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When your Pocket list is overwhelming, pocket-snack lets you see just what you can read today
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When your Pocket list is overwhelming, pocket-snack lets you see just what you can read today

This is the version 2 documentation. If you haven't yet upgraded you can still use the version 1 README.

A note on version 2

All commands have changed since version 1 - read the Usage section carefully. This was necessary in order to provide better functionality without making the code too confusing.

One of the changes is that the refresh command from version 1 no longer exists. This is so that --since, and --before can be used with both --stash and lucky_dip. If you want replicate refresh you simply need to run --stash followed by --lucky_dip. From the command line you could do:

pocketsnack -s && pocketsnack -d

The automation of pocketsnack refresh has also been removed. This didn't really work very consistently, and was causing a lot of maintenance headaches. I'm looking at how to bring it back in a different way, but for now it's been removed.

Getting started (tl;dr)

  1. make sure you have installed Python version 3.x (preferably 3.7 or higher)
  2. download pocketsnack using git or the download link in releases
  3. move into the top pocketsnack directory (i.e. cd pocketsnack)
  4. pip3 install . or if pip points to Python3, pip install .
  5. Add Pocket consumer key to settings/
  6. pocketsnack --authorise
  7. You are now ready to enjoy using pocketsnack

Installing Python 3

You will need Python 3.x installed. On MacOS the easiest thing to do is to install Python 3 using Homebrew: brew install python.


You will need to copy settings/ to a new file - settings/ before you start. You can do this however you like, but from the command line you could use: cp settings/ settings/, and then edit it with a text editor like nano or VS Code, but any text editor will do the job - you could even use TextEdit or Notepad.

You can adjust most settings, but the defaults in should be ok for most users. Check the comments in for an explanation of each setting.

Creating a Pocket consumer key for your app

  1. Log in to Pocket in a web browser
  2. Go to and click 'CREATE NEW APP'
  3. Complete the form: you will need all permissions, and the platform should be Desktop (other)
  4. Your new app will show a consumer key, which you need to paste into the first line in

Authorising your app with a Pocket access token

Pocket uses OAuth to confirm that your app has permission from your user account to do stuff in your account. This means you need to authorise the app before you can do anything else. Once you have copied your app consumer key into, run pocketsnack --authorise to get your token.

You should now have a line at the bottom of saying something like pocket_access_token = 'aa11bb-zz9900xx'


To run commands, use pocketsnack [command].

-h, --help

Outputs help for each command

admin commands

-t, --test

Outputs the first article returned by a call to the API. Normally you will never need to use this.

-u, --authorise

This command has an 's', not a 'z', and the short version is a 'u', not an 'a'.

You need this to authorise your app. Everything else works exclusively on the command line, but authorise needs to open a browser to complete the authorisation process, so you need to run this on a machine with a web browser. It will authorise your app with your user, wait for you to confirm that you have completed the authorisation (by typing 'done') and then add the token to You also need to run --authorise if you want to change the Pocket account you are using with pocketsnack.

action commands

-d, --lucky_dip

Returns items with the archive tag from the archive to the list, and removes the archive tag. The number of items returned is determined by items_per_cycle in Note that if num_videos and num_images add up to more than items_per_cycle, lucky_dip will only return the total specified in items_per_cycle. Videos take precedence.

-p, --purge

You can use purge_tags to clear all tags in your List, Archive, or both, excluding the archive_tag and any retain_tags. This is useful if you've been using the Aus GLAM Blogs Pocket tool or anything else that retains the original tags from articles.

--purge requires a second argument: --list, --archive, or --all, depending on where you want to purge tags.

NOTE that by design, --purge will process all items in your archive, not just items with the archive_tag. This may lead to miss-matches between the number returned by --info --archive and the number of items processed by --purge --archive.

-s, --stash

Adds the archive tag to everything in your list, and then archives them. Depending on the value of ignore_faves and ignore_tags in, and any before/since values, some items may be excluded and remain in the List.

optional flags

-a, --archive

Used in combination with --info, this tells you how many items are in your archive and how many of them are 'long reads'. You can set the wordcount defining a long read in Used with --purge, it purges tags on items in the archive.

-l, --list

Same as archive but for your list instead of your archive.

-b, -all

For use with --purge - purge tags from both the List and the Archive.

-n, --since SINCE

Restrict the current action command to only items updated more recently than SINCE number of days.

-o, --before BEFORE

Restrict the current action command to only items updated less recently than BEFORE number of days.

What does 'updated' mean?

The Pocket API does not store a value for the date an items was first added. The only value we can get is since, which is a timestamp updated every time there is an update made to an item via or equivalent to any add or modify API action. This could be when it is added to the List, move to the archive, moved out of the archive back into the List, or has changes made to tags (even if that tag update results in no actual change - i.e. if --purge has been run against the item, regardless of whether it had any tags to begin with).


Stash only items updated in the last 2 days:

pocketsnack --stash -n 2

Stash only items NOT updated in the last 7 days:

pocketsnack --stash -o 7

Purge tags on all items in the List that were updated in the last day:

pocketsnack -pln 1

Run lucky_dip:

pocketsnack --lucky_dip

Run lucky_dip but only choose from items last updated longer ago than one week:

pocketsnack -d -o 7

Uninstalling or moving to a new directory

If you installed with pip

Just run pip uninstall pocketsnack or pip3 uninstall pocketsnack.

If you installed using the legacy script

  1. Delete the executable link: rm /usr/local/bin/pocketsnack

If you don't do this when re-installing in a different directory, running pocketsnack will fail because it will still be pointing at the old directory. 2. Now you can safely delete the pocket-snack directory: rm -r pocketsnack

Bugs and suggestions

Please log an issue - but check the existing issues first in case it's already been/being dealt with.

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