Journalist

Journalist is an open source RSS aggregator (a.k.a. self-hosted Feedly) that can sync subscriptions and read/unread items across multiple clients without requiring a special client-side integration.

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journalist

Journalist. An RSS aggregator.

What is journalist?

Journalist is an RSS aggregator that can sync subscriptions and read/unread items across multiple clients without requiring a special client-side integration. Clients can use Journalist by simply subscribing to its personalized RSS feed.

Journalist aims to become a self-hosted alternative to services like Feedly, Feedbin and others. It aims to offer a similar set of features like FreshRSS, NewsBlur and Miniflux while being easier to set up/maintain and overall more lightweight.

Find out more about Journalist here. If you’re looking for pre-v1.0.0 versions of Journalist, please check out the v0 branch. v1.0.0 and later versions are not compatible to / upgradeable from pre-v1.0.0 versions!

Usage

Journalist is a single binary service can be run on any Linux/Unix machine by setting the required configuration values and launching the journalist program.

Before using Journalist from an RSS client, it first requires configuration and deployment.

Getting Started

As soon as Journalist was configured and deployed properly, a new user can be added using the admin user that Journalist creates automatically (default login: admin:admin).

First, make sure to export JOURNALIST_API_URL in the current terminal session:

$ export JOURNALIST_API_URL="http://127.0.0.1:8000/api"

Then, using Redacteur, a new user can be added like this:

$ JOURNALIST_API_USERNAME=admin JOURNALIST_API_PASSWORD=admin \
  ./redacteur add user
Username: johndoe
Password: MySecretPassword123
Role (admin/[user]): user

Next, a new QAT (Quick Access Token) for the user can be issued:

$ JOURNALIST_API_USERNAME=johndoe JOURNALIST_API_PASSWORD=MySecretPassword123 \
  ./redacteur add token
Token name: FeederAndroidClient

Copy the token from the JSON response, as this is required to subscribe to the Journalist feed.

Next, add a new feed to the user (a.k.a. subscribe to):

$ JOURNALIST_API_USERNAME=johndoe JOURNALIST_API_PASSWORD=MySecretPassword123 \
  ./redacteur add feed
URL: https://xn--gckvb8fzb.com
Name: マリウス
Group: Journals

Feel free to add further feeds the same way. Group describes a folder underneath the feed should be grouped. Groups can be named freely.

With the Quick Access Token (token) that was copied previously, the following URL can now be added to any RSS feed reader:

http://127.0.0.1:8000/web/subscriptions?qat=TOKEN-HERE

More information and RSS feed URLs can be found under Web.

Configuration

Journalist will read its config either from a file or from environment variables. Every configuration key available in the example journalist.toml can be exported as environment variable, by separating scopes using _ and prepend JOURNALIST to it. For example, the following configuration:

[Server]
BindIP = "0.0.0.0"

… can also be specified as an environment variable:

export JOURNALIST_SERVER_BINDIP="0.0.0.0"

Journalist will try to read the journalist.toml file from one of the following paths:

  • /etc/journalist.toml
  • $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/journalist.toml
  • $HOME/.config/journalist.toml
  • $HOME/journalist.toml
  • $PWD/journalist.toml

Database

Journalist requires a database to store users and subscriptions. Supported database types are SQLite, PostgreSQL and MySQL. The database can be configured using the JOURNALIST_DATABASE_TYPE and JOURNALIST_DATABASE_CONNECTION env, or the Database.Type and Database.Connection config properties.

WARNING: If you do not specify a database configuration, Journalist will use an in-memory SQLite database! As soon as Journalist shuts down, all data inside the in-memory database is gone!

SQLite File Example
[Database]
Type = "sqlite3"
Connection = "file:my-database.sqlite?cache=shared&_fk=1"
PostgreSQL Example (using Docker for PostgreSQL)

Run the database:

docker run -it --name postgres \
  -e POSTGRES_PASSWORD=postgres \
  -e POSTGRES_DB=journalist \
  -p 127.0.0.1:5432:5432 \
  -d postgres:alpine

Configure Database.Type and Database.Connection:

[Database]
Type = "postgres"
Connection = "host=127.0.0.1 port=5432 dbname=journalist user=postgres password=postgres"
MySQL Example
[Database]
Type = "mysql"
Connection = "mysqluser:mysqlpassword@tcp(mysqlhost:port)/database?parseTime=true"

Deployment

Custom

All that’s needed is a configuration and Journalist can be launched by e.g. running ./journalist in a terminal.

Supervisor

To run Journalist via supervisord, create a config like this inside /etc/supervisord.conf or /etc/supervisor/conf.d/journalist.conf:

[program:journalist]
command=/path/to/binary/of/journalist
process_name=%(program_name)s
numprocs=1
directory=/home/journalist
autostart=true
autorestart=unexpected
startsecs=10
startretries=3
exitcodes=0
stopsignal=TERM
stopwaitsecs=10
user=journalist
redirect_stderr=false
stdout_logfile=/var/log/journalist.out.log
stdout_logfile_maxbytes=1MB
stdout_logfile_backups=10
stdout_capture_maxbytes=1MB
stdout_events_enabled=false
stderr_logfile=/var/log/journalist.err.log
stderr_logfile_maxbytes=1MB
stderr_logfile_backups=10
stderr_capture_maxbytes=1MB
stderr_events_enabled=false

Note: It is advisable to run Journalist under its own, dedicated daemon user (journalist in this example), so make sure to either adjust directory as well as user or create a user called journalist.

OpenBSD rc

As before, create a configuration file under /etc/journalist.toml.

Then copy the example rc.d script to /etc/rc.d/journalist and copy the binary to e.g. /usr/local/bin/journalist. Last but not least, update the /etc/rc.conf.local file to contain the following line:

journalist_user="_journalist"

It is advisable to run journalist as a dedicated user, hence create the _journalist daemon account or adjust the line above according to your setup.

You can now run Journalist by enabling and starting the service:

rcctl enable journalist
rcctl start journalist
systemd

TODO

Docker

Official images are available on Docker Hub at mrusme/journalist and can be pulled using the following command:

docker pull mrusme/journalist

GitHub release versions are available as Docker image tags (e.g. 1.0.0). The latest image tag contains the latest code of the master branch.

It’s possible to build journalist locally as a Docker container like this:

docker build -t journalist:latest . 

It can then be run using the following command:

docker run -it --rm --name journalist \
  -e JOURNALIST_... \
  -e JOURNALIST_... \
  -p 0.0.0.0:8000:8000 \
  journalist:latest

Alternatively a configuration TOML can be passed into the container like so:

docker run -it --rm --name journalist \
  -v /path/to/my/local/journalist.toml:/etc/journalist.toml \
  -p 0.0.0.0:8000:8000 \
  journalist:latest
Kubernetes

TODO

Render

Fork this repo into your GitHub account, adjust the render.yaml accordingly and connect the forked repo on Render.

Alternatively, you can also directly connect this public repo.

Heroku

Deploy

DigitalOcean App Platform

Deploy to DO

Alternatively, fork this repo into your GitHub account, adjust the .do/app.yaml accordingly and connect the forked repo on DigitalOcean.

DigitalOcean Function

Available soon.

Aamazon Web Services Lambda Function

TODO

Google Cloud Function
gcloud functions deploy GCFHandler --runtime go116 --trigger-http

TODO: Database

API

Journalist provides an HTTP REST API for managing user accounts, tokens and feeds, which is available through the /api/v1 endpoint. A full OpenAPI/Swagger documentation of the API can be found inside the docs/ folder.

Redacteur

This repository comes with a handy client for the Journalist API called Redacteur. Redacteur can be used to perform actions on the API, either by manually specifying the exact API request (redacteur perform ...) or by using a shorthand function like create user, which runs interactively.

Find out more by running redacteur help.

Web

/web is the HTTP web endpoint of Journalist that serves aggregated RSS feeds as well as action endpoints that allow for example marking items as read.

To subscribe to a Journalist user’s aggregated RSS feed a Quick Access Token is required. It can be generated using Redacteur.

With the QAT, any RSS feed reader can subscribe to the following URL:

<JOURNALIST_SERVER_ENDPOINT_WEB>/subscriptions?qat=<TOKEN>

Additionally, subscriptions can be separated by group, simply by adding the group parameter to the URL:

<JOURNALIST_SERVER_ENDPOINT_WEB>/subscriptions?qat=<TOKEN>&group=Journals

With that, only feeds within the Journal group will be included in the RSS feed.

Mark as Read

Feed items can be marked as read using the inline Journalist menu that is injected on the top of every RSS item. It contains a link to an actions endpoint of Journalist that will mark either a single item or a specific range of items as read. This will result in these items not showing up in the Journalist subscription feed anymore. This way every other client that will eventually refresh the feed won’t see these items anymore and hopefully not display them.

You might need to adjust client settings in order to disable caching of items. Additionally, if a client has previously synced the items, it might not automatically remove them from the feed. Whether and how good this works depends on the client’s implementation.

Development

You can build Journalist yourself simply by running make in the repository folder:

make

This will build a binary called journalist.

Updates GitHub

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