Tiny-Tiny RSS is a highly customizable hacker friendly RSS reader that is a favorite among the Lifehacker audience. The only drawback is that one would have to set up a web host and manually install the tool in a web server. The process can be quite cumbersome if you are like me - a complete web technology novice with zilch SQL or PHP experience.

Turns out there is a very simple and out of the box approach to setting up your own Tiny-Tiny RSS installation using Amazon cloud platform and a helpful online tool called Bitnami. Note: You may still want to manually set-up a TTRSS installation if you are paying for a web host already or want to build it from scratch. Check out Alan’s excellent step-by-step guide to building your own TTRSS installation.

What you’ll get

TTRSS is an open source tool and arguably the most feature-rich, extendable RSS reader currently available. It is fast, responsive and has a ton of sharing features. TTRSS also has an active user community developing a wide range of plugins and cool themes. However, probably the most important you may want to consider switching to TTRSS is the peace of mind you would get by self-hosting a tool that is not going to get shut down or fizzle out.


What you would need

  • A BitNami cloud hosting account: BitNami calls itself the app store for server software. The platform lets you easily set-up web applications (think Drupal, Wordpress etc.) on the cloud. They recently added TTRSS to the list of apps they support, making this whole endeavor possible. Simply head to the BitNami cloud hosting page and sign up for a new account.
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS): Here is a great set-by-step guide to take you through the AWS sign-up process. It is a relatively straight forward process if you alreadyhave an Amazon account. Once you are signed up, you need to access your AWS security credentials page and find your 'Access Key ID' and the 'Secret Access Key' both of which you need to connect your AWS account with BitNami.


Step One: Link your AWS account with BitNami


As soon as you log into your BitNami cloud hosting account and access your BCH console, you will see a dialog box to enter your Amazon Web Services (AWS) credentials.

Remember you Access Key ID and Secret Access Key from the previous step. You would have to enter it here to connect you AWS account to BitNami. While you are at it, you would also need to enter an administrative password that will help BitNami to encrypt you AWS credentials.


Step Two: Create a new BitNami Server

Go back to the dashboard and click on the New Server button to create a new BitNami server.


The 'New Server' page gives you a range of options.

I left most of them untouched except for adding a setting up a username and password and adding the TTRSS Application.


To set-up a username and password click on 'Application Options', where you create a custom username and password to log into your applications. Remember, this is the username and password you would be using to log into TTRSS once its installed. To install TTRSS in the server, click on 'Add New Application' and select Tiny Tiny RSS from the list of applications available.


Once TTRSS is added, click on it again and the choose the option to make it default. Once you are done, hit the build and launch button to launch your server. You would be taken to the server management console - wait for a few minutes for your server to be built.

Step Three: Rock our your new RSS reader

Thats pretty much it. On the server management page, when you click on your newly created server, you will see an option to 'Go to Application'. This will take your to the TTRSS login page. Login with your username and password and you are all set to enjoy RSS awesomeness. Bookmark this page for future use.


Note on the pricing

When you set-up your BitNami server, you are shown an estimated monthly cost of $15.40 based on your server size. This is the estimated cost associated with using the AWS cloud platform (and not BitNami). However, Amazon provides a free usage tier that allows you to run a server instance for free and provides a fair amount of disk space and bandwidth usage. Thus, combined with the free BitNami tier, you are pretty much able to run your TTRSS installation for free unless you exceed the AWS free usage tier bandwidth limits.