One of the most used applications by every user independently to any operating system is the Web Browser. At present, the entire world can be see through the Internet, a great percentage of our activities are made it using a web browser to get access to the Internet.
There are several alternatives to choose the best web browser for each of us, but what happens if our system doesn’t have a graphical interface?
There are some web browsers that work on the terminal or command line, the command line browser. In this article, you’re going to know what is a command line browser.
Links is an open source text and graphical web browser with a pull-down menu system. It renders complex pages, has partial HTML 4.0 support (including tables and frames and support for multiple characters sets such as UTF-8), supports color and monochrome terminals and allows horizontal scrolling.
It’s very useful for low resources computers because day by day the web pages are bigger and heavier. If your computer doesn’t have a suitable performance you’ll have some mistakes while you’re surfing. So, Links is much faster than any common web browser (with GUI) because it doesn’t load all the content of a website, for example, videos, flash, etc.
Links has two modes: the text mode and the graphical mode. The text mode isn’t very interesting because it doesn’t allow many things to do, but the graphical mode allows to see images *.jpg and *.png.
Also if you’re looking for a better experience with Links, you should try links2, this is an improved version of Links with graphical support by default.
Links is very easy to use, for example, if you want to visit LinuxAndUbuntu homepage you just have to type the following:
$ links www.linuxandubuntu.com
For graphical mode you must check if you’re compilation (Links) supports graphics:
$ links -g www.linuxandubuntu.com
More Links Features
If you don’t like Links (or links2), you have other alternatives to use a command line web browser. Lynx is a highly configurable text-based web browser for use on cursor-addressable character-cell terminals.
The speed benefits of text-only browsing are most apparent when using low bandwidth internet connections, or older computer hardware that may be slow to render image-heavy content.
About the user privacy, Lynx doesn’t support graphics but it supports HTTP cookies, so the privacy isn’t the best part of Lynx because the HTTP cookies can be used to track user information.
In my opinion, I think that Links is faster and simpler than Lynx, so I prefer Links, but you should try which is the best for you. Both of them are good alternatives if you’re looking for the command line web browser. Also, I think that Lynx offers more customization than Links.
To use Lynx you just type the following:
$ lynx www.mywebsite.com
If you really don’t like Links (and links2) or Lynx, you should check the following list and choose the best for you:
Finally, If you don’t like the command line browsers, just use Chrome or Mozilla. The command line browsers are for users who need velocity and functionality in a basic operating system with only a terminal.