Setup Stringer on Heroku

Published: by Creative Commons Licence

This is a brief note on how to setup Stringer, a self-hosted anti-social RSS reader on Heroku. Some of the following steps have already been covered by Project's README file.


Stringer doesn't have any external dependencies, but to download and setup it up on Heroku, two things are needed.

  • Git
  • Heroku account with valid credit card details (which won't be charged for free add-ons).

Clone repository

If it is been forked, clone your own Stringer repository. Otherwise clone the original repository like this:

git clone

Install Heroku

  1. Visit Heroku Toolbelt page for different options depending on operating system.
  2. Choose a way to download and install Heroku.

    • For example, on Linux Mint, run the following command in terminal to execute the installation shell script:

      wget -qO- | sh
    • For those with security concerns, detailed commands can be found in the script here and executed manually.

Configure Stringer

  1. Login into Heroku

    heroku login
  2. Create Heroku app

    cd stringer
    heroku create
  3. Push to Heroku

    git push heroku master
  4. Configure

    heroku config:set LOCALE=en
    heroku config:set APP_URL=`heroku apps:info | grep -o 'http[^"]*'`
    heroku config:set SECRET_TOKEN=`openssl rand -hex 20`
  5. Restart

    heroku run rake db:migrate
    heroku restart

Add custom domain

  1. Detailed official documentation on how to add custom domain to this Heroku Stringer app is here.

    heroku domains:add
  2. Visit domain registrar's "DNS Records" page and create a CNAME record pointing to Heroku app.
    For example, record type is CNAME, host is, answer is and keep the default TTL, which is 300.

Add add-ons

  1. Add Scheduler add-ons

    To fetch RSS feeds automatically, Heroku Scheduler needs to be added to app.

     heroku addons:add scheduler
     heroku addons:open scheduler

    Then add a task called rake fetch_feeds and set a frequency to it in Scheduler Dashboard.

    Heroku Scheduler Dashboard

  2. Add optional add-ons

    Some optional add-ons can also be added if interested. For example, PG Backups is for backing up PostgreSQL database, Papertrail is for logging server status. Both of them have free plans available.

     heroku addons:add pgbackups:auto-week
     heroku addons:add papertrail:choklad
  3. More settings and add-ons can be accessed from web user interface

Heroku stringer settings page

Update stringer

git pull
git push heroku master
heroku run rake db:migrate
heroku restart

Clone existing stringer app

In order to clone the source of an existing application from Heroku using Git, use the heroku git:clone command with the app name, mine is called yizeng-reader in this case.

heroku git:clone -a yizeng-reader


Error while executing git push heroku master:

Permission denied (publickey).
fatal: The remote end hung up unexpectedly

Solution from StackOverflow:

  • Upload the public ssh key to Heroku:

    heroku keys:add ~/.ssh/
  • If no keys exist, create a new one:

    heroku keys:add