You are here: start » Snippets » fetchFeed


I no longer maintain or even use this thing myself, as I've turned into a happy Bloglines user. However, I'll keep the site up anyway, just don't expect any changes, bugfixes or stuff like that ;)

What is it?

fetchFeed is a RSS aggregator similar in function to the common unix mail utilities fetchmail and getmail. It's purpose is to aggregate a list of given RSS/RDF feeds (stored in opml) and saving the fetched items as mails into a given maildir, using subfolders in the maildir to sort the feeditems according to feed and opml-structure. The generated mails are of the multipart/alternative MIME Type and consist of a plaintext and a html part of the feed item. The structure of both parts is controlled by templates lying either in the main programm folder or in ~/.fetchfeed - where exactly is determined by the configfile - and having the ending .tmpl The feeds to aggregate are given in an opml file whose location also is given in the config. fetchFeed also implements a logging feature, using Log::Dispatch, which can be used to log to files, the screen or the syslog.


The reason I wrote fetchFeed is a rather simple one: I was tired of standalone RSS Readers, and Thunderbird - though quiete handy when it comes to working with mails - was not rather practical due to it's lack of a fully working OPML import/export feature. Since I recently switched from fetching my mails “personally” to a solution based on the local server, a Maildir, Courier IMAP and getmail I thought it would turn out rather handy to have my feeds handled in a central way as well, making it possible to read mails and RSS wherever I am as long as I'm able to get my hands on an imap-enabled mail client. So I finally grabbed the housecopy of the camel book and used the breaks in job and studies of two weeks to implement what I missed.


In order to use fetchFeed, Perl and the following modules need to be installed:

I doubt that this thing works on a win32 platform. I wrote it only to be used with the linux server running here and therefore tested it just in this environment. You might have luck with cygwin, ActivePerl seems not to hold all necessary packages in their ppm repository.


fetchFeed Version 1.0.3

Released: 2005/03/10
md5sum: 9e7ed93141f75e8eae7101ac573742fa

Download: fetchfeed-1.0.3.tar.gz

fetchFeed Version 1.0.2

Released: 2005/02/27
md5sum: 89f6c1e2fca5eb223f8e368d99f42756

Download: fetchfeed-1.0.2.tar.gz

fetchRSS Version 1.0.1

Released: 2005/02/13
md5sum: 82d5a31f9b3283f4b140a8f45b4f5aae

Download: fetchrss-1.0.1.tar.gz

fetchRSS Version 1.0

Released: 2005/01/17
md5sum: 872d5bf1cf0029ea34659e4c28247c26

Download: fetchrss-1.0.tar.gz


1.0.2 => 1.0.3

  • Commandline option: –config FILE for telling fetchFeed to use a specific config file
  • Commandline option: –opml FILE for telling fetchFeed to use a specific opml file
  • Commandline option: –help shows a small help text
  • Commandline option: –version shows the version of the script
  • Bugfix: Feedparser is now encapsulated into eval to stop script from dying a horrible death when an invalid feed is encountered
  • Bugfix: Folders for the feeds are now created correctly
  • Bugifx: Now checks whether title or url of a given feed are empty and skips feed instead of dying if so

1.0.1 => 1.0.2

  • Name change from fetchRSS to fetchFeed
  • Additional Header X-ItemUrl added to mailheader
  • New attribute mode in opml allows now to specify whether to display the content of the feed or an iframe
  • New config option idfile to specify of which item parts the seed for the md5-sum consists of
  • Bugfix: Recipient given in configfile is now inserted into mail correctly

1.0.0 => 1.0.1

  • Bugfix: For calculating the md5-sum to recognize an already fetched feed item, the items subject is now ISO-8859-1 encoded first.
snippets/fetchfeed.txt · Last modified: 2008/03/26 12:35 (external edit)