An Elegant RSS Feed Reader for Linux

An RSS feed reader is a nifty tool that gathers content from your favorite websites on the Internet into a digestible format so you can stay up to date on the latest updates in one place.

While there are several RSS feed readers to choose from on Linux, the one we're discussing today is quite unique. It's called TICKR and it puts your feed updates on the desktop in an easy way so you can see them in no time.

Here is a guide that explains TICKR and describes the steps to install and use on Linux.

What is TICKR?

TICKR is a free, open source RSS feed reader for Linux (and Windows) that displays updates from your favorite RSS feeds in a ticker window on the desktop. It is based on GTK and works on all major Linux distributions.

What sets TICKR apart from generic RSS feed readers is the way that feed updates are displayed. In contrast to traditional RSS feed readers, which have a dedicated app that you have to open every time you want to see the latest updates, TICKR provides your feeds in a small scrollable bar so that you can monitor the consumption of content on the go facilitate.

This allows you to see the latest headlines from your RSS feeds right on your desktop without opening an app. And if necessary, you can click a heading to view the entire article / post.

How to install TICKR on Linux

Installing TICKR on Linux is easy. It works on pretty much all Linux distributions, and you can just install it on your system.

If your system is running a Debian-based distribution like Ubuntu, open Terminal and do the following:

sudo apt-get install tickr

On the other hand, if you are using a different Linux distribution, you will have to download the TAR archive on your computer and install it manually.

Download: TICKR

How to set up TICKR on Linux

Once the TICKR installation is complete, the program will start automatically. Since this is its first run, there is no configuration file with which it can set its parameters and system settings. So you need to configure it first.

To do this in TICKR Quick setup Window, click that Forward Button to start setting parameters.

First you need to set the position parameter that indicates where you want the TICKR bar to appear on your desktop. You can choose Top or bottom here and, if necessary, also enter the offset (in pixels) from this axis in order to further adjust the position.

On the Windows always in the foreground Setting option, check the box to make sure your TICKR bar appears over all windows.

Next, you'll be asked to choose some other parameters, such as: For example, whether you want to display the feed title or the item description in the TICKR bar. So depending on your preference, select the options accordingly and click Forward. You can also change these settings later through the TICKR settings.

When prompted to select a default browser to open TICKR articles, enter the name of your preferred browser and press Forward.

Finally, you get to the most important step, which is importing the feed (or source) that you want to get your RSS feeds from. To do this, click in the import prompt (as shown below) Yes sir. When the file browser opens, use it to navigate to the location where you saved your OPML feed.

Wait for TICKR to load these feeds and click complete.

Once the feeds have been imported, TICKR will ask you to select the default feed whose updates you would like to see in the scroll bar. Select a feed and click OK. TICKR currently only works with HTTP feeds. And it shows their headings in the TICKR bar – scroll right to left – on your desktop.

Related: How to Create an RSS Feed for Your Website from scratch

How to customize TICKR. at

TICKR allows you to change the configuration settings for the scroll bar even after the initial setup. So if you don't like a certain aspect, you can always change it.

To do this, right click the TICKR bar on your desktop and go to Edit> Preferences.

Here you will find settings for various TICKR elements such as font size, font family, background and foreground color, update delay time and much more that you can adapt to your requirements.

Make sure to enable and configure the mouse wheel feature though, as you can hover your mouse over the TICKR bar and use its scroll wheel to control the speed of the feed movement and scroll between headings.

To do this, scroll down on the settings Windows to find them Mouse wheel acts on Option and select a radio button between speed (if you want to use the mouse wheel to increase / decrease the speed at which the feed moves) and Feed (if you want to use the scroll wheel to scroll the feed forward / backward). click Use to save your changes and OK break up.

If you want to reset TICKR to its default settings at any time, click Reset to default Button in settings Window and hit OK.

How to select feeds to display in TICKR. the end

Similar to customizing graphics and other features, TICKR also lets you choose the default feed whose updates you want to see on your desktop. So, if you want your TICKR bar to only show headlines from certain feeds, here are some steps you can take:

  1. Right click on the TICKR bar and select File> Open Feed to access the feedpicker.

  2. Check the box next to the sources you want to see feeds from on your desktop and click OK (single) (if it is a single source) or OK (select) (if you select multiple feed sources).

Related: The Best RSS Feeds for Weather Updates

Useful TICKR keyboard shortcuts

  • Ctrl + R: Open the RSS feed picker
  • Ctrl + T: Open a text file
  • Ctrl + me: Import a URL list from an OPML file
  • Ctrl + E: Export the URL list to an OPML file
  • Ctrl + P: Open the resource properties
  • Ctrl + S: save settings
  • Ctrl + J / Ctrl + K / Ctrl + L: Play feed / pause feed / reload feed
  • Ctrl + U / Ctrl + D: Increase / decrease the scroll speed of the feed
  • Ctrl + H: Open online help
  • Ctrl + Q: Quit TICKR

Use feed updates efficiently with TICKR

If you are someone whose primary mode of news consumption happens to be through RSS, then you definitely need to try TICKR for the optimized experience.

Not only does it add aesthetic appeal to your desktop, it also improves the way you use feed updates on your Linux computer.

However, if you still prefer to use a traditional RSS feed reader, check out our recommendations for the best RSS feed readers for Linux.

The 7 Best RSS Feed Readers for Linux

It is useful to have an app that is solely for collecting news and blog updates from the web. Check out these seven best RSS feed readers for Linux.

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About the author

Yash Wate
(26 published articles)

Yash is Staff Writer at MUO for DIY, Linux, programming and security. Before he discovered his passion for writing, he developed for the web and iOS. You can also find his writing on TechPP where he covers other industries. Aside from technology, he likes to talk about astronomy, Formula 1 and clocks.

By Yash Wate

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