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RSSOwl Logo
Rssowl big.gif
Screenshot of RSSOwl
Developer(s)Benjamin Pasero
Initial releaseDecember 19, 2004; 17 years ago (2004-12-19)
Final release2.2.1 (December 30, 2013; 8 years ago (2013-12-30)) [±]
Operating systemCross-platform
TypeNews aggregator

RSSOwl is a news aggregator for RSS and Atom News feeds. It is written in Java, and is built on the Eclipse Rich Client Platform which uses SWT as a widget toolkit to allow it to fit in with the look and feel of different operating systems while remaining cross-platform.[1] Released under the EPL-1.0 license, RSSOwl is free software.

In addition to its full text searches, saved searches, notifications and filters,[2] RSSOwl v2.1 synchronized with the now discontinued Google Reader.[3][4]


RSSOwl began as small project on SourceForge at the end of July 2003.[5] The first public version was 0.3a.

Version 1.0[edit]

RSSOwl 1.0 was released on December 19, 2001. It was released with support for RSS and Atom News feeds. The initial release also supported exporting feeds to PDF, RTF, and HTML. This release was available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Solaris. RSSOwl 1.1 added support for toolbars and quicksearch in news feeds.[6] Version 1.2 improved toolbar customization and added support for Atom 1.0 News feeds.[7] Versions 1.2.1 and 1.2.2 added universal binary support for mac as well as drag and drop for tabs and a built in feed validator.[8][9] RSSOwl was the SourceForge Project of the Month for January 2005.[10]

Version 2.0[edit]

RSSOwl 2.0 was announced on March 7, 2007 at EclipseCon 2007.[11] Version 2.0 was rebuilt on the Eclipse Rich Client Platform and used db4o for database storage and Lucene for text searching.[12] Several milestone versions were released before the final 2.0 version that added labeling of news feeds, pop-up notification of new feeds and storage of news articles in news bins.[13][14] The final 2.0 version was released as milestone 9 and added support for secure password and credential storage, news filters, support for embedding Firefox 3.0 XULRunner to render news feeds, and proxy support for windows.[15]

Version 2.1[edit]

RSSOwl 2.1 was released on July 15, 2011 with Google Reader synchronization support and new layouts.[3][4]


RSSOWL is no longer maintained [16] by its original developer however a maintained fork of it is available known as RSSOwlnix


Format Support[edit]

  • Full support for RSS & RDF versions 0.91, 0.92, 1.0, 2.0
  • Support for Atom Syndication Format version 1.0
  • Generate PDF / RTF / HTML documents from any news including aggregations


  • Powerful Newsfeed search engine working with keywords
  • Perform a fulltext-search with result-highlight on favorites and categories
  • Aggregate news of an entire category to one newstab
  • Save favorite newsfeeds in categories
  • Store newsfeeds in Blogrolls and share them with other people
  • Mail NewsTip to friends


  • Authentication via BASE64, Digest and NTLM
  • Display HTTPS secure newsfeeds

Import / Export[edit]

  • Import / Export favorite newsfeeds using OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language) [17]
  • Import / Export your settings in RSSOwl to use them on another computer.


  • Support for podcast downloading using news filters
  • Integrated Newsfeed validator
  • Erroneous favorites are marked
  • Read news either in the internal browser or a Rich Text window [18]
  • Blog news viewed in RSSOwl with your favorite blogging tool
  • Huge list of sample Newsfeeds pre-saved
  • Select an auto-update-interval for your favorites
  • View properties of a selected favorite


RSSOwl is translated into many languages: Bengali, Bulgarian, Czech, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian (Cyrillic), Serbian (Latin), Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish and Ukrainian.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Five Best Google Reader Alternatives that're also Free". Narga. 22 April 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  2. ^ Martin Brinkmann (17 August 2011), "How To Setup News Filters In RSS Reader RSSOwl", Ghacks Technology News (published August 17, 2011), retrieved August 22, 2011, quite a few [features] helped me optimize my work flow.
  3. ^ a b RSSOwl 2.1 Changelog, retrieved August 22, 2011
  4. ^ a b Martin Brinkmann (15 July 2011), "RSS Feed Reader RSSOwl Updated", Ghacks Technology News (published July 15, 2011), retrieved August 22, 2011
  5. ^ First RSSOwl version 0.3a, see
  6. ^ RSSOwl 1.1 released Archived 2010-07-23 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ RSSOwl 1.2 released Archived 2011-01-04 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ RSSOwl 1.2.1 released Archived 2010-06-27 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ RSSOwl 1.2.2 released Archived 2010-06-27 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Project of the Month
  11. ^ EclipseCon 2007: Preview of RSSOwl 2.0
  12. ^ Announcing RSSOwl 2.0 Archived 2011-01-04 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ RSSOwl 2.0 Milestone 6 Archived 2011-01-04 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ RSSOwl 2.0 Milestone 7 Archived 2010-06-27 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ RSSOwl 2.0 Milestone 9 Archived 2010-06-27 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "rssowl/RSSOwl". GitHub. Retrieved 11 October 2018. RSSOwl is unmaintained and has several known vulnerabilities. Please do not use it any more
  17. ^ "RSSOwl Newsreader Updates to 2.0, Adds Feed Importing, Search Features". LifeHacker. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  18. ^ "RSSOwl – Powerful News Feed Reader For Your Desktop". MakeUseOf. 17 March 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2014.

External links[edit]