A tool for monitoring webpages for updates
Python Roff
Latest commit cfe4535 Feb 6, 2017 @thp committed on GitHub Merge pull request #132 from yantar92/patch-3
Update storage.py


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                 A tool for monitoring webpages for updates

urlwatch is intended to help you watch changes in webpages and get notified (via email, in your terminal or with a custom-written reporter class) of any changes. The change notification will include the URL that has changed and a unified diff of what has changed.


urlwatch 2 requires:

The dependencies can be installed with (add --user to install to $HOME):

python3 -m pip install pyyaml minidb requests keyring

For optional pushover support the chump package is required:

python3 -m pip install chump

For optional pushbullet support the pushbullet.py package is required:

python3 -m pip install pushbullet.py

For unit tests, you also need to install pycodestyle:

python3 -m pip install pycodestyle


Migration from urlwatch 1.x should be automatic on first start. Here is a quick rundown of changes in 2.0:

  • URLs are stored in a YAML file now, with direct support for specifying names for jobs, different job kinds, directly applying filters, selecting the HTTP request method, specifying POST data as dictionary and much more
  • The cache directory has been replaced with a SQLite 3 database file "cache.db" in minidb format, storing all change history (use --gc-cache to remove old changes if you don't need them anymore) for further analysis
  • The hooks mechanism has been replaced with support for creating new job kinds by subclassing, new filters (also by subclassing) as well as new reporters (pieces of code that put the results somewhere, for example the default installation contains the "stdout" reporter that writes to the console and the "email" reporter that can send HTML and text e-mails)
  • A configuration file - urlwatch.yaml - has been added for specifying user preferences instead of having to supply everything via the command line


  1. Start urlwatch to migrate your old data or start fresh
  2. Use urlwatch --edit to customize your job list
  3. Use urlwatch --edit-config if you want to set up e-mail sending
  4. Use urlwatch --edit-hooks if you want to write custom subclasses
  5. Add urlwatch to your crontab (crontab -e)


Quickly adding new URLs to the job list from the command line:

urlwatch --add url=http://example.org,name=Example

You can pick only a given HTML element with the built-in filter, for example to extract <div id="something">.../<div> from a page, you can use the following in your urls.yaml:

url: http://example.org/
filter: element-by-id:something

Also, you can chain filters, so you can run html2text on the result:

url: http://example.net/
filter: element-by-id:something,html2text

The example urls.yaml file also demonstrates the use of built-in filters, here 3 filters are used: html2text, line-grep and whitespace removal to get just a certain info field from a webpage:

url: http://thp.io/2008/urlwatch/
filter: html2text,grep:Current.*version,strip

For most cases, this means that you can specify a filter chain in your urls.yaml page without requiring a custom hook where previously you would have needed to write custom filtering code in Python.


You can configure urlwatch to send real time notifications about changes via Pushover(https://pushover.net/). To enable this, ensure you have the chump python package installed (see DEPENDENCIES). Then edit your config (urlwatch --edit-config) and enable pushover. You will also need to add to the config your Pushover user key and a unique app key (generated by registering urlwatch as an application on your Pushover account(https://pushover.net/apps/build)


Pushbullet notification are configured similarly to Pushover (see above). You'll need to add to the config your Pushbullet Access Token, which you can generate at https://www.pushbullet.com/#settings


Website: http://thp.io/2008/urlwatch/

E-Mail: m@thp.io