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Install CommaFeed Reader on Windows

Although Google Reader ceased operations in 2013, I still rely on RSS every day and won’t check a website regularly unless it offers a feed.

Many open-source self-hosted web-based feed readers exist, but CommaFeed has some unique advantages over the others. Although it relies on a web browser to present its interface, the program does not require the installation of a separate web server or database, making it very easy to install on Windows.

  1. Download the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and install it with default options

  2. Create a new folder to hold CommaFeed, such as C:\Programs\CommaFeed

  3. Download the latest release of commafeed.jar and save it as C:\Programs\CommaFeed\commafeed.jar

  4. Open the CommaFeed sample configuration file in a web browser and

    • Right-click anywhere on the web page and select Save as...
    • Set the Save as type to All Files
    • Save the file as C:\Programs\CommaFeed\config.yml (remove any extraneous .example and .txt extensions)
      Save configuration file
  5. Open C:\Programs\CommaFeed in Windows Explorer

    Commafeed folder in Windows explorer

  6. Right-click C:\Programs\CommaFeed\commafeed.jar and select Create shortcut to create a shortcut

  7. Right-click the shortcut C:\Programs\CommaFeed\commafeed.jar - Shortcut and select Properties, then set the (very long) Target and Run values and press the OK button

    • Target: java -jar “C:\Programs\CommaFeed\commafeed.jar” server “C:\Programs\CommaFeed\config.yml”
    • Run: Minimized
    • Press the OK button
      CommaFeed shortcut properties
  8. Double-click the shortcut C:\Programs\CommaFeed\commafeed.jar - Shortcut to run the server and press the Allow access button if a firewall warning appears

    Windows firewall security alert

  9. Open the program’s main page at http://localhost:8082 and login with user: admin and password: admin

  10. To run CommaFeed automatically when Windows starts

    • Open C:\Programs\CommaFeed in Windows Explorer
    • Open the Start menu and type shell:startup to open the startup folder
      Open the startup folder
    • Drag and drop the shortcut C:\Programs\CommaFeed\commafeed.jar - Shortcut into the startup folder
    • Commafeed will now run automatically when Windows starts