser with a bit of HTML5 support.
On the server side you need a webserver which supports PHP 5.2 or higher and a MySQL database. On the website they do not recommend to install it on shared hosting, but I run it on a shared (cpanel) webhosting account (over at Secure Dragon and it runs great, fast and SecureDragon did not complain yet. Their overall service is great, so if you need shared hosting I vouch for them).

Android Client

Android Client

I always used Google Reader on my android devices, but I've discovered the Tiny Tiny RSS mobile app. It is very good, and it has a lot of features:

  • Can use self-signed SSL certificates
  • Connect to tt-rss API behind HTTP Basic authentication
  • Separate and in-line article display mode
  • Switch between articles using volume buttons or swipes
  • Separate interfaces for tables and smartphones (properly supports Honeycomb devices, works on Froyo and up)
  • Mark above as read
  • Supports categories and labels
  • Offline mode with image caching
  • Backup settings to cloud automatically (Android 2.2+)
  • Respects background data setting for automatic updates
  • Feed search (requires API 2, tt-rss 1.5.9)
  • Add/remove labels from articles (online mode only)

The thing I like is the offline mode, which I enable before I leave to work. It syncs at home, then in the train I can read all the new articles without an internet connection. Furthermore it has all the features I use, starring and sharing for example.

Things I like about it
  • It is fast
  • It runs on my server, without anybody serving me advertisements based on what I read
  • I have about 300 feeds in it, multiple categories, and it does not consume a lot of bandwidth or CPU time
  • the mobile client works on my phone (android 2.3), and also works good on my tablet (android 4.1).
  • The android client has offline sync, very awesome.
  • Show unread only, filtering of feeds, not showing double articles
  • Unlimited users, unlimited feeds and unlimited labels/categories
  • Subscribe bookmarklet for every browser
  • You can link tiny tiny rss instances together
  • I can login with a client-side SSL certificate
Things I dont like
  • 2 factor authentication based on an SMS message is not avaialble
Compared to Google Reader
  • The only thing google reader has as an advantage over tiny tiny rss is 2 factor authentication via a phone call or text message. The rest of the features are all matched or better in tiny tiny RSS.
Download it and set it up!

Go here, and download Tiny Tiny RSS, go set it up on your server and donate something to the author as it is excellent software!

More from the author

The author of Tiny Tiny RSS also has made a very good online IRC client, Tiny Tiny IRC,

Tags: articles , google-reader , news , php , rss , rss-reader , tiny-tiny-rss