You can use these command line browsers to browse the Internet in a Linux terminal

I guess you may be using a Chrome-based browser such as Firefox or Brave to read this article. Or maybe Google Chrome or Chromium.

In other words, you are using GUI-based methods to browse the Web. However, in the past, people used terminals to obtain resources and browse the Web, because most of the content was text-based information.

Even if you can’t get all the information from the terminal now, you can still try to use the command line browser to get some text-based information and open the web page from the Linux terminal.

Not limited to this, if you want to access a remote server or get stuck in a terminal without a GUI, the terminal web browser may also be useful.

Therefore, in this article, I will mention some terminal-based web browsers that can be tried on Linux.

The best terminal-based web browser for Linux users

note: The list has no particular ranking order.

1. W3M

w3m is a popular open source text-based web browser for the terminal. Even if the original project is no longer active, its active version is maintained by other developers, Tatsuya Kinoshita.

w3m is very simple and also supports SSL connections, colors and embedded images. Of course, depending on the resource you are trying to access, the final situation may be different.According to my quick test, it does not seem to load Duck go But I can use Google in the terminal.

You just type w3m Get help after installation on the terminal.If you are curious, you can also check out the repository at GitHub.

How to install and use W3M?

For any Debian-based Linux distribution, W3M is available in most default repositories. If you have an Arch-based distribution, you may need to check whether AUR is not directly usable.

For Ubuntu, you can install it by typing:

sudo apt install w3m w3m-img

Here, we will install the w3m package and image extensions for online image support. Next, to get started, you just need to follow the following commands:

w3m xyz.com

Of course, you need to replace xyz.com with any website you want to browse/test. Finally, you should know that you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate and press Enter when you need to perform an action.

To exit, you can press SHIFT + Q, And then return to the previous page- SHIFT + B.Other shortcuts include SHIFT + T Open a new tab SHIFT + U To open a new URL. You can also learn more about it by visiting its man page.

2. Lynx

Tmall terminal

Lynx is another open source command line browser you can try. Fortunately, when using Lynx, more websites will work properly, so I think it will definitely be better in this regard. I was able to load DuckDuckGo and make it work.

In addition, I also noticed that it allows you to accept/reject cookies when accessing various web resources. You can set it to always accept or reject. So, that is a good thing.

On the other hand, when using the window from the terminal, the size of the window cannot be adjusted well. I did not look for any solution, so if you try to do this, you may need to do it. In either case, it works well, and when you start keyboard shortcuts in the terminal, you will get instructions for all keyboard shortcuts.

Please note that it does not match the system terminal theme, so no matter how your terminal looks, its appearance will be different.

How to install Lynx?

Unlike w3m, if you are interested in trying, you can get some Win32 installers. However, on Linux, it is available in most default repositories.

For Ubuntu, you only need to enter:

sudo apt install lynx

To get started, just follow the following commands:

lynx examplewebsite.com

Here, you only need to replace the sample website with the resource you want to visit.

If you want to browse the packages of other Linux distributions, you can check their packages. Official website resources.

3. Link 2

Links2 terminal

Links2 is an interesting text-based browser, you can easily use it on the terminal and get a good user experience. It provides you with a nice interface for typing in the URL and then operating it immediately after launching.

Links2 terminal welcome

It is worth noting that the theme will depend on your terminal settings, I set it to “black and green”, so this is what you see. After launching it as a command line browser, just press any key to display the URL prompt or Q to exit it. It works very well and can render text from most sites.

Unlike Lynx, you cannot accept/reject cookies. Other than that, it looks pretty good.

How to install Links2?

As you wish, you will find it in most default repositories. For Ubuntu, you can install it by typing the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt install links2

You can refer to it official website If you want to install it on any other Linux distribution, please download the package or documentation.

4. eLinks

Elinks terminal

eLinks is similar to Links2-but no longer maintained. You can still find it in the default repositories of various distributions, so I will keep it on this list.

It will not be integrated with your system terminal theme. Therefore, if you need it, if there is no “dark” mode, this may not be a good experience for a text-based browser.

How to install eLinks?

On Ubuntu, it is easy to install it. You only need to enter the following in the terminal:

sudo apt install elinks

For other Linux distributions, you should find it in the standard repository.However, you can refer to Official installation instructions If you don’t find it in the repository.

wrap up

It is no surprise that there are not many text-based web browsers running on the terminal.Some items such as eyebrow I tried to provide a modern Linux command line browser, but it didn’t work in my case.

Although tools like curl and wget allow you to download files from the Linux command line, these terminal-based web browsers provide other features.

In addition to the command line browser, if you want to play in the terminal, you may also want to try some Linux command line games.

What do you think of the text-based web browser for Linux terminals? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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