Feeds & IMAP: Feed2Imap aggregates feeds into IMAP folders


Using the Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) for your email account(s) enables you to get an always up-to-date view of your inbox: You can use different mail clients (on different machines) to access your mails and all mails are stored on a server which makes restoring your mails very easy in case of the machine running your mail client crashes.

Feed2Imap enables you to organize/aggregate your feeds using your IMAP account. In detail Feed2Imap downloads the feeds and saves them as emails into a folder on an IMAP account.

Using an IMAP account brings some advantages:

  • Always up-to-date view on your feeds
  • No need for additional software (use your favorite mail client)
  • Use one filter/rule-set for mails and feeds
  • No need for a (commercial) feed aggregator
  • One backup strategy for mails and feeds

There are some drawbacks and requirements that should be mentioned:

  • Feed2Imap needs to run periodically to fetch new feeds (e.g. as cronjob).
  • There is no comfortable interface to add or delete feeds.

Setup / Configuration

I installed Feed2Imap under Ubuntu 9.10 using the Ubuntu package:

# apt-get install feed2imap

To configure Feed2Imap just create a file called .feed2imaprc in your home directory that defines:

  • Which feeds should be fetched
  • in which IMAP-folders the feeds should be saved as emails,
  • and which sender address should be used.

The file is structured as follows:

  - name: sender-name-1
    url: http://url-to-feed-1/
    target: imap://your-username:your-password@your-imap-server/imap-folder-to-save-the-feeds-as-emails
  - name: sender-name-2
    url: http://url-to-feed-2/
    target: imap://your-username:your-password@your-imap-server/imap-folder-to-save-the-feeds-as-emails

Since you have to store your password in the configuration file it is strongly recommended to change the file permissions to 600.


# feed2imap-dumpconfig

tests your configuration file and lists all IMAP accounts Feed2Imap will connect to and all feeds that will be fetched.


# feed2imap

triggers Feed2IMAP manually. If any problems occur, you can use -d flag to enable the debug mode. If everything works fine you can set up a cronjob to periodically run Feed2Imap (e.g. every 30 minutes during the day):

*/30 0,7-23 * * * /usr/bin/feed2imap > /dev/null 2>&1

Optionally, you can save the output to a logfile with a cron entry like:

*/30 0,7-23 * * * /usr/bin/feed2imap -d > /home/your-username/log/feed2imap.log 2>&1

One response to “Feeds & IMAP: Feed2Imap aggregates feeds into IMAP folders”

  1. Arrgh. I’m getting a “credential error” when I attempt to use feed2imap with gmail. Any clues woul dbe much appreciated. I used the “imaps” which I assumed was ssl imap for port 993?

    Imap accounts I’ll have to connect to :

    Feeds :
    1. Zerohedge
    URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/zerohedge/feed.rss
    IMAP Account: imaps://befuQeswgez6PrZrAphA:PASSWORD@imap.googlemail.com
    Folder: INBOX/Feeds.Zerohedge

    t61pzorin@t61pzorin-ThinkPad-T61p:~$ feed2imap
    W, [2014-07-11T13:22:23.420624 #17561] WARN — : Configuration file is readable by other users. It probably contains your password.
    F, [2014-07-11T13:22:28.581351 #17561] FATAL — : Error while connecting to imaps://befuQeswgez6PrZrAphA:PASSWORD@imap.googlemail.com, exiting: Invalid credentials n16mb5374958obe

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