Author image Alex Schroeder
and 1 contributors

Moku Pona

Moku Pona is a Gemini based feed reader. It can monitor URLs to feeds or regular pages for changes and keeps and updated list of these in a Gemini list. Moku Pona knows how to fetch Gopher URLs, Gemini URLs, and regular web URLs.

You manage your subscriptions using the command-line, with Moku Pona.

You serve the resulting file using a Gemini server.

You read it all using your Gemini client.


Moku Pona only detects changes. Thus, if there is an item that points to a phlog or blog, that's great. Sometimes people put their phlog in a folder per year. If the Gopher menu lists each folder and a date with the latest change, then that's great, you can use it. Without it, you're in trouble: you need to subscribe to the item for the current year in order to see changes, but when the next year comes around, you're subscribed to the wrong item. Sometimes you're lucky and there will be a menu somewhere with a timestamp for the last change. Use that instead. Good luck!


GNU Affero General Public License


Using cpan:

    cpan App::mokupona

Manual install:

    perl Makefile.PL
    make install


There are some Perl dependencies you need to satisfy in order to run this program:

Modern::Perl, or libmodern-perl-perl
Mojo::IOLoop, or libmojolicious-perl
XML::LibXML, or libxml-libxml-perl
URI::Escape, or liburi-escape-xs-perl

The Data Directory

Moku Pona keeps the list of URLs you are subscribed to in directory. It's probably ~/.moku-pona on your system.

If you have the MOKU_PONA environment variable set, then that's your data directory.
If you have the XDG_DATA_HOME environment variable set, then your data directory is $XDG_DATA_HOME/moku-pona.
If you you have the HOME environment variable set, and you have a $HOME/.local directory, then your data directory is $HOME/.local/moku-pona.
If you have the HOME environment variable set, then your data directory is $HOME/.moku-pona.
If you have the APPDATA environment variable set (Windows), then your data directory is $APPDATA/moku-pona.
The last option is to have the LOGDIR environment variable set.

The data directory contains a copy of the latest resources. The names of these cache files are simply the URL with all the slashes replaced by a hyphen.

The sites.txt file is a file containing a gemtext list of links, i.e. entries such as these:

    => gemini:// Alex Schroeder

The updates.txt file is a file containing a gemtext list of links based on sites.txt, but with a timestamp of their last change, and with new updates moved to the top. The ISO date is simply inserted after the URL:

    => gemini:// 2020-11-07 Alex Schroeder

In order to be at least somewhat backwards compatible with Moku Pona versions 1.1 and earlier, sites.txt may contain Gopher menu items. These are converted to Gemini URLs during processing and thus the updates.txt file still contains regular gemtext.

    1Alex Schroeder ⭾ ⭾ ⭾ 70

As was said above, however, the recommended format is the use of URLs. Moku Pona supports Gemini, Gopher, and the web (gemini, gopher, gophers, http, and https schemes).

Migration from 1.1

The best way to migrate your setup is probably to use the list subcommand explained later, and to recreate your list of subscriptions. Then your sites.txt file will use gemtext format.

    moku-pona list | grep "moku-pona add" > commands
    mv ~/.moku-pona/sites.txt ~/.moku-pona/sites.txt~
    sh commands

List your subscriptions

    moku-pona list

This lists all your current subscriptions in a format that is suitable for a shell script!


    moku-pona list | grep "alexschroeder"

In this particular case, since I'm testing my own server, the result would be:

    moku-pona add "rss"
    moku-pona add gemini:// "gemini"
    moku-pona add gopher:// "gopher"
    moku-pona add gophers:// "gophers"

Add a subscription

    moku-pona add url [description]

This adds a URL to the list of subscribed items. If the target is an Atom or RSS feed, then that's also supported. You can provide an optional description for this URL. If you don't provide a description, the URL will be used as the item's description.


    moku-pona add gemini:// kensanata

Remove a subscription

    moku-pona remove description

This removes one or more URLs from the list of subscribed items.


    moku-pona remove kensanata

Clean up the data directory

    moku-pona cleanup [--confirm]

When Moku Pona updates, copies of the URL targets are saved in the data directory. If you remove a subscription (see above), that leaves a cache file in the data directory that is no longer used – and it leaves an entry in updates.txt that is no longer wanted. The cleanup command fixes this. It deletes all the cached pages that you are no longer subscribed to, and it removes those entries from updates.txt as well.

Actually, just to be sure, if you run it without the --confirm argument, it simply prints which files it would trash. Rerun it with the --confirm argument to actually do it.


    moku-pona cleanup


    moku-pona update [--quiet] [names...]

This updates all the subscribed items and generates a new local page for you to visit: updates.txt.


    moku-pona update

If you call it from a cron job, you might want to use the --quiet argument to prevent it from printing all the sites it's contacting (since cron will then mail this to you and you might not care for it unless there's a problem). If there's a problem, you'll still get a message.

This is how I call it from my crontab, for example

    #m   h  dom mon dow   command
    11 7,14 *   *   *     /home/alex/bin/moku-pona update --quiet

If you're testing things, you can also fetch just a limited number of items by listing them.


    moku-pona update "RPG Planet"

The updates.txt files may contain lines that are not links at the top. These will remain untouched. The rest is links. New items are added at the beginning of the links and older copies of such items are removed from the links.

Subscribing to feeds

When the result of an update is an XML document, then it is parsed and the links of its items (if RSS) or entries (if Atom) are extracted and saved in the cache file in the data directory. The effect is this:


    moku-pona add "RPG"
    moku-pona update

This adds the RPG entry to updates.txt as follows:

    => 2020-11-07 RPG

And if you check the file, you'll see that it's a regular Gemini list. You'll find 100 links like the following:

    => Episode 34

Now use moku-pona publish (see below) to move the files to the correct directory where your Gemini server expects them.

Publishing your subscription

    moku-pona publish <directory>

This takes the important files from your data directory and copies them to a target directory. You could just use symbolic links for sites.txt and updates.txt, of course. But if you've subscribed to actual feeds as described above, then the cache files need to get copied as well!


    mkdir ~/subs
    moku-pona publish ~/subs

Serving your subscriptions via Gemini

This depends entirely on your Gemini server. If you like it really simple, you can use Lupa Pona. Here's how to create the certificate and key files, copy them to the ~/subs directory created above, and run lupa-pona for a quick test.

    make cert
    cp *.pem ~/subs
    cd ~/subs