Readerself, powerful selfhosted RSS reader with responsive design

If you are looking for a good RSS Reader with a nice, powerful and responside design, Readerself worth to be considered.

Indeed, Readerself is smartphone/tablet friendly with a simple yet powerful design. It has many good features such as:


  • Built-in or LDAP authentication
  • Multilingual (French and English available)
  • Feed detection (Just type the URL of the website and it will detects the available RSS feeds)
  • OPML import and export
  • Plenty of keyboard shortcuts
  • Automatic tags
  • Shared items with public feed (Facebook, Google and Twitter)
  • Adaptive crawl by feed (if older than 96 hours, next crawl in 12 hours / if older than 48 hours, next crawl in 6 hours / older than 24 hours, next crawl in 3 hours)
  • Statistics
  • etc…


Full list can be found on their official website along with a demo with username as “” and password as “example”.

readerself screenshot

As usual, let’s see how to install Readerself on your own server (Assuming Debian/Ubuntu)



You will first need to have a LAMP server, if you don’t know what it is, or don’t have it, please see this tutorial.

**1) Clone their latest version into your /var/www


cd /var/www
git clone
**2) Edit /application/config/database.php to suit your database configuration


You can actually either use SQLite or MySQL, but MySQL should give you better performance (and is very often ready on my machines).

– So first, create a dedicated database, using PHPMyAdmin or Adminer for example.

– Then edit the /application/config/database.php file to match your configuration (Fulfill the values of username, password and database name)

cd readerself/
nano application/config/database.php

Save the file (CTRL+X, then Y)

**3) Enable mod rewrite


The installation comes with its own .htaccess to ease the configuration. You will actually need the mod_rewrite to be activated to avoid any issue

In root:

a2enmod rewrite
**4) Change the ownership of the folder to avoid permission issues


chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/readerself
**5) Go to http://yourIP/readerself to final setup


If no issue, you will see a form to enter your email address and password to set up the admin account.

Readerself - installation

**6) Set up a cron task for regular instance


To update your feed automatically and in a regular manner, you can set up a crontab.

Still in root:

crontab -e

and paste:

0 * * * * cd /var/www/readerself && php index.php refresh items

And that’s it! Your good to go.


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 readerself (In root):

nano /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/readerself

and paste/adapt the following content:

<VirtualHost *:80>
        ServerAdmin webmaster@domain.tld
        ServerName rss.domain.tld
        Redirect / https://rss.domain.tld


<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
<VirtualHost *:443>
        SSLEngine on
        SSLCertificateFile /etc/ssl/certs/myblog.pem
        SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/private/myblog.key

        ServerAdmin webmaster@domain.tld
        ServerName rss.domain.tld

        DocumentRoot /var/www/readerself
        <Directory />
                Options FollowSymLinks
                AllowOverride All
        <Directory /var/www/readerself>
                Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
                AllowOverride All
                Order allow,deny
                allow from all

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

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

/etc/init.d/apache2 reload

You should now be all set!


Loves to discover web-based apps to install on his own server@home and write articles about it


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