How to Install Tiny Tiny RSS Reader on ECS

By Arslan Ud Din Shafiq, Alibaba Cloud Tech Share Author. Tech Share is Alibaba Cloud’s incentive program to encourage the sharing of technical knowledge and best practices within the cloud community.

Tiny Tiny RSS Reader is an open-source, web-based free application for news feeds reading and aggregation. It uses Ajax for handling server-side requests and is licensed under GNU GPLv3. Tiny Tiny RSS Reader allows you to control your own data instead of depending on any third party. It provides JSON based API for handling various requests. To use Tiny Tiny RSS Reader, you only require a modern browser.

In this tutorial, we will be installing and setting up Tiny Tiny RSS Reader on an Alibaba Cloud Elastic Compute Service (ECS) with Ubuntu 16.04 installed.


  • You must have Alibaba Cloud Elastic Compute Service (ECS) activated and verified your valid payment method. If you are a new user, you can get $300 — $1200 worth in Alibaba Cloud credits for your new account. If you don’t know about how to setup your ECS instance, you can refer to this tutorial or quick-start guide. Your ECS instance must have at least 1GB RAM and 1 Core processor.
  • A domain name registered from Alibaba Cloud. If you have already registered a domain from Alibaba Cloud or any other host, you can update its domain nameserver records.
  • Domain name must be pointed to your Alibaba Cloud ECS’s IP address
  • Access to VNC console in your Alibaba Cloud or SSH client installed in your PC
  • Set up your server’s hostname and create user with root privileges.

Setting Up Your Server

Before proceeding with installation of any kind of package, use the following command to update your Ubuntu system. To execute this command, remember to login from non-root user with sudo privileges.

You will need to install unzip which will be used to unzip the compressed zip folder.

Install PHP

Tiny Tiny RSS Reader requires PHP 5.6 or newer. In this tutorial, we will install PHP 7.2. To install PHP 7.2, execute the following steps.

You will need to install python software properties and software properties common.

Add repository for newer versions of PHP.

Update the system to refresh the available repositories. To do so, execute the following command.

Install PHP 7.2.

Install Required PHP Extensions

Tiny Tiny RSS Reader requires the following PHP extensions:

  1. php7.2-imagick
  2. php7.2-zip
  3. php7.2-common
  4. php7.2-curl
  5. php7.2-mbstring
  6. php7.2-gd
  7. php7.2-mysql
  8. php7.2-xml
  9. php7.2-tidy
  10. libapache2-mod-php

To install the above extensions of PHP, execute the following command.

When you have completed the installation, apache2 will be installed automatically. Hence, you don’t need to install apache explicitly. You can execute the following command to check installed PHP version.

Install MariaDB

Tiny Tiny RSS Reader supports MySQL and PostgreSQL. Only InnoDB database is supported on MySQL. In this tutorial, you will use MariaDB server for MySQL. By default, Ubuntu repository uses an older version of MariaDB server. To use new version of MariaDB, you will need to add MariaDB repository to your Ubuntu system. To do so, follow the steps below.

Verify the keys by executing the following command.

Add the repository.

Update the system.

Install MariaDB.

Start and enable the MariaDB server to start automatically.

Run the following command to enhance security of MariaDB server and set password for the root user.

Connect to the MySQL shell as root user using the command below and enter your password.

Execute the following MySQL queries in your MariaDB server.

Install Tiny Tiny RSS Reader

To install Tiny Tiny RSS Reader, you will need to perform the steps.

Navigate to /var/www/html using the command.

Download the latest stable release of Tiny Tiny RSS Reader.

Remove index.html.

Unzip the downloaded compressed zip folder


Now provide ownership of /var/www/ to www-data so that apache server can access the required files.

Configure Apache Server

Let’s a create virtual host configuration file for Tiny Tiny RSS Reader. Execute the following command, a file will be opened in nano text editor.

Copy and Tiny Tiny RSS Reader the following code and save the file.

Execute the command below to disable default site.

You will need to enable the newly created virtual host. To do so, execute the command below.

Now you will need to enable rewrite mod. You can do so by editing the configuration file in apache2 directory or by executing the command below.

Now you will need to enable SSL engine. You can do so by editing the configuration file in apache2 directory or by executing the command below.

Restart apache server to apply the changes and load the settings by executing command below.

You can now access Tiny Tiny RSS Reader via your domain name or ECS IP address. In my case, I have accessed via . Remember to prefix www in URL. You will see the following screen.

Configure Database

Now access the link http://www.your_domain_name.tld/password, you will see the following screen.

Select database type MySQL, set database credentials, hostname and port. After this click “Test Configuration”

After clicking Test Configuration, you will see the following screen.

Now click Initialize Database, you will see the following screen.

Now click Save Configuration. In case of failure, you can copy the generated text and paste it in config.php file. After automatically successful saving of config.php file, you will see the following screen.

Click loading tt-rss now. You will be redirected to following login page.

You can login using default profile:

Username: admin

Password: password

Once you logged in, you must update your password for security purpose. After login, you will see the following screen.

To change password, navigate to Actions -> Preferences -> Users -> admin -> Change Password -> Save

Install SSL Certificate

To install SSL certificate using Let’s Encrypt, you will use Certbot. To do so, execute the following steps.

Update the package.

To install software-properties-common, execute the command below.

Add the certbot repository.

Update the package to load the added certbot repository.

Stop apache before issuance of SSL certificate.

Install python-certbot-apache.

Execute the following command to get Let’s Encrypt SSL issued.

Select option 2 to redirect the link to https and update virtual host settings for SSL.

Now restart apache server.

You can access your website by visiting https://www.your_domain_name.tld

Set Up Firewalls and Ports

If you have activated firewalls, you will have to define a rule in Alibaba Cloud security group for your cloud server to add exception for port 80/tcp and 443/tcp. You can enable these ports while creating ECS instance, but in case if you have forgotten to unblock these ports, you can follow the procedure in this guide:

Congratulations! You go, you have successfully installed and configured Tiny Tiny RSS Reader on your Alibaba Cloud Elastic Compute Service (ECS) server.


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