Using Lynx for Web Browsing


One web browser that can be run in a plain text terminal is called Lynx.

Because Lynx is text-based, you will only be able to see text on web pages. Instead of images, you'll see placeholders like [image1.gif]. Also, fancy formatting like tables may not appear correctly.

To start Lynx, we can type:

% lynx

or start it up with a initial web page to load:

% lynx http://www.cs.bu.edu

at the UNIX prompt.

When Lynx starts up, it will either display its own default page or the one you requested:

Here, we told it to load the main page for the Computer Science Department.


Note: Lynx lists common commands at the bottom of the screen. Commands are activated by pressing a single key (don't follow the key with <Return>).

The are a few ways to navigate around a page you are viewing in Lynx. First, we can use the up and down arrow keys to go from link to link on the page:

Note that it highlights whatever is the current link.

Also, we can use <Space> and "b" to go forward or backward one screen in the page:

Once a link you want to go to is highlighted, you just need press <Return> to go to that page:

As in other web browsers, you can go back to the previous page. To do so, press the left arrow. To go forward again, press the right arrow.

If you want to load a new page, just type "g". It will ask you to type the "URL" to open (followed by <Return>). For example, we could load the main BU page by typing "http://www.bu.edu":

Those are the main operations you need to know in Lynx. If you need to know about other commands, you can access help by typing "h":

This will load a web page where there are links for looking up keystrokes, etc. Remember, you can get back to the web page you where just viewing using the left arrow.

Finally, when you are done with Lynx, press "q" to exit:

It will ask you to make sure you want to exit.


BU CAS CS - Using Lynx for Web Browsing
Copyright © 1993-2000 by Robert I. Pitts <rip at bu dot edu>. All Rights Reserved.