Thunderbird is one of the best email clients for Linux. It’s fast, easy to use, and provides a range of features that make it easy to manage email on your desktop. In addition, Mozilla also includes several additional features in the Thunderbird email client: chat, newsgroups, and syndication, which further expand its scope.
If you are already using Mozilla Thunderbird to manage email on your computer, you can now also access your latest news feeds and blogs within the same program. Here’s how to use Thunderbird Mail as an RSS feed reader on Linux.
Before we begin
If you are already using Thunderbird Mail to manage your email, you must install, configure and run it on your Linux machine. But if you want to switch to Mozilla Thunderbird to manage your email and also use its built-in RSS reader, you need to first install and set up the Thunderbird desktop client on your computer.
With Thunderbird set up and ready to use on your Linux desktop, here’s how to set up a feed and use Thunderbird to get the latest updates from your RSS feed.
Step 1: Create a tape account in Thunderbird
Go to the application menu on your Linux desktop, find Thunderbird Mail and launch it. When you do this, you will be greeted by the main Thunderbird window, which will show you all your emails and folders in one place.
Click “Feeds” under “Set up another account” in the right pane.
Add a feed name in the Account Name field and click Next. Click “Done” on the next screen to confirm the account name and create an account.
Step 2. Customize your feed
Once you’ve created a channel account, it’s time to set it up. Mozilla Thunderbird allows you to do this in two ways: you can either customize your feed by manually adding sources, or you can import an existing RSS feed from a previous feed reader.
If this is your first time using an RSS reader, you will need to subscribe to feeds manually. Here’s how to do it:
- Open your preferred web browser on your computer.
- Visit the website/blog that you want to see updated in your RSS feed.
- Find the RSS section of the website and copy the link to the page from the URL bar.
- Launch Mozilla Thunderbird, tap the channel name in the left sidebar, and click the Manage Channel Subscriptions button in the right window.
- In the Feed Subscriptions dialog box, paste the RSS website URL you just copied into the Feed URL field.
- Choose when to update by checking the “Check for new articles every” option and choose the time based on your preference.
- Clear the Show article summary instead of loading the web page check box to view only the article summary instead of downloading the entire web page. This allows you to see more messages on the screen at the same time.
- Also, enable the Automatically generate tags from feed
titles option to automatically add tags to feed articles. Mozilla uses the tags used by publishers here.
- Click “Add” to add the website feed to your feed account.
Wait a few seconds for Thunderbird to check the feed URL and get the latest updates. Once the receipt is complete and the feed has been added to your account, the message “Feed Added” will appear at the bottom. Click the Close button to close the dialog box.
Alternatively, if you have used another feed reader and exported their feed, you can import it directly into Mozilla Thunderbird to customize your feed instantly. Here’s how to do it:
1. Launch Mozilla Thunderbird and select your feed from the left sidebar. Then click “Manage Channel Subscriptions” in the right window.
2. In the Channel Subscriptions dialog box, click the Import button.
3. Change to the directory where you saved the feed (in OPML format) and click Open.
Now Mozilla Thunderbird will start checking and adding sources to your channel and you will be able to find them in the channels folder you created earlier.
Step 3: Access and read your feed
Once you’ve finished adding channels to your channel account in Mozilla Thunderbird, click on your channel name in the left pane to expand it, and click on the channel (website/blog) to access it.
Thunderbird will now pull up all the latest blog posts and articles from the feed and display them in the right window. If it doesn’t, right-click on the feed in the left pane and select “Get Posts”.
To open/read a message in your feed, double-click it and Mozilla Thunderbird will open it in a new tab, just like you open it in a web browser.
Here you can forward the message to someone, archive it, tag it with a custom tag to combine all related messages, delete it, mark it as a favorite and save it offline on your computer.
Step 4: Manage Your Feeds
Over time, as you use Thunderbird as your feed reader, you will find yourself in situations where you will want to manage your feed, perhaps to better organize it, add new sources to it, or remove old sources, among other things.
Mozilla gives you tons of options for this. Simply right-click on a feed source to view all the operations you can perform on it. As of this writing, you can do everything from renaming, deleting, and tagging a source to changing its highlight color, updating a channel, pausing updates, and subscribing to new sources in Thunderbird.
Also, if you want to add subfolders to one of your feed folders, right-click it and choose New Subfolder. Give this subfolder a name and click Create Folder.
To add a new source to an existing channel, right-click the channel and select Subscribe. Then enter the URL of the new source in the Channel URL field, select other options, and click Add to add it to your channel.
Get the latest emails and feed updates with Thunderbird
As you have just seen, Mozilla Thunderbird is a good Linux RSS reader. Its built-in reader has a simple and clean interface and includes all the basic features and options you will ever need.
Of course, compared to full-fledged RSS readers, the reader’s capabilities lag behind. But unlike those who read feeds, this one can also help you manage your email right in the same program, making up for the lack of features for most users. However, if you still prefer to learn dedicated RSS readers, there are several options available for Linux.
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