Ubuntu Server – Installing Gregarius, a Web-based RSS Aggregator


Gregarius is a Web-based RSS, RDF, and ATOM news aggregator that will allow you to access your news feeds from anywhere (if you so desire).

I installed Gregarius in an Ubuntu Server minimal virtual machine on VMware ESXi. During the installation I elected to install the LAMP webserver and SSH roles.

To install Gregarius download it from here and then copy it to the home directory on your server.

Install unzip and extract the Gregarius download:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install unzip
unzip gregarius-*.zip

You will now see a folder called gregarius in your home directory. I chose to rename the folder to rss:

mv gregarius rss

Copy the rss folder to your Apache web directory:

sudo cp -R rss /var/www/rss

At this point I needed to edit php.conf so that I could open .php files in a browser and create a virtual host. I have previously covered editing php.conf here and how to install Webmin here.

With Webmin installed creating a virtual host is a simple process.

In Webmin click Servers and Apache Webserver in the left hand menu – then click the Create virtual host tab.

Click the file browser button for the Document Root field and then navigate to /var/www/rss and then click OK. Click the Create Now button.

Open a browser and begin installation of Gregarius: http://<server-ip>/rss.

Gregarius will notify you of any un-met requirements, but I did not experience any issues here:

The next step is to enter settings for the Gregarius database. For database UserName and Password enter a username and password of your choice. For the Database Table Prefix I entered rss.

To allow Gregarius to create a database for you enter root as the Admin UserName and your MySQL password as the Admin Password.

Note: The MySQL password was defined during the installation of the LAMP role earlier.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Download dbinit.php file button. Save the file and upload dbinit.php to the home directory on your server and then copy it to /var/www/rss/:

sudo cp dbinit.php /var/www/rss

As dbinit.php contains your MySQL password you should delete the file from your home directory:

rm dbinit.php

Now open a browser and browse to: http://<server-ip>/rss/index.php.

Click on the Admin button and define a username and password.

Log in and click the Feeds button.

Note: You should be able to access Gregarius using the following URL from now on: http://<server-ip>/rss

To add this site as a feed, for example, just copy and paste the feed URL http://pricklytech.wordpress.com/feed/ into the Add a feed field and then click the Add button:

Click the Home button and you will be able to see your feeds:

The only issue that I have experienced is that Gregarius takes some time respond every time I click the Admin button. After that the application seems to respond quite well though. My workaround was to bookmark the Feeds page, which allowed me to add feeds much more quickly that clicking Admin followed by Feeds.

I am quite looking forward to accessing my feeds without having a local client installed on any of my machines …

Update: Since adding more feeds I encountered an issue and could not browse my feeds, even though they were listed. The quick fix was to edit the rss.output.usemodrewrite setting and set its value to false. This setting can be found here: http://<server-ip>/rss/admin/index.php?view=config. See here for more details.

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