Replacing Google Reader with rss2email


So Google is killing the Reader service. This has caused quite an uproar in the technology community. As a longtime user (since 2008) of Google Reader, I went in search of a replacement.

I had used NewsBlur, newsbeuter, and even thought about creating my own RSS fetcher. But in the end, all of these options were lacking. A while back I had checked out ]rss2email](, but had dropped it because I wanted fresh deliveries of feeds which involved having a computer running at all times. I realized my VPS would now fulfill that requirement perfectly.

rss2email is exactly what it sounds like: "a free tool for delivering news from RSS feeds to your email program that works under Windows and UNIX, including Linux, Mac OS X, BSD and CentOS." I am using it with Ubuntu so installing it was as easy as:

sudo apt-get install rss2email

To start it up, you'll want to tell rss2email what email address to send the feeds to:

r2e new

Then add feeds with the add command:

r2e add

You can check out the feeds you have added:

r2e list

Delete them by the number beside them in r2e list:

r2e delete 2

Make an initial run (without dumping every entry into your email):

r2e run --no-send

Then run rss2email at any time to get new entries:

r2e run

I added an entry to my crontab to grab feeds every 4 hours:

0 */4 * * * r2e run

rss2email has the added benifit of allowing you to use your email client or service to filter messages. For instance, I use a filter to send all my feeds to an "RSS" folder where I can read them at my leisure.

You can get more info on setting up rss2email at this getting started page: and Arch Linux's doc for rss2email:

In the end, I'm disappointed in Google for shutting Reader down. This reminds me of other services I use Google for that could be cancelled some day: Google Voice, Google Calendar, GMail. I understand that they have a business to protect, so it's not out of the question that anything could be up for killing. I'm considering moving to paid services that have a better business model than selling ads based on crawling the content of my personal communications.