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An import and aggregation framework for Backdrop.


  • Pluggable import configurations consisting of fetchers (get data) parsers
    (read and transform data) and processors (create content on Backdrop).
    -- HTTP upload (with optional PubSubHubbub support).
    -- File upload.
    -- CSV, RSS, Atom parsing.
    -- Creates nodes or terms.
    -- Creates lightweight database records if Data module is installed.
    -- Additional fetchers/parsers or processors can be added by an object oriented
    plugin system.
    -- Granular mapping of parsed data to content elements.
  • Import configurations can be piggy backed on nodes (thus using nodes to track
    subscriptions to feeds) or they can be used on a standalone form.
  • Unlimited number of import configurations.
  • Export import configurations to code.
  • Optional libraries module support.



  • Install Feeds, Feeds Admin UI.
  • To get started quick, install one or all of the following Feature modules:
    Feeds News, Feeds Import, Feeds Fast News (more info below).
  • Make sure cron is correctly configured
  • Go to import/ to import data.

SimplePie Installation

  • To install the SimplePie parser plugin, complete the following steps:
    1. Download SimplePie from The recommended
      version is: 1.3.
    2. Decompress the downloaded zip file.
    3. Rename the uncompressed folder to 'simplepie'.
      For example rename 'simplepie-simplepie-e9472a1' to 'simplepie'.
    4. Move the folder to /libraries. The final directory structure
      should be /libraries/simplepie.
    5. Flush the Backdrop cache.
    6. The SimplePie parser should be available now in the list of parsers.

Feature modules

Feeds ships with three feature modules that can be enabled.

The purpose of these modules is to provide a quick start for using Feeds. You
can either use them out of the box as they come or you can take them as samples
to learn how to build import or aggregation functionality with Feeds.

The feature modules merely contain sets of configurations using Feeds and in
some cases the modules Node, Views or Data. If the default configurations do not
fit your use case you can change them on the respective configuration pages for
Feeds, Node, Views or Data.

Here is a description of the provided feature modules:

  • Feeds News -

This feature is a news aggregator. It provides a content type "Feed" that can
be used to subscribe to RSS or Atom feeds. Every item on such a feed is
aggregated as a node of the type "Feed item", also provided by the module.

What's neat about Feeds News is that it comes with a configured View that shows
a list of news items with every feed on the feed node's "View items" tab. It
also comes with an OPML importer filter that can be accessed under /import.

  • Feeds Fast News -

This feature is very similar to Feeds News. The big difference is that instead
of aggregating a node for every item on a feed, it creates a database record
in a single table, thus significantly improving performance. This approach
especially starts to save resources when many items are being aggregated and
expired (- deleted) on a site.

  • Feeds Import -

This feature is an example illustrating Feeds' import capabilities. It contains
a node importer and a user importer that can be accessed under /import. Both
accept CSV or TSV files as imports.

PubSubHubbub support

Feeds supports the PubSubHubbub publish/subscribe protocol. Follow these steps
to set it up for your site.

  • Go to admin/structure/feeds and edit (override) the importer configuration you
    would like to use for PubSubHubbub.
  • Choose the HTTP Fetcher if it is not already selected.
  • On the HTTP Fetcher, click on 'settings' and check "Use PubSubHubbub".
  • Optionally you can use a designated hub such as or your
    own. If a designated hub is specified, every feed on this importer
    configuration will be subscribed to this hub, no matter what the feed itself

Libraries support

If you are using Libraries module, you can place external libraries in the
Libraries module's search path (for instance /libraries. The only
external library used at the moment is SimplePie.

Libraries found in the libraries search path are preferred over libraries in

API Overview

See "The developer's guide to Feeds":


See "The developer's guide to Feeds":


Set the Backdrop config variable 'feeds_debug' to TRUE (i. e. using drush). This will
create a file /tmp/feeds_[my_site_location].log. Use "tail -f" on the command
line to get a live view of debug output.

Note: at the moment, only PubSubHubbub related actions are logged.


See "The site builder's guide to Feeds":

Hidden settings

Hidden settings are variables that you can define by adding them to the $conf
array in your settings.php file.

Name: feeds_debug
Default: FALSE
Description: Set to TRUE for enabling debug output to

Name: feeds_importer_class
Default: 'FeedsImporter'
Description: The class to use for importing feeds.

Name: feeds_source_class
Default: 'FeedsSource'
Description: The class to use for handling feed sources.

Name: feeds_data_$importer_id
Default: feeds_data_$importer_id
Description: The table used by FeedsDataProcessor to store feed items. Usually a
FeedsDataProcessor builds a table name from a prefix (feeds_data_)
and the importer's id ($importer_id). This default table name can
be overridden by defining a variable with the same name.

Name: feeds_process_limit
Default: 50
The number of nodes feed node processor creates or deletes in one
page load.

Name: http_request_timeout
Default: 15
Description: Timeout in seconds to wait for an HTTP get request to finish.
Note: This setting could be overridden per importer in admin UI :
admin/structure/feeds/<your_importer>/settings/<your_fetcher> page.

Name: feeds_never_use_curl
Default: FALSE
Description: Flag to stop feeds from using its cURL for http requests. See

Name: feeds_use_mbstring
Default: TRUE
Description: The extension mbstring is used to convert encodings during parsing.
The reason that this can be turned off is to be able to test Feeds
behavior when the extension is not available.


See "Feeds glossary":


This project is GPL v2 software. See the LICENSE.txt file in this directory for
complete text.



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