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Command Line Web Browsers

  1. Mar 3, 2009 #1
    I was wondering if there are any good web browsers available from the command line on a linux system without any window manager? By "good" I mean one that handles graphics, java, flash, etc. well, and basically displays the website the way it was intended to be seen, the way you would see it in Firefox, IE, or Chrome.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 3, 2009 #2
    Perhaps Lynx?
  4. Mar 3, 2009 #3
    Lynx doesn't appear to show any images, and certainly doesn't display websites in a similar manner to firefox/IE/etc.
  5. Mar 3, 2009 #4


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  6. Mar 3, 2009 #5


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    Normally command line means runs in a terminal window so wouldn't do graphics (unless it drew them in ascii art - like vlc's ascii video mode!)
    You can use a x-windows browser from the keyboard (the keys for mozilla are at http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/keyboard+shortcuts)

    Finally 'links' is the new replacement for lynx
  7. Mar 3, 2009 #6
    So that's a 'no'? I was thinking about getting rid of my window manager completely, but not if I can't play flash games and see lolcats!
  8. Mar 3, 2009 #7
    Flash and Java both need X. I personally love links -g and use it for 80% of my browsing, but I still dig out Firefox for fancy stuff.
  9. Mar 4, 2009 #8
    "links" and "w3m" are good command line web browsers. They support things like tables and frames and Links at least supports Javascript. Unlike the long linear splat lynx gives you, web pages in w3m and links "look like" they do in a graphical web browser, just without the images.

    Expecting any command line to support Java or Flash is ridiculous, that is literally the same as expecting a command line browser to support images.
  10. Mar 4, 2009 #9
    Didn't think so, but figured I would ask. Guess I won't be giving up my window manager any time soon.
  11. Mar 4, 2009 #10
    This said a web browser that attempted to draw images, java, flash using only ASCII art approximations would be pretty hilarious.

    Maybe someone could work something out with firefox+aalib.
  12. Mar 4, 2009 #11


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    Maybe one could get the developers behind http://ascii.dyne.org/ [Broken] to work on it. :rofl:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  13. Mar 4, 2009 #12


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  14. Mar 4, 2009 #13
    I think links -g (links + images) can run in a framebuffer...
  15. Mar 14, 2009 #14
    I'm not sure why links couldn't be written to do JavaScript. I'm sure that it would be possible to take something like WebKit or Gecko and just make a links-style front-end for it. JavaScript just means it can manipulate the DOM, not that it has graphics. It would make the browser a lot slower though, as you'd have to rewrite the screen more often than you would with links.

    Flash is quite a bit more difficult though. Of course, if all you need is some games, you could always not play Flash games, but play games that run on the command line. There's nethack, there's a lot of fun MUDs and MOOs you can connect to. There's Pacman4Console, ttyquake and so on...
  16. Mar 14, 2009 #15
    Flash games was just the example I gave off the top of my head, I would prefer to still be able to use flash, since functionality depends on it for some websites. Is it possible to install enough of X to run firefox, but not have to deal with a window manager?
  17. Mar 14, 2009 #16
    Well, just use the most minimalist window manager you can find. Here's a list.
  18. Mar 14, 2009 #17


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    I don't think the issue is that
    it can't be done
    ... it probably can.
    The issue is more likely
    WHY should it be done? and WHO would want to undertake it?
  19. Mar 14, 2009 #18
    Is something like this what you are looking for?

    This is taken directly from the VirtualBox web site-

    VirtualBox -- professional, flexible, open ¶

    VirtualBox is a general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware. Targeted at server, desktop and embedded use, it is now the only professional-quality virtualization solution that is also Open Source Software.

    Some of the features of VirtualBox are:

    * Modularity. VirtualBox has an extremely modular design with well-defined internal programming interfaces and a client/server design. This makes it easy to control it from several interfaces at once: for example, you can start a virtual machine in a typical virtual machine GUI and then control that machine from the command line, or possibly remotely. VirtualBox also comes with a full Software Development Kit: even though it is Open Source Software, you don't have to hack the source to write a new interface for VirtualBox.

    * Virtual machine descriptions in XML. The configuration settings of virtual machines are stored entirely in XML and are independent of the local machines. Virtual machine definitions can therefore easily be ported to other computers.

    * Guest Additions for Windows and Linux. VirtualBox has special software that can be installed inside Windows and Linux virtual machines to improve performance and make integration much more seamless. Among the features provided by these Guest Additions are mouse pointer integration and arbitrary screen solutions (e.g. by resizing the guest window).

    * Shared folders. Like many other virtualization solutions, for easy data exchange between hosts and guests, VirtualBox allows for declaring certain host directories as "shared folders", which can then be accessed from within virtual machines.

    A number of extra features are available with the full VirtualBox release only (see the "Editions" page for details):

    * Virtual USB Controllers. VirtualBox implements a virtual USB controller and allows you to connect arbitrary USB devices to your virtual machines without having to install device specific drivers on the host.

    * Remote Desktop Protocol. Unlike any other virtualization software, VirtualBox fully supports the standard Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). A virtual machine can act as an RDP server, allowing you to "run" the virtual machine remotely on some thin client that merely displays the RDP data.

    * USB over RDP. With this unique feature, a virtual machine that acts as an RDP server can still access arbitrary USB devices that are connected on the RDP client. This way, a powerful server machine can virtualize a lot of thin clients that merely need to display RDP data and have USB devices plugged in.

    COPYRIGHT Virualbox.com
  20. Mar 14, 2009 #19
    Zenparticle, thanks, I'll check it out more when I have more time.
  21. Mar 14, 2009 #20


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    Virtualbox is a virtual machine, like xen,vmware or virtualpc.
    It lets you run another OS in a sandbox inside a host OS - it's nothing to do with a browser
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