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Terminal Tips: Lynx


The UNIX and Open Source section of Apple's Mac OS X Downloads site features Lynx today. Lynx, as well as Links (another favorite of mine), is a Terminal-based, text-only web browser. Why would you want to use such a thing, you ask? Well, because since it simply ignores all non-text items in a webpage, the browsing experience is lightning fast compared to most modern browsers.

When you download the disk image, you'll find that if you follow the installation instructions, Lynx won't work. In order to correctly install Lynx, drag lynx.command to your Applications folder, as the README file instructs you to do. Now, launch your Terminal (located in /Applications/Utilities/) and type open /usr/local/lib/ at the command line and hit enter. Now drag the lynx.cfg file from the Lynx disk image into the lib folder window that pops open. A dialog box will pop up warning you that you do not have permissions to write files to that folder. Click the Authenticate button and enter your Administrator password when prompted.

Now, simply close the window, navigate to lynx.command in your Applications folder and double-click it. Or, if you already have the Terminal open, you can simply type /Applications/lynx.command; exit at the command line. Lynx will open in the Terminal. Now, simply type g (for Go) to get a prompt where you can type in a web address of your choosing. Tab will tab you through links on pages. Return or the right-arrow will take you to the highlighted link. The left-arrow will take you back to the previous page, and hitting q will quit the browser. Easy. Have fun!


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