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Getting Started With rss2email

We highly recommend that you subscribe to the rss2email project feed so you can keep up to date with the latest version, bugfixes and features:

Installing rss2email


A quick way to get rss2email going is using pre-made packages. There are releases for Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE, Gentoo, and NetBSD.

Installing by hand


Before you install rss2email, you'll need to make sure that a few things are in place.

  1. Ensure that a version of Python ≥3.2 is installed.
  2. Install the required Python packages.
  3. Figure out how you are going to send outgoing email. You have two options here: either use an STMP server or a local sendmail program. So,
    • determine your outgoing email server's SMTP address, or
    • install sendmail (or a compatible replacement like postfix).


Download the latest rss2email source and unpack it. You can choose from several equivalent formats.

  1. A .zip file (suggested for Microsoft Windows users):

    $ wget
    $ unzip rss2email-*.zip
  2. A .tar.gz file (suggested for everyone else):

    $ wget
    $ tar xvf rss2email*.tar.gz
  3. A Git checkout (suggested for developers):

    $ git clone git://


From the unpacked directory, run:

$ python install

You can pass all the usual options to the install command, including --user. If you don't want to install rss2email, you can also run r2e directly from the source directory.

Upgrading to a new version

Just repeat the installation procedure for the new source package. If your config file and data file were in the old source directory, move them over to the new source directory. If the config and data files were in another directory (e.g. ~/.config and ~/.local/share), there is no need to move them.

Using rss2email

Create a new feed database to send updates to your email address:

$ r2e new

This command will create a configuration file ($XDG_CONFIG_HOME/rss2email.cfs by default) and a feed database ($XDG_DATA_HOME/rss2email.json by default). If you'd rather those files were stored in other locations, use the --config and --data options. XDG_CONFIG_HOME defaults to $HOME/.config and XDG_DATA_HOME defaults to $HOME/.local/share.

You should edit the default configuration file now to adjust rss2email for your local system. Unless you've installed a local sendmail-equivalent, you'll need to edit the SMTP options.

Subscribe to some feeds:

$ r2e add rss2email

That's the feed to be notified when there's a new version of rss2email. Repeat this for each feed you want to subscribe to.

When you run rss2email, it emails you about every story it hasn't seen before. But the first time you run it, that will be every story. To avoid this, you can ask rss2email not to send you any stories the first time you run it:

r2e run --no-send

Then later, you can ask it to email you new stories:

r2e run

Customizing rss2email

There are a number of options, described in full in rss2email/, to customize the way rss2email behaves. If you want to change something, edit the the configuration file that was created by r2e new.

For example, if you want to receive HTML mail, instead of having entries converted to plain text:

html-mail = True

To be notified every time a post changes, instead of just when it's first posted (see also trust-link, described in rss2email/

trust-guid = True

And to make the emails look as if they were sent when the item was posted:

date-header = True

If you get an error message Sender domain must exist, add the following to your configuration file:

from =
force-from = True

You can make the email address whatever you want, but your mail server requires that the part actually exists.

You can also add custom filters, see the example and documentation in rss2email/post_process/ for more information.


By default, rss2email uses sendmail (or an equivalent) to send outgoing email. If you don't have such a program installed, or simply prefer to use SMTP directly, edit the configuration file and fill in your outoing email server's details:

use-smtp = True
smtp-server =
smtp-auth = False

If your server requires you to login, change smtp-auth = False to smtp-auth = True and enter your email username and password:

smtp-auth = True
smtp-username = username
smtp-password = password

If your server requires an TLS/SSL connection (SMTPS), change smtp-ssl = False to smtp-ssl = True. If your server does not require a SMTPS connection but you request authentication, rss2email will use STARTTLS to encrypt the connection before sending your login credentials to the server.

Automating rss2email

More than likely you will want rss2email to run automatically at a regular interval. Under Windows this is can be easily accomplished using the Windows Task Scheduler. This site has a nice tutorial on it. Just select r2e.bat as the program to run. Once you've created the task, double click on it in the task list and change the Run entry so that run comes after r2e.bat. For example, if you installed rss2email in the C:\rss2email directory, then you would change the Run entry from C:\rss2email\r2e.bat to C:\rss2email\r2e.bat run.

On Unix/Linux systems, you should add a cron job that runs r2e. For example, run r2e every night (at 1:23 am) with:

23 1 * * * r2e run


User discussion and development take place on the rss2email mailing list at Everyone is welcome to post bug reports, feature requests, comments, and patches. To subscribe to the list, send an email to The mailing list archives are available on Gmane.


open-source tool for Windows, Mac OS and UNIX for getting news from RSS feeds in email







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