Linux/Raspberry Pi : Use Terminal as a Web Browser

This post will explain how to install 3 different text based command line web browsers on the Raspberry Pi. The original article can be found here and at the bottom of this post. Most normal web browsers struggle to run on the Pi or consume a lot of resources when they do so an alternative option would be to use a text based command line web browser.

Now a text based command line browser cannot do everything a normal browser does but if you don’t mind the quirky look/feel of it and only want to read news/blogs/etc and not play games/videos then these are 3 programs you could use (Please note that the screenshots are from my Ubuntu install but these programs are available in most of the default Raspberry Pi operating systems).

w3m

w3m is a World Wide Web (WWW) text based client. It has English and Japanese help files and an option menu and can be configured to use either language. It can display HTML tables and frames. w3m current versions can run on Unix (Solaris, SunOS, HP-UX, Linux, FreeBSD, and EWS4800) To install w3m enter this into a terminal :

$ sudo apt-get install w3m

To access a website enter this into a terminal, replacing http://www.google.com with the website of your choice :

$ w3m http://www.google.com

w3m

To quit w3m press CTRL + Z.

Lynx

Lynx is a general purpose browser. To install Lynx enter this into a terminal :

$ sudo apt-get install lynx

To access a website enter this into a terminal, replacing http://www.google.com with the website of your choice :

$ lynx http://www.google.com

lynx

To exit press CTRL + Z.

LINKS

Links is a text mode WWW browser with ncurses interface, supporting colors, correct table rendering, background downloading, menu driven configuration interface and slim code.

Frames are supported. You can have different file formats associated with external viewers. mailto: and telnet: are supported via external clients. To install simply enter this into a terminal :

$ sudo apt-get install links

To access a website enter this into a terminal, replacing http://www.google.com with the website of your choice :

$ links http://www.google.com

links

To exit press CTRL + Z.

Enjoy !

Use Terminal as a Web Browser | Unixmen.

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8 thoughts on “Linux/Raspberry Pi : Use Terminal as a Web Browser”

  1. Thanks for this, nice find! The pi doesn’t handle browsers and graphics very well in general. I was planning on using a Pi as a secondary computer incase something ever happened to my PC, but the browser is staggeringly slow.

    1. once you get around the quirky look and feel they are pretty cool to use, for youtube and similar videos there are command line downloaders/players etc

      1. It’s not complicated at all, just a basic setup :

        Pi model B
        Power supply from RS components so no power supply issues
        Belkin 4-port powered USB hub
        Belkin wireless adapter/ethernet cable when needed
        Wireless Keyboard with trackpad – soon to be replaced with one with a trackball instead !
        6 SD/micro SD cards from 4GB up with various OS installed

        At the moment i’m using it as a file server to stream media/files anywhere in the house.

        i also have an odroid – U3, which is basically a pimped out pi, not done too much with that atm but it can come with android or xubuntu pre-installed, i’m using it as media centre with xbmc but want to put it to a better use

        The odroid – U3 would be a better desktop backup/replacement than the Pi in my opinion – better spec’d and not much more in price to be fair, the only downside is the shipping costs, they are only available from official website in south korea (part of samsung i believe) and trade in $’s

        i saved £35 because the exchange rate had changed from when i originally priced it up :)

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