FreshRSS has three primary viewing modes: Normal, Global, and Reader view.

Normal view

Normal view will allow you to view articles in a compressed view. They can be separated by category or individual feed, or viewed in the “main stream” containing all feeds. Clicking a feed in the sidebar (mobile users will need to click the folder icon to open it) will open that feed’s view.

Article List

By default, the normal view includes six items per article. From left to right:

Normal View Sidebar

Clicking the gear icon next to an individual feed will display additional options for that feed.

Global view

Global view allows quick views of feed’s statuses at once. Feeds and categories are shown with the number of unread articles next to them. Clicking a feed’s name will open it in a view similar to normal view.

Reader view

Reader view will display a feed will all articles already open for reading. Feeds can be switched by clicking the folder icon at the top to bring up the category/feed sidebar.

Refreshing feeds

To take full advantage of FreshRSS, it needs to retrieve new items from the feeds you have subscribed to. There are several ways to do this.

Automatic update with cron

This is the recommended method.

This method is only available if you have access to the scheduled tasks of the machine on which your FreshRSS instance is installed.

The script is named actualize_script.php and is located in the app folder. The scheduled task syntax will not be explained here. However, here is a quick introduction to crontab that might help you.

Here is an example to trigger article update every hour.

0 * * * * php /path/to/FreshRSS/app/actualize_script.php > /tmp/FreshRSS.log 2>&1

Online cron

If you do not have access to the installation server scheduled task, you can still automate the update process.

To do so, you need to create a scheduled task, which need to call a specific URL: https://freshrss.example.net/i/?c=feed&a=actualize (it could be different depending on your installation). Depending on your application authentication method, you need to adapt the scheduled task.

Special parameters to configure the script - all parameters can be combined:

https://freshrss.example.net/i/?c=feed&a=actualize&force=1 If force is set to 1 all feeds will be refreshed at once.

https://freshrss.example.net/i/?c=feed&a=actualize&ajax=1 Only a status site is returned and not a complete website. Example: “OK”

https://freshrss.example.net/i/?c=feed&a=actualize&maxFeeds=30 If maxFeeds is set the configured amount of feeds is refreshed at once. The default setting is “10”.

https://freshrss.example.net/i/?c=feed&a=actualize&token=542345872345734 Security parameter to prevent unauthorized refreshes. For detailed Documentation see “Form authentication”.

For Form Authentication

If your FreshRSS instance is using Form Authentication, you can configure an authentication token to grant access to the online cron.

Token configuration

You can target a specific user by adding their username to the query string, with &user=insert-username:

The scheduled task syntax should look as follows:

https://freshrss.example.net/i/?c=feed&a=actualize&maxFeeds=10&ajax=1&user=someone&token=my-token

Alternatively, but not recommended, if you configure the application to allow anonymous reading, you can also allow anonymous users to update feeds (“Allow anonymous refresh of the articles”), and that does not require a token.

Anonymous access configuration

For HTTP authentication

If your FreshRSS instance is using HTTP authentication, you’ll need to provide your credentials to the scheduled task.

Note: This method is discouraged as your credentials are stored in plain text.

0 * * * * curl -u alice:password123 'https://freshrss.example.net/i/?c=feed&a=actualize&maxFeeds=10&ajax=1&user=alice'

On some systems, that syntax might also work:

https://alice:password123@freshrss.example.net/i/?c=feed&a=actualize&maxFeeds=10&ajax=1&user=alice

For No authentication (None)

If your FreshRSS instance uses no authentication (public instance, default user):

https://freshrss.example.net/i/?c=feed&a=actualize&maxFeeds=10&ajax=1

Manual update

If you can’t or don’t want to use the automatic method, you can update manually. There are two methods for updating all or some of the feeds.

Complete update

This update occurs on all feeds. To trigger it, simply click on the update link in the navigation menu.

Navigation menu

When the update starts, a progress bar appears and changes while feeds are processed.

Progress bar

Partial update

This update occurs on the selected feed only. To trigger it, simply click on the update link in the feed menu.

Feed menu

Filtering articles

Purpose

When the number of articles stored by FreshRSS inevitably grows larger, it’s important to use efficient filters to display only a subset of the articles. There are several methods that filter with different criteria. Usually those methods can be combined.

How-to filter

By category

This is the easiest method. You only need to click on the category title in the side panel. There are two special categories at the top of the panel:

By feed

There are several methods to filter articles by feed:

Feed filter

By status

Each article has two attributes that can be combined. The first attribute indicates whether or not the article has been read. The second attribute indicates if the article was marked as favorite or not.

In version 0.7, attribute filters are available in the article display dropdown list. With this version, it’s not possible to combine filters. For instance, it’s not possible to display only read and favorite articles.

Attribute filters in 0.7

Starting with version 0.8, all attribute filters are visible as toggle icons. They can be combined. As any combination is possible, some have the same result. For instance, the result for all filters selected is the same as no filter selected.

Attribute filters in 0.8

By default, this filter displays only unread articles

By content

It is possible to filter articles by their content by inputting a string in the search field.

With the search field

You can use the search field to further refine results:

Be careful not to enter a space between the operator and the search value.

Some operators can be used negatively, to exclude articles, with the same syntax as above, but prefixed by a ! or -: !f:234, -author:name, -intitle:keyword, -inurl:keyword, -#tag, !keyword, !date:2019, !date:P1W, !pubdate:P3d/.

It is also possible to combine keywords to create a more precise filter. For example, you can enter multiple instances of f:, author:, intitle:, inurl:, #, and free-text.

Combining several search criteria implies a logical and, but the keyword ` OR ` can be used to combine several search criteria with a logical or instead: author:Dupont OR author:Dupond

You don’t have to do anything special to combine multiple negative operators. Writing !intitle:'thing1' !intitle:'thing2' implies AND, see above. For more pointers on how AND and OR interact with negation, see this GitHub comment. Additional reading: De Morgan’s laws.

Finally, parentheses may be used to express more complex queries, with basic negation support:

By sorting by date

You can change the sort order by clicking the toggle button available in the header.

Store your filters

Once you came up with your perfect filter, it would be a shame if you need to recreate it every time you need to use it.

Hopefully, there is a way to bookmark them for later use. We call them user queries. You can create as many as you want, the only limit is how they will be displayed on your screen.

Bookmark the current query

Display the user queries drop-down by clicking the button next to the state buttons. User queries drop-down

Then click on the bookmark action.

Congratulations, you’re done!

Using a bookmarked query

Display the user queries drop-down by clicking the button next to the state buttons. User queries drop-down

Then click on the bookmarked query, the previously stored query will be applied.

Note that only the query is stored, not the articles. The results you are seeing now could be different from the results on the day you’ve created the query.