lynx - a general purpose distributed information browser for the World Wide Web


lynx [options? [path or URL?



Lynx is a fully-featured World Wide Web (WWW) client for users running cursor-addressable, character-cell display devices (e.g., vt100 terminals, vt100 emulators running on Windows 95/NT or Macintoshes, or any other Lynx run on Unix, VMS, Windows 95/NT, 386DOS and OS/2 EMX.

Lynx can be used to access information on the World Wide Web, or to build information systems intended primarily for local access. For example, Lynx has been used to build several Campus Wide Information Systems (CWIS). In addition, Lynx can be used to build systems isolated within a single LAN.


At start up, Lynx will load any local file or remote URL specified at the command line. For help with URLs, press or while running Lynx. Then follow the link titled, ''

Lynx uses only long option names. Option names can begin with double dash as well, underscores and dashes can be intermixed in option names (in the reference below options are with one dash before them and with underscores).


If the argument is only '-', then Lynx expects to receive the arguments from stdin. This is to allow for the potentially very long command line that can be associated with the -get_data or -post_data arguments (see below). It can also be used to avoid having sensitive information in the invoking command line (which would be visible to other processes on most systems), especially when the -auth or

  • pauth options are used.


accept all cookies.


apply restrictions for anonymous account, see also

  • restrictions.


charset for documents that don't specify it.


charset assumed for local files.


use this instead of unrecognized charsets.


set authorization ID and password for protected documents at startup. Be sure to protect any script files which use this switch.


prepend a request URL comment and BASE tag to text/html outputs for -source dumps.


specify a local bibp server (default http://bibhost/).


forces high intensity background colors for color mode, if available and supported by the terminal. This applies to the slang library (for a few terminal emulators), or to OS/2 EMX with ncurses.


use the bookmark page as the startfile. The default or command line startfile is still set for the Main screen command, and will be used if the bookmark page is unavailable or blank.


toggles scanning of news articles for buried references, and converts them to news links. Not recommended because email addresses enclosed in angle brackets will be converted to false news links, and uuencoded messages can be trashed.


set the NUMBER of documents cached in memory. The default is 10.


enable case-sensitive string searching.


Toggle center alignment in HTML TABLE.


specifies a Lynx configuration file other than the default lynx.cfg.


exit on left-arrow in startfile, and disable save to disk.


write keystroke commands and related information to the specified file.


read keystroke commands from the specified file. You can use the data written using the -cmd_log option. Lynx will ignore other information which the command-logging may have written to the logfile.


forces color mode on, if available. Default color control sequences which work for many terminal types are assumed if the terminal capability description does not specify how to handle color. Lynx needs to be compiled with the slang library for this flag, it is equivalent to setting the COLORTERM environment variable. (If color support is instead provided by a color-capable curses library like ncurses, Lynx relies completely on the terminal description to determine whether color mode is possible, and this flag is not needed and thus unavailable.) A saved show_color=always setting found in a .lynxrc file at startup has the same effect. A saved show_color=never found in .lynxrc on startup is overridden by this flag.


Sets the connection timeout, where N is given in seconds. This is not available under DOS (use the sockdelay parameter of WATTCP under DOS).


specifies a file to use to read cookies. If none is specified, the default value is /.lynx_cookies for most systems, but /cookies for MS-DOS.


specifies a file to use to store cookies. If none is specified, the value given by -cookie_file is used.


toggles handling of Set-Cookie headers.


toggles forced core dumps on fatal errors.


with -traversal, output each page to a file. with -dump, format output as with -traversal, but to stdout.


toggles the use of curses


separate incremental display stages with !MessageSecs? delay


set the display variable for X rexec-ed programs.


set the charset for the terminal output.


inhibit wrapping of text in


dumps the formatted output of the default document or one specified on the command line to standard output. This can be used in the following way:

lynx -dump


enable external editing, using the specified EDITOR. (vi, ed, emacs, etc.)


enable emacs-like key movement.


toggles compatibility with communication programs' scrollback keys (may be incompatible with some curses packages).


define a file where Lynx will report HTTP access codes.


enable local program execution (normally not configured).


include all versions of files in local VMS directory listings.


force HREF-less 'A' elements to be empty (close them as soon as they are seen).


forces the first document to be interpreted as HTML.


toggles forcing of the secure flag for SSL cookies.


toggles whether the Options Menu is key-based or form-based.


toggles transmissions of From headers.


disable ftp access.


properly formatted data for a get form are read in from stdin and passed to the form. Input is terminated by a line that starts with '---'.


send a HEAD request for the mime headers.


print the Lynx command syntax usage message.


control the display of hidden links.

merge hidden links show up as bracketed numbers and are numbered together with other links in the sequence of their occurrence in the document.

listonly hidden links are shown only on L)ist screens and listings generated by -dump or from the P)rint menu, but appear separately at the end of those lists. This is the default behavior.

ignore hidden links do not appear even in listings.


toggles use of '


set homepage separate from start page.


toggles inclusion of links for all images.


set the default index file to the specified URL.


toggles inclusion of ISMAP links when client-side MAPs are present.


do justification of text.


starting count for lnk#.dat files produced by

  • crawl.


disable URLs that point to remote hosts.


enable local program execution from local files only (if Lynx was compiled with local execution enabled).


specify filename containing color-style information. The default is lynx.lss.


prints the MIME header of a fetched document along with its source.


toggles minimal versus valid comment parsing.


number of articles in chunked news listings.


maximum news articles in listings before chunking.


disable bold video-attribute.


disable directory browsing.


disable Cc: prompts for self copies of mailings. Note that this does not disable any CCs which are incorporated within a mailto URL or form ACTION.


force color mode off, overriding terminal capabilities and any -color flags, COLORTERM variable, and saved .lynxrc settings.


disable local program execution. (DEFAULT)


disable transmissions of Referer headers for file URLs.


disable the link list feature in dumps.


disable mailing of error messages to document owners.


This flag is not available on all systems, Lynx needs to be compiled with HAVE_SIGACTION defined. If available, this flag may cause Lynx to react more immediately to window changes when run within an xterm.


disable forced pauses for statusline messages.


disable most print functions.


prevents automatic redirection and prints a message with a link to the new URL.


disable transmissions of Referer headers.


disable reverse video-attribute.


disable SOCKS proxy usage by a SOCKSified Lynx.


disable the retrieval status messages.


disable underline video-attribute.


force numbering of links as well as form input fields


force numbering of links.


toggles display partial pages while loading.


number of lines to render before repainting display with partial-display logic


set authorization ID and password for a protected proxy server at startup. Be sure to protect any script files which use this switch.


toggles handling of single-choice SELECT options via popup windows or as lists of radio buttons.


properly formatted data for a post form are read in from stdin and passed to the form. Input is terminated by a line that starts with '---'.


show HTML source preparsed and reformatted when used with

  • source or in source view.


show HTML source view with lexical elements and tags in color.


enable print functions. (default)


toggles pseudo-ALTs for inlines with no ALT string.


toggles default setting of 8-bit character translations or CJK mode for the startup character set.


restricts access to URLs in the starting realm.


flushes the cache on a proxy server (only the first document affected).


allows a list of services to be disabled selectively. Dashes and underscores in option names can be intermixed. The following list is printed if no options are specified.

all - restricts all options listed below.

bookmark - disallow changing the location of the bookmark file.

bookmark_exec - disallow execution links via the bookmark file.

change_exec_perms - disallow changing the eXecute permission on files (but still allow it for directories) when local file management is enabled.

default - same as command line option -anonymous. Disables default services for anonymous users. Set to all restricted, except for: inside_telnet, outside_telnet, inside_ftp, outside_ftp, inside_rlogin, outside_rlogin, inside_news, outside_news, telnet_port, jump, mail, print, exec, and goto. The settings for these, as well as additional goto restrictions for specific URL schemes that are also applied, are derived from definitions within userdefs.h.

dired_support - disallow local file management.

disk_save - disallow saving to disk in the download and print menus.

dotfiles - disallow access to, or creation of, hidden (dot) files.

download - disallow some downloaders in the download menu (does not imply disk_save restriction).

editor - disallow external editing.

exec - disable execution scripts.

exec_frozen - disallow the user from changing the local execution option.

externals - disallow some ''

file_url - disallow using G)oto, served links or bookmarks for file: URLs.

goto - disable the 'g' (goto) command.

inside_ftp - disallow ftps for people coming from inside your domain (utmp required for selectivity).

inside_news - disallow USENET news posting for people coming from inside your domain (utmp required for selectivity).

inside_rlogin - disallow rlogins for people coming from inside your domain (utmp required for selectivity).

inside_telnet - disallow telnets for people coming from inside your domain (utmp required for selectivity).

jump - disable the 'j' (jump) command.

multibook - disallow multiple bookmarks.

mail - disallow mail.

news_post - disallow USENET News posting.

options_save - disallow saving options in .lynxrc.

outside_ftp - disallow ftps for people coming from outside your domain (utmp required for selectivity).

outside_news - disallow USENET news reading and posting for people coming from outside your domain (utmp required for selectivity). This restriction applies to ''

outside_rlogin - disallow rlogins for people coming from outside your domain (utmp required for selectivity).

outside_telnet - disallow telnets for people coming from outside your domain (utmp required for selectivity).

print - disallow most print options.

shell - disallow shell escapes and lynxexec or lynxprog G)oto's.

suspend - disallow Unix Control-Z suspends with escape to shell.

telnet_port - disallow specifying a port in telnet G)oto's.

useragent - disallow modifications of the User-Agent header.


toggles forced resubmissions (no-cache) of forms with method POST when the documents they returned are sought with the PREV_DOC command or from the History List.


disable recognition of rlogin commands.


toggles showing scrollbar.


toggles showing arrows at ends of the scrollbar.


require .www_browsable files to browse directories.


show very long URLs in the status line with


If enabled the cursor will not be hidden in the right hand corner but will instead be positioned at the start of the currently selected link. Show cursor is the default for systems without FANCY_CURSES capabilities. The default configuration can be changed in userdefs.h or lynx.cfg. The command line switch toggles the default.


If enabled the transfer rate is shown in bytes/second. If disabled, no transfer rate is shown. Use lynx.cfg or the options menu to select KB/second and/or ETA.


toggles emulation of the old Netscape and Mosaic bug which treated '


works the same as dump but outputs HTML source instead of formatted text.


disable SIGINT cleanup handler


allow non-http startfile and homepage with

  • validate.


read the startfile from standard input (UNIX only).


information for syslog call.


initialize parser, using Tag Soup DTD rather than SortaSGML.


disable recognition of telnet commands.


tell Lynx what terminal type to assume it is talking to. (This may be useful for remote execution, when, for example, Lynx connects to a remote TCP/IP port that starts a script that, in turn, starts another Lynx process.)


For win32, sets the network read-timeout, where N is given in seconds.


toggles between using a Lynx Trace Log and stderr for trace output from the session.


turns on


turns on Lynx trace mode. Destination of trace output depends on -tlog.


turn on optional traces, which may result in very large trace files. Logically OR the values to combine options: 1=SGML character parsing states 2=color-style 4=TRST (table layout)


traverse all http links derived from startfile. When used with -crawl, each link that begins with the same string as startfile is output to a file, intended for indexing. See CRAWL.announce for more information.


trim input text/textarea fields in forms.


toggles use of underline format in dumps.


turn on mouse support, if available. Clicking the left mouse button on a link traverses it. Clicking the right mouse button pops back. Click on the top line to scroll up. Click on the bottom line to scroll down. The first few positions in the top and bottom line may invoke additional functions. Lynx must be compiled with ncurses or slang to support this feature. If ncurses is used, clicking the middle mouse button pops up a simple menu. Mouse clicks may only work reliably while Lynx is idle waiting for input.


set alternate Lynx User-Agent header.


accept only http URLs (for validation). Complete security restrictions also are implemented.


toggle [LINK?, [IMAGE? and [INLINE? comments with filenames of these images.


print version information.


enable vi-like key movement.


enable Waterloo tcp/ip packet debug (print to watt debugfile). This applies only to DOS versions compiled with WATTCP or WATT-32.


number of columns for formatting of dumps, default is 80.


emit backspaces in output if -dumping or -crawling (like 'man' does)


  • Use Up arrow and Down arrow to scroll

through hypertext links.

  • Right arrow or Return will follow a

highlighted hypertext link.

  • Left Arrow will retreat from a link.
  • Type or for

online help and descriptions of key-stroke commands.

  • Type for a complete list of the

current key-stroke command mappings.


In addition to various HOME, PATH, USER, DISPLAY, TMPDIR, etc__, Lynx utilizes several Lynx-specific environment variables, if they exist.

Others may be created or modified by Lynx to pass data to an external program, or for other reasons. These are listed separately below.

See also the sections on SIMULATED CGI SUPPORT and NATIVE LANGUAGE SUPPORT, below.

Note: Not all environment variables apply to all types of platforms supported by Lynx, though most do. Feedback on platform dependencies is solicited.

Environment Variables Used By Lynx:

COLORTERM If set, color capability for the terminal is forced on at startup time. The actual value assigned to the variable is ignored. This variable is only meaningful if Lynx was built using the slang screen-handling library.

LYNX_CFG This variable, if set, will override the default location and name of the global configuration file (normally, lynx.cfg) that was defined by the LYNX_CFG_FILE constant in the userdefs.h file, during installation. See the userdefs.h file for more information.

LYNX_LSS This variable, if set, specifies the location of the default Lynx character style sheet file.

Fatal Error:

lib/CachedMarkup.php (In template 'browse' < 'body' < 'html'):257: Error: Pure virtual

Fatal PhpWiki Error

lib/CachedMarkup.php (In template 'browse' < 'body' < 'html'):257: Error: Pure virtual