I'm looking for one that is frequently updated and full-featured.


3 Answers 3


There are many text web browsers, as there are many graphical web browsers, so it really depends on what you're looking for. lynx is a common slim choice, Elinks has many features. Both of these support other protocols, such as ftp and gopher (Elinks even supports bittorrent). Elinks may also be built with support for JavaScript, using Mozilla's former JavaScript implementation, Spidermonkey.

There is also w3m, which can also be used through Emacs.

If you want to try one at random, Wikipedia has a list of text based browsers.

How to install these has more to do with how your distribution manages packages than with the browsers themselves. Some of them are probably in the package repositories for your distribution.


As of November 2015, the actively maintained browsers are links and lynx. Many of the changes in both relate to TLS and security. Here is the current state of progress:

  • I did not find your first line clear, so edited it, trying to improve it. Please verify.
    – tshepang
    Jun 10, 2012 at 20:44
  • Elinks had an unstable release shortly after this post was made. Unfortunately for me, that was three years ago! Links seems to have had an update in December 2014, and lynx had a development release in March 2014. My favorite of the three, w3m, is still without any type of release for four years.
    – dotancohen
    Mar 20, 2015 at 0:30
  • 1
    I tried lynx, w3m and elinks. My vote is for elinks.
    – Joe C
    Jul 9, 2015 at 13:16
  • 1
    Well, I am currently running w3m/0.5.3+git2016041. Which has a notably fix for 32-bit true color images support which makes it work better in vte based terminals for instance.
    – AlMehdi
    Jun 28, 2016 at 4:47
  • @AlMehdi Where did you get this version from?
    – koppor
    Mar 8, 2017 at 7:51

I like links2, but primarily because it has a cool, lightweight 'graphical' mode. It's similar to just plain 'links', but you can invoke it with -g to get a display that renders images. It's very easily X-forwardable, too. But, when you don't want the HTML image rendering, it works just fine in the native ncurses interface as well.

  • Links and Links2 are (at least on Debian) the same program. The difference is that Links was compiled without support for graphical mode. May 30, 2018 at 15:56

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