Known issues in last stable version

Building from source HOWTO

Getting started

Full list of parameters


 Known issues in last stable version (0.6.4) workflow.png (

- Segfault when running 'tickr NON_EXISTING_TEXT_FILE' from command line
(stupidly because of a missing test.)

- No support of HTTPS protocol.

- The program implements only HTTP *basic* authentication.

  ("Workflow" courtesy of

 Building from source HOWTO

=== To build from source on Linux ===

Required packages are GTK+ and Libxml2 (development ones.)

- Download tickr-0.6.4.tar.gz and extract somewhere in your home dir.
- Open a terminal and cd to the tickr-0.6.4 dir you just created.
- Type in terminal:

On Debian / Ubuntu:
    sudo apt-get install libgtk2.0-dev libxml2-dev
    sudo make install
    (make clean)

On Fedora:
    yum install gtk2-devel libxml2-devel
    make install
    (make clean)

This will install tickr (binary file) in /usr/bin/ and png files (tickr-*.png) in /usr/share/tickr/pixmaps/ (of course the debian package install these files in the same locations.)

You may also copy tickr_url_list in /home/user_name/.tickr/ (it's a sample list of RSS feeds.)

=== To build from source on Windows ===

You will have to install MinGW and GTK development stuff (headers and libs.) You will also need inno setup and reshacker (reshacker.exe must be installed in /usr/local/ResHack/.)

If you want to use autotools, you will have to hack a little bit and re-create your own and Those provided are ok for ***Linux only*** at the moment.

So, instead of autotools, I use a script (build-on-win32) which works fine for me on XP. You will have to adapt it to your build system, at least replacing "manutm" by your user name (I'm working on improving this script.)

You must also download gtk2-win32-runtime-bin.tar.gz (the GTK stack runtime which includes a patched version of GLib), and dlls.tar.gz (which contains Libxml2 dll.) Get them from the download page, and extract them.

(About GLib, you may too get glib sources, apply the patch, compile it yourself then add it to the GTK runtime stack you will have to build. Visit for more info.)

Copy gtk-win32-full-runtime under tickr-0.6.4/ and dlls under tickr-0.6.4/win32_install_stuff/, then run:


It will build the win32 installer.

Please, just let me know in case of issues and I'll try to help fix them.

 A few tips to get you started

- To open the main menu, right-click inside ticker area.

- You can import feed subscriptions with 'File > Import Feed List (OPML)', for instance your Google Reader subscriptions.

- To open a link in your browser, left-click on text.

- Use mouse wheel to either adjust the ticker scrolling speed or open the 'Selected Feed Picker' window to quickly move between selected feeds (if set, Ctrl + mouse wheel scrolling applies to other value.), This behaviour is set in the 'Preferences' window as 'Mouse wheel scrolling applies to'.

- Basically, you will use 'File > Open RSS Feed' to choose a feed from a list, subscribe to a new one, manage your feed list, and 'Edit > Preferences' to tweak the ticker appearance as well as other settings.

- 'Window - always on top' -> check this if you want the ticker to always stay above your browser (and any other windows.)

- 'Window - decorated' -> if you want a 'draggable' ticker.

There is a sample list of already subscribed feeds that you can use.

***ONLY*** in case you're using the ticker inside a ***decorated*** window, you can use these keyboard shortcuts:

- ctrl+R to open the 'RSS Feed Picker' window (to choose a feed or to subscribe to a new one.)

- ctrl+T to open a text file.

- ctrl+I to import (and merge) an URL list from an OPML file.

- ctrl+E to export the URL list to an OPML file.

- ctrl+P to open the 'Resource Properties' window.

- ctrl+Q to quit.

- ctrl+S to open the 'Preferences' (Settings) window.

- ctrl+B to open the link displayed inside the ticker (in the middle.)

- ctrl+J to play the feed / ctrl+K to pause / ctrl+L to reload.

- ctrl+U (speed Up) / ctrl+D (speed Down) to adjust scrolling speed on the fly.

- F1 to open the 'Quick Help' window.

- ctrl+H to launch the 'Online Help' (this very page.)

- ctrl+A to open the 'About' window and the License window.

 Full list of parameters

(You can set these parameters either from the Preferences window or from command line.)


   n = 1 to 99 - Use this when launching several instances simultaneously, each instance using its own config and dump files (to be effective, instance-id must be the 1st argument)


   Disable opening of UI elements which can modify settings and/or URL list/selection


     Delay in milliseconds


     Shift size in pixels


     Foreground 32-bit hexa color


     Background 32-bit hexa color


     Set gradient background


     Background 32-bit hexa color2


     Font name


     Font size (can't be > 200)


     Allow win_y and win_w to be greater than screen dimensions


     Window position - x


     Window position - y


     Window width


     Window height (compute font size if > 0)


     Window decoration


     Window always-on-top


     Actually window opacity (0 = none -> 10 = full)


     Icon in taskbar


     Visible on all user desktops


     Apply shadow to text


     Shadow x offset in pixels


     Shadow y offset in pixels


     Shadow effect (0 = none -> 10 = full)


     String to be appended at end of line


     String to be appended after a cut line


     Enable or disable special characters. This is only useful when resource is a file, not an URL


     'new page' special character


     'tab' (8 spaces) special character


     Refresh rate in minutes (if no TTL inside feed / always applies for text files)


     Show or hide feed title


     String to be appended after feed title


     Show or hide item title


     String to be appended after item title


     Show or hide item description


     String to be appended after item description


     Read N items max per feed


     Strip html tags


     Set all text to upper case


     Set URL as 'homefeed' = homepage (from command line, not automatically saved, so a little bit useless...)


     'Open in Browser' command line: Application that will open active link (may require path.) Most likely will invoke your favourite browser


     'Open in Browser' optional arguments


     Clock - left, right or none


     Clock font name


     Clock font size (can't be > ticker height)


     Clock foreground 32-bit hexa color


     Clock background 32-bit hexa color


     Set clock gradient background


     Clock background 32-bit hexa color2


     Disable error/warning popup windows


     Pause ticker on mouseover


     Disable left-click


     Mouse wheel scrolling applies to: (ticker-)speed / feed(-in-list) / none (if set, Ctrl + mouse wheel scrolling applies to other value)


     Selected feed picker closes when pointer leaves


     Enable feed re-ordering (by user)


     Use HTTP basic authentication




     Password (never saved)


     Connect through proxy


     Proxy host


     Proxy port


     Use proxy authentication


     Proxy user


     Proxy password (never saved)


Q: Is there any way to reduce the cpu load ?

A: The cpu load comes mainly from fully redrawing the ticker area at regular time intervals, so to reduce this load, you may adjust some settings: try increasing both delay and shift size (eg delay = 32 and shift size = 4.) But scrolling will get less smooth.
You may also decrease ticker surface (ie width and height or fontsize.)

Q: When starting the program with no internet connection a black square appears on the screen. What is that?

A: This sometimes happens just before the ticker start showing, when (re)computing ticker dimensions. And it may become more noticeable when starting with no connection as the ticker waits until it can connect.

Q: On Window, I am not entirely sure how to edit the feed list. When I reinstall I have the following structure: C:\Program Files\Tickr\tickr_url_list. In the tickr_url_list I have a load of other feeds and no mention of my custom feed. Therefore I do not know where the app is reading it's list from. What would be the default directory structure where I could find the file that needs editing?

A: 'tickr_url_list' under 'C:\Program Files\Tickr\' is a sample URL list.
Your feeds (also named 'tickr_url_list') are under: C:\Documents and Settings\USER_NAME\Application Data\Tickr\ (or something very similar.)
On Linux, they will be under: /home/USER_NAME/.tickr/

Q: I'm running Windows Vista with SP2 and I got problem (feed format error) with:

A: When checked with, the feed doesn't validate.
Some feeds are not fully correctly formated from time to time. Maybe format checking in the program should be modified so that it's more fault-tolerant.

Q: Also, what is 'Reload Delay'? I've had a few problems in which it couldn't load the rss feed, does that command try to reload it again in x minutes?

A: No, if the feed can't be loaded, the program moves to the next one in the selection (in multiple selections mode) or returns an error message (in single selection mode.)
Feeds may include a 'TTL' element which specify after how many minutes they should be refreshed (or reloaded), even if they were already successfully loaded. This is a way of always having up-to-date content. For feeds without TTL element, the 'reload delay' is used instead.

Q: I type wrong number of pixels and now my bar is under my top system bar. I try reinstall, shortcut Ctrl+S but it didn't help. So my question is - where is setting file because I couldn't locate it.

A: On Linux, it's in a hidden directory: /home/USER_NAME/.tickr/tickr_conf
On Windows, it's under the 'Application Data' folder so it should be something like: C:\Document and Settings\USER_NAME\Application Data\Tickr\tickr_conf

Q: Do you think you will be able implement "independent color alpha channel (transparency) for text / background" for the windows version?

I'm trying to solve that. ;)

Q: I am not sure how to do the feed export. The online help says ctrl+E when in using decorated window, I have clicked decorated window in the preferences and am pressing ctrl+E but this doesn't seem to do anything. I assume I am missing something obvious but can't see what.

A: Just right-click on the ticker, then 'File' > 'Export OPML File'.

Q: When i try to enter new URL under the RSS Feed Picker, i got the error message "Invalid URL:". Since the above URL is encoded in chinese character big5 format, will there be any solution in supporting URL in chinese characters?

A: URLs are always 'translated' from local encoding to UTF-8 so if you get this error message, it really means the URL either ***is not*** valid or ***was not*** valid at the time.
Rendering of big5 encoded text is available in the ticker, although on Windows, you must make sure you selected the right font (in the preference window.) I tried with the URL you provided and with 'Arial Unicode MS' and it worked perfectly.

Q: I use it in Ubuntu 10.10, but I have a problem: I have to re-start Tickr (News RSS Ticker) every time I start my session on Ubuntu.

A: To start the ticker with every session in Ubuntu, you can use 'System > Preferences > Startup Applications'. Just add the ticker as another startup program. The command should be: '/usr/bin/tickr'.

Q: I cant see the ticker cos i changed the preferences. doh! how do i reset the prefs file to default in ubuntu 10.10?

A: The preference file is in a hidden dir in your home dir: /home/USER_NAME/.tickr/tickr_conf. Just remove it...

Q: What should I type in a terminal to install Tickr (News RSS Ticker) in Ubuntu Natty?

A: The following answer applies to Ubuntu series from Maverick to Precise.
On Precise: sudo apt-get install tickr
On earlier series (from Maverick to Oneiric), you will have first to enable backports (unsupported updates) with Synaptic or Update Manager > Settings > Software Sources. Then:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tickr

Q: How can I simultaneously run several instances of the program with different settings?

A: you can set up 2 separate tickers with different instance-ids. To achieve that, you must use the command line (or a little script):
On Linux:
'/usr/bin/tickr -instance-id=1 -win_y=200 & /usr/bin/tickr -instance-id=2 -win_y=250'
You can then set up separately feeds and preferences for each instance. After that, use a launcher that will run the script.
On Windows, you should use a batch file instead and a different path.
(Note: This question has also been discussed on