RSS via Gnus

By: on July 15, 2005

Gnus, the Emacs mail/news/whatever reader, has built-in support for RSS, which, in theory should allow one to read blogs like this or LtU without having to leave the comfortable surroundings of Emacs.

The instructions at [old link: ] were good enough to get me going, but the result is quite unsatisfactory. Firstly, gnus throws a fit when trying to retrieve the RSS for this blog, though the LtU blog is fine. TonyG suggests this may be due to namespace prefixes. Secondly, the body of RSS feeds tends to be HTML, which looks hideous when rendered by Emacs.

So for the time being I’ll stick to web browsers for blog reading.



  1. matthew says:

    Or, there are dedicated RSS readers, my favourite of which is currently [Straw](

  2. chook says:

    I just tried your site on gnus 21.4.1. Works perfectly. I found your post because I’m having troubling reading a different wordpress rss feed, but yours works great. Otherwise gnus is by far the fastest way to deal with lots of rss feeds and, if you are comfortable with emacs, the most intuitive.

  3. matthias says:

    It still doesn’t work for me under XEmacs 21.4.19, Gnus v5.10.7

    The error I am seeing in the *Message-Log* buffer is

    nnrss: Not valid XML (error XML files can have only one toplevel tag) and w3-parse doesn't work (void-function w3-parse-buffer)
  4. matthias says:

    I got rid of that error by doing a (require 'w3). Now I get the following in theMessage-Log`:

    nnrss: Requesting lshift-blog...
    Retrieval complete.
    Parsed 100% of 405...done
    XML-RPC is not available... not checking Syndic8.
    nnrss: Failed to fetch nil
    nnrss: Requesting lshift-blog...done

    When selecting the lshift-blog group Gnus just says “no messages”.

  5. matthias says:

    I finally got it to work! The trick is to set mm-url-use-external to t so that emacs uses an external program, by default wget, to fetch the feed, rather than its built-in http support.

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