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Liferea Trick #6: Website Scraping

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Not every interesting website provides a feed. Some feeds are broken. And some websites do provide summaries only or no content at all. Besides asking the owner of the website to add a feed or provide more details the only choice left might be to "scrape" the website content.

Read about how to scrape websites with Liferea

Never Forget _netdev with GlusterFS Mounts

When adding GlusterFS share to /etc/fstab do not forget to add "_netdev" to the mount options. Otherwise on next boot your system will just hang!

Actually there doesn't seem to be a timeout. That would be nice too.

As a side-note: do not forget that Ubuntu 12.04 doesn't care about the "_netdev" even. So network is not guaranteed to be up when mounting. So an additional upstart task or init script is needed anyway. But you need "_netdev" to prevent hanging on boot.

I also have the impression that this only happens with stock kernel 3.8.x and not with 3.4.x!

Silencing the Nagios Plugin check_ntp_peer

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The Nagios plugin "check_ntp_peer" from Debian package "nagios-plugins-basic" is not very nice. It shouts at you about LI_ALARM bit and negative jitter all the time after a machine reboots despite everything actually being fine.

#!/bin/bash

result=$(/usr/lib/nagios/plugins/check_ntp_peer $@)
status=$?

if echo "$result" | egrep 'jitter=-1.00000|has the LI_ALARM' >/dev/null; then
	echo "Unknown state after reboot."
	exit 0
fi

echo $result
exit $status

Using above wrapper you get rid of the warnings.

Liferea 1.10 not Starting in Fedora 18/19

Several users reporting startup problems of a self-compiled 1.10 in Fedora (SF bug #1093):

(liferea:3798): GLib-GIO-ERROR **: Settings schema 'net.sf.liferea' does not contain a key named 'last-node-selected'
Trace/breakpoint trap

As you can see from the error message Liferea doesn't start because a dconf schema key is not known. A solution was suggested by nmdias: if you experience this problem please try to run

/usr/bin/glib-compile-schemas /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas

to properly install the schema.

Liferea Trick #5: Privacy with a SOCKS Proxy

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Starting with Liferea 1.10 you can use a SOCKS proxy. This is possible because Liferea uses the libproxy support provided by the libsoup networking library since 1.10.

What is a SOCKS Proxy?

SOCKS stands for "socket secure" it simply means to use an encrypted connection for whatever you do. Configuring a SOCKS proxy in your desktop environment means that you want all applications to do internet access via an encrypted connection to a safe server you have access to.

Why Use a SOCKS Proxy for Feed Reading?

Well, this of course is useful if you are in an environment were you do not want others to see what you are reading. Be it political blogs or private but unencrypted feeds. Also you simply might not want for your employer to know what servers you are polling news feeds from anyway. There are many good and bad reasons.

How To Use SOCKS Proxy with Liferea and GNOME?

First please note that Liferea supports using a SOCKS proxy only via the GNOME network preferences. Actually it relies on libsoup using the SOCKS settings from there.

Requirements

  1. Liferea 1.10+ with GNOME desktop
  2. You have a private server to use as a proxy
  3. You can connect via SSH to this server

Step 1: Connecting the SOCKS Proxy

There are many ways to do this and many online tutorials. The easiest way is to use SSH like this

ssh -D 8080 <user>@<private server>

Step 2: Client Proxy Configuration

So the first thing to do is to configure Liferea to use the GNOME network settings:

Ensure to set the preferences to proxy auto-detect as shown in the screenshot above. Next go to the GNOME preferences and configure a SOCKS proxy on "localhost" and port "8080" or whatever port you used when you ran the SSH command.

That's it! Try to update feeds in Liferea and watch out for errors in the status line.

What About Older Liferea Versions?

If you are running an older version of Liferea have a look at this post about a SOCKS proxy workaround using the tool redsocks.

How to Get TinyTinyRSS Categories

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If you are using TinyTinyRSS and want a hierarchic subscription list you need to explicitely enable categories from the preferences! Ensure to enable the "Enables feed categories" check box. Then save and open the "Feeds" tab which now allows you to add categories. All existing feeds are presented in category "Uncategorized".

Preferences Screenshot

Liferea Trick #4: Full Screen Mode

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Are you using a netbook and have not much screen real estate? Then wether it is a mail client or web browser or news aggregator using it in full screen mode gets you more content visible. Less space is wasted for menu elements and window decoration.

In Liferea press F11 or select "View" -> "Fullscreen" to enable full screen mode.

If you want to save even more vertical space consider hiding the toolbar by enabling the option in the preferences dialog.

Missing Roles in "knife node show" Output

Sometimes the knife output can be really confusing:

$ knife node show myserver
Node Name:   myserver1
Environment: _default
FQDN:        myserver1
IP:          
Run List:    role[base], role[mysql], role[apache]
Roles:       base, nrpe, mysql
Recipes:     [...]
Platform:    ubuntu 12.04
Tags:        

Noticed the difference in "Run List" and "Roles"? The run list says "role[apache]", but the list of "Roles" has no Apache. This is because of the role not yet being run on the server. So a

ssh root@myserver chef-client

Solves the issue and Apache appears in the roles list.

The learning: do not use "knife node show" to get the list of configured roles!

Liferea Trick #3: Use Feed Auto Discovery

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This is an easy one: Don't bother entering the exact feed URL when subscribing!

These days it is standard for websites to support feed auto discovery. Many blogs and websites actually do not add feed subscription icons and links anymore. The feed link is just included in the HTML markup and every aggregator can extract it. No need for you to look for it.

To make it even simpler combine with trick #2 and use drag&drop! On every websites whose feed you want to add just drag the favicon from the browser location bar into Liferea. Most browsers do interpret this as dragging the location. Do not even bother copying the URL.

Be lazy :-)

Liferea Trick #2: Drag and Drop URLs

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Maybe it is obvious, but you can of course use Drag&Drop to add feed subscriptions to Liferea.

You can drag

  • into the subscription list
  • onto the tray icon

and Liferea will create a new subscription.

You can also Drag&Drop any web sites URL and Liferea will try to auto-discover the feed URL from it.

Note that dragging URLs into the item browser pane or a browser tab will just launch the URL in the internal browser.

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