Browse web from terminal

Hi there ! Welcome again. So in this post I am going to talk about terminal browsers. Yes, you have read correctly , “terminal browers”. Never have thought of it ? Well, it could be done. There are couple of browsers which one could use in linux to browse the web from terminal. I will just go ahead and list their names for you, these are:

  • Lynx
  • Links
  • Links2
  • Elinks
  • w3m

So now let’s take our time to know a bit more about these browsers.

Lynx

Lynx one of the oldest terminal browsers which came in 1992. It is a text only browser. So that means you cannot get the luxury of viewing images, and I mean any kind of images. The layout provided by lynx browser is very user friendly and one could use arrow keys to navigate between hyperlinks and web pages.

Links is a text and image web browser with a pull down menu system. The navigation and user interface is much more easier to understand. However while using it we will soon observe that this browser is much slower in navigation than Lynx. This may be because of Links using gecko browser web engine ( as far as I know ) rather than its own, unlike Lynx which uses its own web web engine.

Links2

Coming to Links2 now, which a browser based on Links. It could display web pages in text only when we run it in console mode, however, it renders images in a variety of image formats such as PNG, Jpeg, Gif, Tiff and Xbm when run from a X window system.

Elinks started out as an experimental fork of Links browser, hence the word “ELinks” where “E” is standing for experimental. Nowadays ‘E’ stands for “extended” or “enhanced”. It has a couple more features than Links but to a normal user the difference is not that much visible.

w3m

w3m is another text-based web-browser and a terminal pager. Unlike the others it could render images right into your console if you have installed w3m-img package with w3m. Cool isn’t ?

All these web browsers are open sourced , so one could easily fork the current version and make another terminal browsers. I have come to love these terminal browsers as it saves a lot of data while navigation and these are also pretty fast than any other browsers such as chromium and firefox. Also these are quite useful while safely navigating in tor network.