Forward RSS feeds to your email address, community maintained

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Getting Started With rss2email

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


  • Getting Started With rss2email
    • Installing rss2email
      • Packages
      • Installing by hand
        • Requirements
        • Download
        • Install
        • Upgrading to a new version

    • Using rss2email
    • Customizing rss2email
      • SMTP
      • LMTP
      • Post-processing
    • Automating rss2email
    • Development
      • Community
      • Tips and tricks

Installing rss2email Packages

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

Installing by hand Requirements

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

  1. Ensure that a version of Python ≥3.6 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 SMTP 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) or .tar.gz file (suggested for everyone else):

    * Navigate to
    * Click either the ``zip`` or ``tar.gz`` icon for the latest release
    * Download and extract the archive
  1. A Git checkout (suggested for developers):

    $ git clone


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 ($XDG_CONFIG_HOME/rss2email.cfg by default) and a feed database ($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 eff

That will cause rss2email to notify you when there is a new announcement from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. 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

When a run is made, rss2email stores the list of already seen items for each feed in $HOME/.local/share/rss2email.json.

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 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 and reply-changes, 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.


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 outgoing email server's details:

email-protocol = smtp
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.


LMTP__ is an alternative to SMTP where the receiving side does not have a mail queue and is mainly used to deliver mail when the target mail server is located on the same machine as the sending site. If you want to use LMTP, edit the configuration file and fill in your mail server's details:

email-protocol = lmtp
lmtp-server = /path/to/lmtp.socket
lmtp-auth = False

If your server exposes LMTP via a TCP socket, specify the server and port via lmtp-server and lmtp-port:

lmtp-server =
lmtp-port = 2003

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

lmtp-auth = True
lmtp-username = username
lmtp-password = password


rss2email has a mechanism to post-process entries. A post-processor can be used to change the content of each entry before rss2email sends the email out. A hook is added by defining the variable post-process in the config file. It takes two arguments, the module and the function to call. For example:

post-process = rss2email.post_process.prettify process

Examples of built-in post-processors:

  • prettifies the HTML content with BeautifulSoup.
  • remove redirects on the post URL for privacy or durability.

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

Development Community

User discussion and development take place on GitHub. Please feel free to post bug reports, feature requests, comments, and patches. If you do not have a GitHub account and do not wish to acquire one, please come chat in the IRC channel.

There is a developer chat on the Libera IRC server, in the rss2email channel. Feel free to idle.

Tips and tricks

When adding a new test case, it is possible to just add the new input files, and then run the test suite with FORCE_TESTDATA_CREATION=1, and the test suite will automatically generate the output file. Just make sure to check that the output file does match what is wanted before checking it in.

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