Best Text based (Command Line) Web Browsers for Linux

As we know about GUI Web Browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, etc.. And we have covered almost all the Modern Web Browsers which will suitable for Linux environment. Here, we are going to teach you about command line browser which will help Linux Administrator to browse the web sites, whoever don’t have X-windows on server. As we know Modern GUI browsers that render text along with graphics which is showing beautiful output but Command line browsers only render text without graphics.

List of Text-based Web Browsers

  • Links
  • Links2
  • ELinks
  • Lynx
  • w3m
  • Netrik

1) Install Links on Linux

Links is a web browser running in both graphics and text mode. It renders complex pages, supports color and monochrome terminals and allows horizontal scrolling. By default Links bundle with Linux Distribution so We can easily install Links Text-based Web Browser on all the Linux distribution such as Debian, RHEL, Ubuntu, LinuxMint, CentOS, Fedora, suse, openSUSE, ArchLinux, Manjaro, Mageia, etc..,

[Debian, Mint & Ubuntu]
$ sudo apt-get install links

[RHEL, CentOS & Fedora 21 & Older]
# yum install links

[Fedora 22 & Later]
# dnf install links

[suse & openSUSE]
# zypper install links

[ArchLinux & Manjaro]
$ sudo pacman -S links

[Mageia]
# urpmi links

[How to access]
# links www.2daygeek.com

install-text-based-web-browsers-on-linux-links

2) Install ELinks on Linux

ELinks is fork from Links, Full-Featured Text web Browser, advanced and well-established feature-rich text mode web browser ELinks can render both frames and tables, is highly customizable and can be extended via Lua or Guile scripts. It is quite portable and runs on a variety of platforms. By default ELinks bundle with Linux Distribution so We can easily install Links Text-based Web Browser on all the Linux distribution such as Debian, RHEL, Ubuntu, LinuxMint, CentOS, Fedora, suse, openSUSE, ArchLinux, Manjaro, Mageia, etc..,

[Debian, Mint & Ubuntu]
$ sudo apt-get install elinks

[RHEL, CentOS & Fedora 21 & Older]
# yum install elinks

[Fedora 22 & Later]
# dnf install elinks

[suse & openSUSE]
# zypper install elinks

[ArchLinux & Manjaro]
$ sudo pacman -S elinks

[Mageia]
# urpmi elinks

[How to access]
# elinks www.2daygeek.com

install-text-based-web-browsers-on-linux-elinks

3) Install Lynx on Linux

Lynx is a highly configurable text-based web browser for use on cursor-addressable character cell terminals. it is the oldest web browser. By default Lynx bundle with Linux Distribution so We can easily install LYNX Text-based Web Browser on all the Linux distribution such as Debian, RHEL, Ubuntu, LinuxMint, CentOS, Fedora, suse, openSUSE, ArchLinux, Manjaro, Mageia, etc..,

[Debian, Mint & Ubuntu]
$ sudo apt-get install lynx

[RHEL, CentOS & Fedora 21 & Older]
# yum install lynx

[Fedora 22 & Later]
# dnf install lynx

[suse & openSUSE]
# zypper install lynx

[ArchLinux & Manjaro]
$ sudo pacman -S lynx

[Mageia]
# urpmi lynx

[How to access]
# lynx www.2daygeek.com

install-text-based-web-browsers-on-linux-lynx

4) Install w3m on Linux

w3m is a text-based web browser as well as a pager like `more’ or `less’. With w3m you can browse web pages through a terminal emulator window (xterm, rxvt or something like that). Moreover, w3m can be used as a text formatting tool which typesets HTML into plain text. By default w3m bundle with Linux Distribution so We can easily install LYNX Text-based Web Browser on all the Linux distribution such as Debian, RHEL, Ubuntu, LinuxMint, CentOS, Fedora, suse, openSUSE, ArchLinux, Manjaro, Mageia, etc..,

[Debian, Mint & Ubuntu]
$ sudo apt-get install w3m w3m-img

[RHEL, CentOS & Fedora 21 & Older]
# yum install w3m

[Fedora 22 & Later]
# dnf install w3m

[suse & openSUSE]
# zypper install w3m

[ArchLinux & Manjaro]
$ sudo pacman -S w3m

[Mageia]
# urpmi w3m

[How to access]
# w3m www.2daygeek.com

install-text-based-web-browsers-on-linux-w3m

5) Install Links2 on Linux

Links2 is a web browser running in both graphics and text mode which is based on links. It renders complex pages, supports color and monochrome terminals and allows horizontal scrolling. By default Links2 bundle with Linux Distribution so We can easily install Links Text-based Web Browser on all the Linux distribution such as Debian, RHEL, Ubuntu, LinuxMint, CentOS, Fedora, suse, openSUSE, ArchLinux, Manjaro, Mageia, etc..,

[Debian, Mint & Ubuntu]
$ sudo apt-get install links2

[RHEL, CentOS & Fedora 21 & Older]
# yum install links2

[Fedora 22 & Later]
# dnf install links2

[suse & openSUSE]
# zypper install links2

[ArchLinux & Manjaro]
$ sudo pacman -S links2

[Mageia]
# urpmi links2

[How to access]
# links2 www.2daygeek.com

install-text-based-web-browsers-on-linux-links2

5) Install Netrik on Linux

Netrik is a simplistic web browser running in text mode which is similar to w3m, links & lynx. It renders complex pages, supports color and monochrome terminals and allows horizontal scrolling. Netrik has quite limited functionality compared to some other text mode browsers and that too unique features. By default Links bundle with Linux Distribution so We can easily install Links Text-based Web Browser on all the Linux distribution such as Debian, RHEL, Ubuntu, LinuxMint, CentOS, Fedora, suse, openSUSE, ArchLinux, Manjaro, Mageia, etc..,

[Debian, Mint & Ubuntu]
$ sudo apt-get install netrik

[RHEL, CentOS & Fedora 21 & Older]
# yum install netrik

[Fedora 22 & Later]
# dnf install netrik

[suse & openSUSE]
# zypper install netrik

[ArchLinux & Manjaro]
$ sudo pacman -S netrik

[Mageia]
# urpmi netrik

[How to access]
# netrik www.2daygeek.com

install-text-based-web-browsers-on-linux-netrik
Enjoy…)

Magesh Maruthamuthu

Love to play with all Linux distribution

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  • @RoseySoft:disqus
    I know about NetSurf but i didn’t tried till now. I will give a try and update my list.

  • Tommy Rosey

    NetSurf is also a great browser for a headless server. It is a CLI Browser. But for Debian you must install from source. The debian packGE ADDED THE UNNEEDED Graphic files. It is a graphical browser for a headless none graphic mode under cli.

  • Noted

  • Charlie Whitman

    Links and Links2 are the same program. It’s still possible to obtain and compile the old Links browser, which had no graphical mode, but I don’t know of a distribution that packages it. In most distributions you will get the same program if you install Links or Links2. You can see this if you notice that when you install Links your configuration will still be in a hidden folder named .links2

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