Usability tweaks to Liferea
C Python Other
Pull request Compare This branch is 2 commits ahead, 423 commits behind lwindolf:master.
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.

This documentation was last updated for Liferea version 1.11 (02.06.2014).

git master status: build status git master


Liferea is a web feed reader/news aggregator that brings together all of the content from your favorite subscriptions into a simple interface that makes it easy to organize and browse feeds. Its GUI is similar to a desktop mail/newsclient, with an embedded graphical browser.


Installation from Package

Detailed instructions on how to install Liferea on the different distributions can be found online on our homepage at

Building Liferea Yourself

This section describes how to compile Liferea yourself. If you have any problems compiling the packages or from GIT don't hesitate to contact us in IRC (see Support section) to help you with it!


Liferea 1.11+ is to be built against GTK+ 3. If you need to build for GTK+ 2 please use the most recent 1.8 release.

The compilation and runtime dependencies are:


  • gtk3
  • libxml2
  • libxslt
  • sqlite3
  • libwebkit3
  • libjson-glib
  • libgirepository1.0
  • libpeas
  • gsettings-desktop-schemas


  • For the keyring support
    • Python >= 2
  • For the media player plugin
    • Python >= 2
    • GStreamer 0.10+ library and codecs

Ensure that you have installed the libraries and their headers. If you use distribution packages then you usually need to install a package named like the library and one with a suffix "-dev" or "-devel". You need both to compile Liferea.

Compiling from Tarball

If you do not like version control systems you might want to compile Liferea from a release tarball. Those are supplied in the Github release tracker ( After you download a release extract it like this:

tar jxvf liferea-1.11.0.tar.bz2 

After extracting run the standard autotools commands:

make install

After this Liferea will be installed in /usr/local and you should be able to start it by calling "/usr/local/bin/liferea".

Compiling from Git

To anonymously check out a source copy execute this:

git clone

Then build it with:

make install


This section describes how you can contribute to Liferea. We currently try to provide additional help on contributing via which provides help and easy tasks to start contributing.

As the project is hosted at Github pull requests and tickets via Github are the best way to contribute to Liferea.


Before starting to translate you need a translation editor. We suggest to use poedit or gtranslator. Please edit the translation using such a translation editor and send us the resulting file. Once you have finished your work please send us the resulting file.

Please do not send translation patches. Those are a lot of work to merge and the bandwidth saving is not that huge!

New Translations

To create a new translation you must load the translation template, which you can find in the release tarball as "po/liferea.pot", into the translation editor. After editing it save it under a new name (usually your locales name with the extension ".po").

Updating Translations

When updating an existing translation please ensure to respect earlier translators work. If the latest translation is only a few months old please contact the latest translator first asking him to review your changes especially if you change already translated literals.

Localizing Feed Lists

When Liferea starts for the first time it installs a localized feed list if available. If this is not the case for your locale you might want to provide one. To check if there is one for your country have a look into the "opml" subdirectory in the latest release tarball or GIT.

If you want to provide/update a localized feed list please follow these rules:

  • Keep the English part of the default feed list
  • Only add neutral content feeds (no sex, no ideologic politics, no illegal stuff)
  • Provide good and short feed titles
  • Provide HTML URLs for each feed.

Once finished post the result OPML file in the mailing list or the SF patch tracker.

Creating Plugins

Liferea 1.10+ support GObject Introspection based plugins using libpeas. The Liferea distribution comes with a set of Python plugin e.g. the media player, GNOME keyring support, a tray icon plugin and maybe others.

Why We Use Plugins?

The idea behind plugins is to extend Liferea without changing compile time requirements. With the plugin only activating if all its bindings are available Liferea uses plugins to automatically enable features where possible.

How Plugins Interact With Liferea

You can develop plugins for your private use or contribute them upstream. In any case it makes sense to start by cloning one of the existing plugins and to think about how to hook into Liferea. There are two common ways:

  • using interfaces,
  • or by listening to events on Liferea objects,
  • or not at all by just controlling Liferea from the outside.

The media player is an example for 1.) while the tray icon is an example for 3.) If you find you need a new plugin interface (called Activatables) in the code feel free to contact us on the mailing list. In general such a tight coupling should be avoided.

About the exposed GIR API: At the moment there is no stable API. Its just some header files fed into g-ir-scanner. Despite this method names of the core functionality in Liferea has proven to be stable during release branches. And if you contribute your plugin upstream it will be updated to match renamed functionality.

Testing Plugins

To test your new plugin you can use ~/.local/share/liferea/plugins. Create the directory and put the plugin script and the .plugin file there and restart Liferea.

Watch out for initialization exceptions on the command line as they will permanently disable the plugin. Each time this happens you need to reenable the plugin from within the plugin tab in the preferences dialog!

How to Help With Testing

Bug Reports

If you want to help with testing grab the latest tarball or follow GIT master and write bug reports for any functional problem you experience. If you have time help with bug triaging the SF tracker. Check if you see any of the open bugs on your setup.

Debugging Crashes

In case of crashes create gdb backtraces and post them in the bug tracker. To create a backtrace start Liferea using "gdb liferea". At the gdb prompt type "run" to start the execution and "bt" after the crash. Send us the "bt" output!

Note: Often people confuses assertions with crashes. Assertions do halt the program because of a totally unexpected situation. Creating a backtrace in this situation will only point to the assertion line, which doesn't help much. In case of an assertion simply post a bug report with the assertion message.

Debugging Memory Leaks

If you see memory leakage please take the time to do a run

valgrind --leak-check=full liferea

to identify leaks and send in the output.

Browser Integration

Liferea allows subscribing directly from Firefox 2.0+ and Epiphany.


Epiphany provides a standard plugin that allows adding subscription directly to Liferea. Ensure you have installed the Epiphany plugins (often a separate package in the distribution) and enabled the plugin in the Epiphany settings.

Firefox 2.0+

If you want to subscribe from within Firefox 2.0 you can configure Firefox 2.0 to add subscriptions to Liferea directly. To do so click the feed icon in the location entry. Firefox will then present a menu where you can configure a manual command instead of the Live Bookmarks to add subscriptions. Liferea supplies a script named "liferea-add-feed" that you can tell Firefox to use.

If this doesn't work for you please try to run "liferea-add-feed" from the command line and look for error messages. Often DBUS problems cause the script to fail.

How to Get Support

When using distribution packages:

Do not post bug reports in the Liferea bug tracker, use the bug reporting system of your distribution instead. We (upstream) cannot fix distribution packages!

Before getting support for stable releases:

Install the latest stable release and check if the problem is solved already. Please do not ask for help for older releases!

Now there are three major support channels:

  • The IRC channel "#liferea" on If you have easy to solve problems and simple questions feel free to ask the people hanging around there.

  • The mailing list. Good for posting compilation problems and starting longer discussions.

  • The GitHub bug tracker ( where you can post bug reports for all problems you find. Ensure to look for any existing reports on your problem!

Hopefully we can help with your problem.