Raspberry Pi

Feb 03, 2016

Last month I picked up a Raspberry Pi with a starter kit. I didn’t have an exact use-case in mind, but figured I’d find a project for it pretty quickly. It didn’t take long for one such project to come up.

Due to rising server costs, I was looking to migrate some services off my rented VPS. This included my website, some webapps I wrote, and most importantly my RSS crawler. I know, nobody uses RSS anymore. But old habits die hard.

I’ve tried about a dozen different RSS clients out there, but I keep coming back to Tiny Tiny RSS. It’s self-hosted which means you won’t be left in the lurch if a service goes down. It’s also extremely customizable.

Installing TT-RSS is not as simple as setting up a Feedly account. On a plain Linux install you’re going to need to setup a webserver, backend database, PHP, and any other requirements (eg. curl). My webserver of choice is nginx, and with FastCGI for PHP and MariaDB you’re running a very slick web stack with almost no configuration needed.

Once you’ve got all the prerequisites met, TT-RSS is a cinch to install. Just throw it in your /www folder and follow the wizard. You may need to set some file permissions, as you do in Linux-land.

You’ll next need to setup a method for updating feeds. I set up a daemon with systemd, but you can use a crontab or run a process under screen to keep the crawler running. Once you’re done you can install a custom theme or plugins to customize your experience.

There aren’t many great mobile apps for TT-RSS, so I like to use the excellent Fever API plugin. This lets you use any Fever-enabled app such as Press for Android which is very nice.

This all works great with an always-on Raspberry Pi, and I’ve had zero interuptions since setting it up last week.