feed2email Gem Version Build Status

feed2email is a headless RSS/Atom feed aggregator that sends feed entries via email. It was initially written as a replacement of rss2email and aims to be simple, fast and easy to use.


  • Command-line feed management (add, remove, enable/disable)
  • Feed fetching caching (Last-Modified and ETag HTTP headers)
  • Feed autodiscovery
  • OPML import/export of feed subscriptions
  • Email sending with SMTP, Sendmail (or compatible MTA) or by writing to a file
  • text/html and text/plain (Markdown) multipart emails
  • Permanent redirection support for feed URLs


As a gem from RubyGems:

$ gem install feed2email

If the above command fails due to missing headers, make sure the following packages for curb and sqlite3 gems are installed. For Debian, issue:

$ sudo apt-get install libcurl4-openssl-dev libsqlite3-dev

Warning: If you are updating from an earlier version of feed2email, make sure you run feed2email-migrate to migrate its data before using it.


Through a YAML file at ~/.feed2email/config.yml.

Edit it with the config command:

$ # same as "f2e c"
$ feed2email config

Note: The command will fail if the EDITOR environmental variable is not set.

Each line in the configuration file contains a key-value pair. Each key-value pair is separated with a colon, e.g.: foo: bar

General options

  • recipient (required) is the email address to send email to
  • sender (required) is the email address to send email from (can be any)
  • send_method (optional) is the method to send email with and can be file (default), sendmail or smtp
  • send_delay (optional) is the number of seconds to wait between each email to avoid SMTP server throttling errors (default is 10; use 0 to disable)
  • max_entries (optional) is the maximum number of entries to process per feed (default is 20; use 0 for unlimited)

Logging options

  • log_path (optional) is the absolute path to the log file (default is true which logs to standard output; use false to disable logging)
  • log_level (optional) is the logging verbosity level and can be fatal (least verbose), error, warn, info (default) or debug (most verbose)
  • log_shift_age (optional) is the number of old log files to keep or the frequency of rotation (daily, weekly, monthly; default is 0 so only the current log file is kept)
  • log_shift_size (optional) is the maximum log file size in megabytes and it only applies when log_shift_age is a number greater than zero (default is 1)

Sending options


This method simply writes emails to a file (named after the recipient config option) in a path that you specify.

  • mail_path (optional) is the path to write emails in (default is ~/Mail/)


For this method you need to have Sendmail or an MTA with a Sendmail-compatible interface (e.g. msmtp, Postfix) set up and working in your system.

  • sendmail_path (optional) is the path to the Sendmail binary (default is /usr/sbin/sendmail)


For this method you need to have access to an SMTP service. Mailgun has a free plan.

  • smtp_host (required) is the SMTP service hostname to connect to
  • smtp_port (required) is the SMTP service port to connect to
  • smtp_user (required) is the username of your email account
  • smtp_pass (required) is the password of your email account (see the warning below)
  • smtp_starttls (optional) controls STARTTLS (default is true; can also be false)
  • smtp_auth (optional) controls the authentication method (default is login; can also be plain or cram_md5)

Warning: Unless it has correct restricted permissions, anyone with access in your system will be able to read config.yml and your password. To prevent this, feed2email will not run and complain if it detects the wrong permissions. To set the correct permissions, issue chmod 600 ~/.feed2email/config.yml.


Managing feeds

Add some feeds:

$ feed2email add https://github.com/agorf/feed2email/commits.atom
Added feed:   1 https://github.com/agorf/feed2email/commits.atom
$ # same as "feed2email add https://github.com/agorf.atom"
$ f2e a https://github.com/agorf.atom
Added feed:   2 https://github.com/agorf.atom

Passing a website URL to the add command will have feed2email autodiscover any feeds in that page:

$ f2e add http://www.rubyinside.com/
0: http://www.rubyinside.com/feed/ "Ruby Inside" (application/rss+xml)
Please enter a feed to subscribe to (or Ctrl-C to abort): [0] 0
Added feed:   3 http://www.rubyinside.com/feed/
$ f2e add http://thechangelog.com/137/
0: http://thechangelog.com/137/feed/ "The Changelog » #137: Better GitHub Issues with HuBoard and Ryan Rauh Comments Feed" (application/rss+xml)
1: http://thechangelog.com/feed/ "RSS 2.0 Feed" (application/rss+xml)
Please enter a feed to subscribe to (or Ctrl-C to abort): [0, 1] 1
Added feed:   4 http://thechangelog.com/feed/
$ # cancel autodiscovery by pressing Ctrl-C
$ f2e add http://thechangelog.com/137/
0: http://thechangelog.com/137/feed/ "The Changelog » #137: Better GitHub Issues with HuBoard and Ryan Rauh Comments Feed" (application/rss+xml)
Please enter a feed to subscribe to (or Ctrl-C to abort): [0] ^C

Note: When autodiscovering feeds, feed2email lists only those that don't already exist in your feed subscriptions.

The feed list so far:

$ # same as "f2e l"
$ feed2email list
  1 https://github.com/agorf/feed2email/commits.atom
  2 https://github.com/agorf.atom
  3 http://www.rubyinside.com/feed/
  4 http://thechangelog.com/feed/

Subscribed to 4 feeds

A feed can be disabled so that it is not processed when feed2email process runs with the toggle command:

$ # same as "f2e t 1"
$ feed2email toggle 1
Toggled feed:   1 DISABLED https://github.com/agorf/feed2email/commits.atom

It can be enabled with the toggle command again:

$ # same as "feed2email toggle 1"
$ f2e t 1
Toggled feed:   1 https://github.com/agorf/feed2email/commits.atom

It can also be removed from feed subscriptions permanently:

$ # same as "f2e r 1"
$ feed2email remove 1
Remove feed:   1 https://github.com/agorf/feed2email/commits.atom
Are you sure? [y, n] y

Migrating to/from feed2email

feed2email supports importing and exporting feed subscriptions as OPML. This makes it easy to migrate to and away from feed2email anytime you want.

Export feed subscriptions to feeds.xml:

$ # same as "f2e e feeds.xml"
$ feed2email export feeds.xml
This may take a while. Please wait...
Exported 3 feed subscriptions to feeds.xml

Import feed subscriptions from feeds.xml:

$ # same as "f2e i feeds.xml"
$ feed2email import feeds.xml
Feed already exists:   2 https://github.com/agorf.atom
Feed already exists:   3 http://www.rubyinside.com/feed/
Feed already exists:   4 http://thechangelog.com/feed/

Nothing was imported since all feeds already exist. Let's remove them first and then try again:

$ f2e r 2
Remove feed:   2 https://github.com/agorf.atom
Are you sure? [y/n] y
$ f2e r 3
Remove feed:   3 http://www.rubyinside.com/feed/
Are you sure? [y/n] y
$ f2e r 4
Remove feed:   4 http://thechangelog.com/feed/
Are you sure? [y/n] y
$ f2e l
No feeds
$ feed2email import feeds.xml
Imported feed:   1 https://github.com/agorf.atom
Imported feed:   2 http://www.rubyinside.com/feed/
Imported feed:   3 http://thechangelog.com/feed/
Imported 3 feed subscriptions from feeds.xml

Passing the --remove option to import will remove any feeds not contained in the imported list, essentially synchronizing the feed subscriptions with it:

$ # subscribe to a feed that is not in feeds.xml
$ f2e a https://github.com/agorf/feed2email/commits.atom
Added feed:   4 https://github.com/agorf/feed2email/commits.atom
$ f2e l
  1 https://github.com/agorf.atom
  2 http://www.rubyinside.com/feed/
  3 http://thechangelog.com/feed/
  4 https://github.com/agorf/feed2email/commits.atom

Subscribed to 4 feeds
$ f2e import --remove feeds.xml
Feed already exists:   1 https://github.com/agorf.atom
Feed already exists:   2 http://www.rubyinside.com/feed/
Feed already exists:   3 http://thechangelog.com/feed/
Removed feed:   4 https://github.com/agorf/feed2email/commits.atom


$ # same as "f2e p"
$ feed2email process

When run, feed2email will go through your feed list, fetch each feed (if necessary) and send an email for each new entry. Output is logged to the standard output, unless configured otherwise.

When a new feed is detected (which is the case when feed2email runs for the first time on your feed list), all of its entries are skipped and no email is sent. This is so that you don't get spammed when you add a feed for the first time.

Getting help

Issue feed2email help (f2e h) or just feed2email (f2e) at any point to get helpful text on how to use feed2email.


Using feed2email and want to help? Let me know how you use it and if you have any ideas on how to improve it.


Licensed under the MIT license (see LICENSE.txt).


Angelos Orfanakos, http://agorf.gr/