I like the Lynx text browser because it works in a terminal and I figure it probably more or less completely immunizes me from browser-based security vulnerabilities.

However... there are a couple of things I find annoying. One is navigating to a link. Often I find myself hitting the tab key a hundred times in a row to get a link. When you have pages that are filled with links navigation can be annoying. Any tips on navigating to links faster?

The other problem is image viewing. Most of the time I do not want to see any images on a web site, but once in a while I do. How can I view the occasional image of choice using Lynx?

2 Answers 2


Actually two questions:

First, when you have a page filled with links, lynx does provide ways to move around. For instance, if you have a table with a link in each cell, you can move left/right using tab and back-tab (control-tab on many terminals), or left/right cursor-keys. Similarly, you can move up/down using the up/down cursor-keys. If you're unfamiliar with the key bindings, the Current Key Map (using k) shows the keys and their use.

These keys are shown in the user's guide:

Navigating hypertext documents with Lynx

   The process of moving within a hypertext web, selecting and displaying
   links is known as "navigation." With Lynx almost all navigation can be
   accomplished with the arrow keys and the numeric keypad.
                                       | TOP   |  /|\  | Page  |
              arrow keys               | of    |   |   | UP    |
                                       | text 7|   |  8|      9|
              +---------+              +-------+-------+-------+
              | SELECT  |              |       |       |       |
              | prev /|\|              |  |
              | link  | |              |      4|      5|      6|
    +---------+---------+---------+    +-------+-------+-------+
    |    BACK | SELECT  | DISPLAY |    | END   |   |   | Page  |
    ||    | of    |   |   | DOWN  |
    |    doc. | link \|/| link    |    | text 1|  \|/ 2|      3|
    +---------+---------+---------+    +-------+-------+-------+

One of the options which you can set makes lynx number the fields and/or links on the screen. With that, you can then type the field/link number followed by g to jump to that field/link.

Second, lynx (like most browsers) uses the MIME-type of the files to decide what they are, and mailcap to decide how to display them. As described in the user's guide:

Lynx and HTML Images

   As a text browser, Lynx does not display images as such -- you need to
   define  a  viewer  in  lynx.cfg: see there -- , but users can choose a
   number of ways of showing their presence.

   There are 3 choices in lynx.cfg, with 2 corresponding keys:
     VERBOSE_IMAGES                   no corresponding key

   You can also use the Options Menu, as outlined below:
     key  lynx.cfg       FM KM .lynxrc    variable in source

       *  MAKE_LINKS_     Y  N       N    clickable_images
       [  MAKE_PSEUDO_    Y  N       N    pseudo_inline_alts
          VERBOSE_        Y  Y       Y    verbose_img

Those options tell lynx whether to show images as links. If they're links, then activating the link (by pressing enter) will tell lynx to display the image using the viewer (which you presumably configured). That is an external program. Here are a few examples from my configuration:

VIEWER:application/postscript:gv %s&:XWINDOWS
VIEWER:application/pdf:acroread %s&:XWINDOWS

I am no expert on Lynx but I can recommend Elinks as a possible alternative. It has numbered links which makes navigating a page very easy. It also has the ability to select individual images to view through your viewer of choice. Lynx has some advanced functions for dumping text and links which elinks does not have but for easy browsing elinks is a good choice. It also has tabbed browsing which is a star feature

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