Liferea with GTK3 support lands in unstable branch. How to install Liferea 1.9.0 in Ubuntu 11.10 with indicator support [or] Indicator missing for liferea 1.8 or later in Ubuntu 11.10 [or] Installing Liferea with GTK3 [or] Compiling Liferea 1.9.0 with GTK 3.0

 GNOME’s popular and widely used RSS Feed Reader Liferea has released 1.9.0 as their unstable release. This is the first version to support gtk3 (gtk+-3.0) runtime which means requirement for gtk2 is no longer required. Liferea 1.8.0 released recently has broken the support for indicator presence messages in Ubuntu which were working until 1.6 versions. Here is how to tackle it while getting Liferea to work with GTK3 libraries:


            1. This procedure is provided as is. Source is taken from Unstable branch of the software and MAY NOT work in your system and may have undesirable effects including breaking your system. There is absolutely no guarantee whatsoever and I’ll not be liable. Please proceed at your own risk.

            2. We assume you want to upgrade to Liferea 1.9.0 in GTK3 flavor in one of the distros running GTK3 libraries already. If not, pay special attention to Step 5 in ‘Install’ section.
            3. Liferea 1.9.0 DOES NOT appear in Messaging Menu Indicator in Ubuntu 11.10. This needs to be supported properly by Ubuntu. However, you still do get a systray icon after whitelisting it.

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Pre Installation:
       What we are going to essentially do is to compile Liferea 1.9.0 from source. This doesn’t seem to affect existing Liferea installation from Ubuntu repositories (if any). This leads to some inconsistent behavior with respect to the indicator in Messaging Menu. Hence we will uninstall existing installation from the system.


        1. Backup your existing Feed List by doing Subscriptions->Export Feed List. Save the file somewhere safe.
        1a. Backup ~/.liferea-1.x/ and ~/.gconf/apps/liferea folders somewhere.
        2. Remove existing Liferea installation: 

               $ sudo apt-get remove liferea liferea-data
               $ rm -rf ~/.liferea-1.6/
               $ rm -rf ~/.gconf/apps/liferea

        3. Download 1.9.0 source tarball from

Dependency Install:

        Install the following dependencies from command line: 

             $ sudo apt-get install libgconf2-dev libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev libsqlite3-dev libsoup2.4-dev gir1.2-unique-3.0 libunique-3.0-dev libunique-3.0-doc libjavascriptcoregtk-3.0-dev libwebkitgtk-3.0-dev libjson-glib-dev libdbus-glib-1-dev libnotify-dev libdbusmenu-glib-dev libindicate-dev libindicate-gtk3-dev



         1. Unrar the source tarball. 

                        $ tar -zxvf liferea-1.9.0.tar.gz

         2. cd to the unzipped directory.

                        $ cd liferea-1.9.0/

         3. There is a hack that needs to be performed here before we go ahead and configure stuff. This is due to the conflict in the versions of libindicate between the liferea config files and actual versions installed in Ubuntu. (refer comment by user Mircea in the comment section of the article in )

         3a. Open the file ‘configure’ in a text editor with search and replace capability.
         3b. Search and replace the following:

               indicate-0.5 -> indicate-0.6
               indicate-gtk-0.5 -> indicate-gtk3-0.6

         3c. Perform 3b in file too.
         3d. Save files.

         4. Goto command prompt which is already open with the source files.

         5. Configure the Source to compile against your platform

               $ ./configure –with-gtk=3.0                      #  If you are using a pre GTK3 environment, skip this option

             The ‘–with-gtk=3.0’ is important here. This is what will compile Liferea against GTK3 libraries. Default without this option is to compile against GTK2. Once configuration is done, you should see something like this in the end.

                liferea 1.9.0

                Use GTK+ version……………. : 3
                Use X Session Management…….. : yes
                Use libnotify………………. : yes
                Use libindicate…………….. : yes

                Liferea will be installed in /usr/local/bin.

                configure complete, now type ‘make’

        6. Run make and make install:

                $ sudo make && sudo make install

     Once complete, you can launch Liferea from command line or from Unity Dash.

Systray/Indicator Setup:

     As mentioned earlier, support for Liferea in Messaging Menu indicator applet is not available for 1.9.0. However, it is still possible to get a systray icon with most of the functionalities as that of a indicator applet menu item. Here is how:


           1. White list Liferea by 
                 1a. going to dconf-editor (from terminal).
                 1b. Navigate to desktop->unity->panel.
                 1c. Select ‘Systray Whitelist’ and double click in the value field.
                 1d. To the end of the value array/list parathesized by [], add ‘liferea’,’Liferea’ (including the single quotes). Your list will look something like this:


            2. Logout and login.
            3. Start Liferea, goto Tools->Preferences->GUI.
            4. Select the following options.


           5. Optional – If you would like Liferea to be started on login, goto Startup Applications and add and entry with ‘liferea’ as the command.

     That’s it!!! Enjoy reading… and a merry Christmas to you..

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