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OpenSource RSS Reader – FreshRSS, probably the best…

FreshRSS - LogoFreshRSS is a free, self hostable, rss aggregator, they actually claim to be the the best one out their but only “in their opinion”, which is a funny statement that I’ve pushed me to try it out!


They got a running demo (demo/demodemo) to let you give a try or directly a quick link to their latest archive to install on your own server.

Written in PHP, FreshRSS is a simple to install yet with great features such as Multiusers, feeds statistics (how many articles per feed, per category, …), with keyboard shortcuts, Multi-languages at the installation, it also includes some social media sharing features (Twitter, Facebook, Google+) or simply by email but also with Shaarli, Wallabag or your own Diaspora pod! Its responsive design will also deliver a good experience for mobile devices!

It can access any HTTP protected (username/password) RSS feed and embed an archiving feature to regularly clean the old articles (3 months per default).

FreshRSS - Feeds

However no need to have necessary short archiving time if you fear about slowness of your instance as FreshRSS handle more than 100k articles without hassle.

So, best out there? Well, FreshRSS is clearly a good piece of work and one of my favourite among the previously reviewed Sismics Reader and Selfoss. The only missing feature for me will be the social network follow up (Twitter and even Youtube), although some 3rd party solutions exist such as RSS-Bridge, having everything included will be best as does Selfoss.

FreshRSS is still actively maintained, so we might have new features coming up this year!

FreshRSS - Github

Interested to run your own instance? (You should!) Here is how to:

To install FreshRSS, you will Apache2, PHP5.3.7+, MySQL 5.0.3+. If you don’t have them, please follow my previous tutorial on how to install a LAMP server.


1) Create a dedicated folder to install FreshRSS:

In root (su), type:

2) Download and extract the latest FreshRSS archive

3) Change the owner of the folder to ensure apache web user can access

4) Install the needed PHP modules: (cURL, php-mysql,

5) and proceed to the Web UI installer

Just point your web browser to http://IP/freshrss/p

FreshRSS - Installation

The step 1 will check if there are any requirements not met. If all green, you can proceed to step 2, on the general configurations (How long to keep articles, authentication method, …).

On Step 3, you will need a MySQL database, if you don’t have one ready, I suggest you to use PHPMyAdmin to create one easily.

Then simply follow the rest of the steps.

You should now have a a working FreshRSS service running on your server, so don’t forget to add my feed to keep in touch!

FreshRSS - Login

Virtualhost configuration

Now you got your RSS reader working and you want to access it from rss.domain.tld or directly from mywebmail.tld, instead of using the IP/freshrss link, you will need to set up a virtualhost. And you could force HTTPS connection.

You will need to:

1) Create a A redirection in your DNS server/registrar

2) Have SSL certificate ready. If not you can read this tutorial.

3) Create your virtualhost as following:

In /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/, create a file called freshrss (In root):

and paste/adapt the following content:

Adapt the content (Servername, webmaster, SSL certificate and directory, …).

When done, save the file (CTRL+X then Yes) and reload apache: (In root)

You should now be all set!

Open data – Why not starting by a Yogurt?

I’m a big fan of open source softwares (and it could be free as free speech, it can be even better !) and tend to support open data initiative (Quite important with the data coming from the government in my opinion).

But today I found an interesting initiative called “What’s in my yogurt?


The aim of this project is to establish the content of our yogurts in an open database. Actually, no need to open any yogurt as the ingredients and nutrition facts are on the label.

They are keen to open any type of yogurt (Organic or not) at any flavour, type of milk (Cow, goat, camel, …) and in any country.

It’s actually quite easy to do so, just install their mobile application or directly go to their web platform, and add a picture, bare-code (Or just scan it with your smartphone) and the content to their database.

Available on Google PlayWindows Phone StoreAvailable on the App Store


This will help buyers to decrypt them like what are all these Exxx (“Only” 1500 out there), but also will help to search (without specific allergens for example) and compare yogurts among themselves.

Quite easy and fun to do.

And you, are you already participating in any open data initiative? Or may be you are already participating on this one?



Jitsi, promissing alternative to Skype and Hangouts

If you are looking for an alternative to Skype or Hangouts that is easy to use, Open Source, well maintained, with promising features, focused on privacy, security and with the ability to host most of it, well I strongly recommend Jitsi !

Alternative to Skype or Hangouts
logo jitsi

“Jitsi (formerly SIP Communicator) is an audio/video and chat communicator that supports protocols such as SIP, XMPP/Jabber, AIM/ICQ, Windows Live, Yahoo! and many other useful features” such as:

  • Desktop sharing
  • Audio & Video conference call
  • Call recording
  • Call & OTR encryption

Jitsi is Open Source / Free Software, and is available under the terms of the LGPL.

Already mufti-platforms (Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android,…), several developments is being carried to improve even further its features, such as JitMeet, WebRTC JavaScript Application and even a HTML5 interface is about to start being developed.


You could actually host by yourself the XMPP server and their VideoBridge (For multi-user video conference call bridge). But if you don’t want to do so, you could simply register to their XMPP at and start using it !

They actually presented during the FOSDEM 2014 their Jitsi Videobridge, JitMeet and the other components that they used to build the service.


Also, you could find a recent interview of Emil Evov, CEO of Blue Jimp, the company behind the Jitsi open source VoIP client on Worth to read !

I’ve moved completely to Jitsi for my XMPP and SIP experience and I’m very happy with it. Obvisouly a lot of improvement can be made, but the good news is they are really working on it and at a good speed !

Have you tried this service already? Or do you think you use a better alternative?

Communicate effectively...?
Preferred chat system

Self host your services – Because your privacy worth it

I’ve started to self-host most of my services 6 years ago when I was still an international student, starting with Jabber, as I was bored of MSN and wanted to learn new cool stuff during my free time.

At that time, it was purely to learn and have full control of what I wanted to do/have. Actually I was using Gentoo distribution on my dualcore T5500 laptop, so, no need to mention how ready I was to get my hands dirty 🙂

And I was thinking having a XMPP server on my laptop that was off most of the time was not a problem. And indeed, it wasn’t! As I was using only my laptop as IM client to discuss with my friends, the server needed to be ON only when the client were ON too.

But things changed as the more I was learning and hosting many services, the more disconnected I started to be from all the progress done in targeted advertisement, SPAM received, intrusion in my personal life, etc….

It’s only after moving back to my own country and turning off all the services I was using that I started to be concerned by my privacy, respect of my personal life and most of all the “peace of mind” of using GNU/Linux and my own services on my own server.

I’m talking about very simple things like installing a software on Windows….better to go to the official website to get the latest version and virus free…. then download it….double click……next….yes….next… I don’t want the whatever bar……no I don’t accept my information to be used by the company….next….DONE. Neither the update….to check by yourself if no automatic checking…and to reinstall, etc…

Or I’m talking about the Google Mail account with localized advertisement based on the content of the email received….or suggested videos on Youtube based of what you watched previously…(Oh and no need to remind me I was looking for a porn movie on the platform…) or the habit to click too fast on the popup message that appear before to really read it and to find you have accepted to join Google+ or letting a lot of your print on the web and have tracked advertisement from the previous website you have visited displayed to the new one.Or having to check your SPAM box as frequent as your regular inbox to double check if any genuine mail was there…since it seems to be more like a black box…Or registering there and there and started to receive unsolicited request etc….

I’m sure we have all faced one of these annoying  unpleasantness.

The truth is Internet is a very transparent and free place and this is a good thing ! A lot of big companies are making good business there with “free” services (Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, etc…) and why not? Nothing bad about making money if it is legal and moral.

But you have to be able to control what you want to share and what you don’t want. And here is the difference between self hosting yourself or using 3rd party services and same goes with Free Software (Free as free speech, not free beer) and Proprietary Software. If you are not able to see the source code or use the software freely, what guarantee do you have of the treatment of your personal data?


For all these reasons (Full control of what I want to do and how I want, respect of my personal life, etc…), I decided few years back to self host as many services as possible. And there is reason for me to change that.

But don’t misunderstand me, this website will neither be about criticizing Proprietary Software (How evil are they?!) nor to initiate a crusade for Free Software. (Free is only what matter?!)

It will bring alternatives to popular services with news and (hopefully) clear tutorial to help you easily install them, because you will see, it’s not so difficult, if you are helped.

Because privacy worth it
NSA Prism – Watching us