Tickr – An RSS Feed Ticker for The Linux Desktop

Tickr - An RSS Feed Ticker For The Linux Desktop

Remember RSS? You know, the short headlines and sentences of a few words each. Every major news site and blog has a feed. You can still get news the old fashioned way, only in a much nicer format.

In the world of social media, RSS is still relevant. RSS feeds deliver the news we care about and nothing else. There are no tedious updates and pictures of cats to skim through, just plain textual information about the latest headlines, an absolute must for anyone seriously caring about staying up to date.

Tickr is a GTK+-based RSS reader that will display all our favorite RSS feeds as a simple but rather useful headline ticker right on your desktop. It integrates seamlessly with GTK-based environments like Unity or GNOME. It looks and works simple yet offers various customization options under the hood.

You can get Tickr on Ubuntu 14.04 or later straight from Ubuntu Software Center, or by typing:

To get Tickr for other systems, visit their official download page.

When you first run the software it will look for configuration files (stored in a directory named .tickr in your home folder). If it cannot find any, it will give you an option to run a Quick Setup to make using Tickr easy as a breeze

tickr-first-run

First you will set the location. The default is “top” (of the screen). You can also choose “bottom” or just specify any offset (from the top of the screen in pixels).

tickr-set-location

Next it will ask you whether you want it to always be on top. If you leave this unchecked, normal windows will overlap the scrolling newsfeed. If you check it, your RSS headlines will always stay visible.

tickr-always-on-top

The next few questions concern whether to display feed title, item title and item description. You can toggle any of these on or off. Next you get to choose a browser in which to open the website for the feed you’ve clicked on. The system default browser will pre-populate the filed; you can just click forward if you’re happy with that.

tickr-pick-browser

You then get a choice to disable any error or warning popups.

tickr-no-popups

You are all set. or at least that is what the last popup message would have you believe. Of course there will be a URL list set, as this is your first time running Tickr. If you are a heavy RSS user and have an OPML file ready, you can specify it here.

tickr-import-urls

If you skipped the previous step, you get a message reminding you again that there is no URL list saved yet, probably in case you forgot. Here you have the option to use a sample list, which you could gladly accept, as it contains over thirty news source URLs to pick from.

tickr-use-sample-list

Once you’ve done that, your news feed, from three preselected URLs, will start ticking, scrolling in from right to left at the previously specified position of your screen.

tickr-running

Of course you can further customize Tickr. To access its menus, just right click the feed list.

tickr-menu

Selecting “Edit -> Preferences” will lead you to many more customization options.

tickr-settings

To set up which feeds you’d like to see, just right click and select “File -> Open Feed (RSS | Atom)” where you can add new URLs or choose form existing ones (if you have previously accepted the sample list).

tickr-sample-urls

Tickr is a simple and unobtrusive RSS feed ticker that lives on your desktop, delivering you the latest news. While it takes a few minutes to set up initially, Tickr is highly customizable with many useful options.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

5 comments

  1. What a pile of crap. When I try to add an RSS feed it crashes. Thanks for wasting my time on this junk.

    • Your inability to follow simple instructions is in no way the author’s responsibility. If you spend time with things you cannot understand, you wasted your own time.

      Thanks for wasting my time with your useless pile of crap of words, disguised as a comment!

    • Surely, it is my fault, that it did not work for you… O the pleasure of writing for people who appreciate it. :)

  2. I’ve been a heavy RSS user for years. This kind of ticker tape RSS reader is fine, I guess, for people with few interests.

    Staying informed via social media is like staying informed listening to random chatter in a bar at 2 a.m. Why should I let random strangers decide what I know about?

    BTW, RSS is not “old fashioned”. It works and puts me in charge. If someone stops using tools that work for them and adopt less effective tools for the sake of being trendy, they have other issues.

    • IMO, such ticker “tape” is for people who are more used to flashy UI and UX elements (think of the young, who are just now growing up, taking touchscreens for granted). It simply provides a visual experience, that can be more acceptable.

      As for being old fashioned. Sorry, but it is. So am I, and probably you as well, for using it. RSS is an old thing. And we are getting old, that is a sad fact. :D

      That of course does not say anything about its usefulness. It is still a lot better than most social media. On the social media’s side though: Any RSS feed will be still depending on editors, while social media allows for a more free-form flow of information. It is unfortunate that people use it to share cat videos… Still social media has the potential to change our views of information freedom, which could, in theory, be a good thing. There are certain attempts like minds(dot)com, that aim to replace the big a monolithic facebook, while also taking one’s privacy rather seriously.

      That said, I personally hope RSS is here to stay, and such tickler-sticker-tap interfaces might do a lot good to help it stay.

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