Sfeed_curses: a curses UI front-end for sfeed

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sfeed_curses is a curses UI front-end for sfeed. It is now part of sfeed.

It shows the TAB-separated feed items in a graphical command-line UI. The interface has a look inspired by the mutt mail client. It has a sidebar panel for the feeds, a panel with a listing of the items and a small statusbar for the selected item/URL. Some functions like searching and scrolling are integrated in the interface itself.


  • Relatively few LOC, about 2.5K lines of C.
  • Few dependencies: a C compiler and a curses library (typically ncurses). It also requires a terminal (emulator) supporting UTF-8.
  • Easy to customize by modifying the small source-code and shellscripts.
  • Quite fast.
  • Plumb support: open the URL or an enclosure URL directly with any program.
  • Pipe support: pipe the selected Tab-Separated Value line to a program for scripting purposes. Like viewing the content in any way you like.
  • Yank support: copy the URL or an enclosure URL to the clipboard.
  • Familiar keybinds: supports both vi-like, emacs-like and arrow keys for actions.
  • Mouse support: it supports xterm X10 and extended SGR encoding.
  • Support two ways of managing read/unread items. By default sfeed_curses marks the feed items of the last day as new/bold. Alternatively a simple plain-text list with the read URLs can be used.
  • UI layouts: supports vertical, horizontal and monocle (full-screen) layouts. Useful for different kind of screen sizes.
  • Auto-execute keybind commands at startup to automate setting a preferred layout, toggle showing new items or other actions.

Like the format programs included in sfeed you can run it by giving the feed files as arguments like this:

sfeed_curses ~/.sfeed/feeds/*

... or by reading directly from stdin:

sfeed_curses < ~/.sfeed/feeds/xkcd

It will show a sidebar if one or more files are specified as parameters. It will not show the sidebar by default when reading from stdin.

Screenshot showing what the UI looks

On pressing the 'o' or ENTER keybind it will open the link URL of an item with the plumb program. On pressing the 'a', 'e' or '@' keybind it will open the enclosure URL if there is one. The default plumb program is set to xdg-open, but can be modified by setting the environment variable $SFEED_PLUMBER. The plumb program receives the URL as a command-line argument.

The TAB-Separated-Value line of the current selected item in the feed file can be piped to a program by pressing the 'c', 'p' or '|' keybind. This allows much flexibility to make a content formatter or write other custom actions or views. This line is in the exact same format as described in the sfeed(5) man page.

The pipe program can be changed by setting the environment variable $SFEED_PIPER.

Screenshot showing the output of the pipe content script

The above screenshot shows the included sfeed_content shellscript which uses the lynx text-browser to convert HTML to plain-text. It pipes the formatted plain-text to the user $PAGER (or "less").

Of course the script can be easily changed to use a different browser or HTML-to-text converter like:

It's easy to modify the color-theme by changing the macros in the source-code or set a predefined theme at compile-time. The README file contains information how to set a theme. On the left a TempleOS-like color-theme on the right a newsboat-like colorscheme.

Screenshot showing a custom colorscheme

It supports a vertical layout, horizontal and monocle (full-screen) layout. This can be useful for different kind of screen sizes. The keybinds '1', '2' and '3' can be used to switch between these layouts.

Screenshot showing the horizontal layout


git clone git://git.codemadness.org/sfeed


You can browse the source-code at:

Download releases

Releases are available at:

Build and install

$ make
# make install