hacker news desktop client

Avid readers of social news sharing site Hacker News might be interested in a new app recently added to Flathub.

Called HackUp, it is a Hacker News desktop client written in Vala. It lets you browse and read Hacker News submissions without needing to open a web browser (which for a legendary procrastinator like me, is a good thing).

It’s particularly great to see that this is not an Electron app (a number of Electron-based Hacker News clients are available on GitHub).

HackUp has a simple two-panel UI.

Submissions are listed in a sidebar on the left. This list can be sorted by:

  • Top
  • Best
  • New

Echoing the actual website, HackUp keeps things minimal, with only the submission tile, author, score and comment count displayed.

Selecting an article in the sidebar opens the article in the main panel on the right. You can choose whether to enable or disable cookies for sites which load in the web view.

It’s other users’ reactions and insights to news that makes the site what it is so you’ll be pleased to hear that yes, you can read Hacker News comments inside the app too.

And that’s just about all it does. There are (at the time of writing) no keyboard shortcuts to quickly navigate between stories and settings.

And while Hacker News, like Reddit, let you to upvote entries you find interesting you can’t do that through this app.

Summary

Why use a Hacker News desktop client instead of a tab in your browser? To be fair, if you’re asking that question the app probably isn’t aimed at you.

But for a browser-free fix, away from the temptation of the ‘new tab’ button, it’s ideal.

Plus, I like desktop apps and I prefer to manage my workflow using my desktop’s built-in switchers, launchers and shortcuts. I can do that with easier with this app than I can with 12 tabs open in Firefox.

Different strokes for different folks and all that.

Install HackUp on Ubuntu using Flathub

HackUp is available on Flathub, the Flatpak app store.

If you have Flatpak installed on your system (and the Flathub repo enabled) you can install HackUp by running this command in a new Terminal window:

flatpak install flathub com.github.mdh34.hackup

If you don’t have Flatpak or Flathub enabled, it’s easy to get it configures. Just follow the simple instructions on the Flatpak set-up page for your Linux distribution.

Once the install is complete you can go ahead and launch “HackUp” from your desktop’s application menu/launcher.