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


Lynx [options] [path or URL]

use "lynx -help" to display a complete list of current options.


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 PCs or Macs, or any other "curses-oriented" display). It will display hypertext markup language (HTML) documents containing links to files residing on the local system, as well as files residing on remote systems running Gopher, HTTP, FTP, WAIS, and NNTP servers. Current versions of Lynx run on UNIX and VMS.

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 "h" while running Lynx. Then follow the link titled, "Help on URL's."

used to specify the anonymous account.
set authorization ID and password for protected documents at startup.
enable case-sensitive string searching.
set the NUMBER of documents cached in memory. The default is 10.
specifies a Lynx configuration file other than the default lynx.cfg.
set the display variable for X rexeced programs.
dumps the formatted output of the default document or one specified on the command line to standard out. Under UNIX this can be used in the following way: lynx -dump
enable edit mode using the specified EDITOR. (vi, ed, emacs, etc.)
enable emacs-like key movement.
define a file where Lynx will report HTTP access codes.
include all versions of files in local VMS directory listings.
forces the first document to be interpreted as HTML.
disable ftp access.
send form data from stdin using GET method and dump results.
print this Lynx command syntax usage message.
set homepage separate from start page.
set the default index file to the specified URL.
disable URLs that point to remote hosts.
prints the MIME header of a fetched document along with its source.
send form data from stdin using POST method and dump results.
disable directory browsing.
disable print functions.
prevents automatic redirection and prints a message with a link to the new URL.
disable the retrieval status messages.
enable print functions. (default)
allows a list of services to be disabled selectively. The following list is printed if no options are specified. all - restricts all options. bookmark - disallow changing the location of the bookmark file. default - same as command line option -anonymous. Disables default services for anonymous users. Currently set to all restricted except for: inside_telnet, outside_telnet, inside_news, inside_ftp, outside_ftp, inside_rlogin, outside_rlogin, jump, mail and goto. Defaults are setable within userdefs.h. disk_save - disallow saving binary files to disk in the download menu. download - disallow downloaders in the download menu. editor - disallow editing. exec - disable execution scripts. exec_frozen - disallow the user from changing the local execution option. file_url - disallow using G)oto to go to file: URL's. 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. mail - disable mailing feature. news_post - disable 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 posting for people coming from outside your domain (utmp required for selectivity). 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 G)oto's. suspend - disallow Unix Control-Z suspends with escape to shell.
disable recognition of rlogin commands.
require .www_browsable files to browse directories.
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, and the default configuration can be changed in userdefs.h.
works the same as dump but outputs HTML source instead of formatted text.
disable recognition of telnet commands.
tell Lynx what terminal type to assume its 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.)
turns on WWW trace mode.
print version information.
enable vi-like key movement.


o Use Up arrow and Down arrow to scroll through hypertext links.

o Right arrow or Return will follow a highlighted hypertext link.

o Left Arrow will retreat from a link.

o Type "h" or "?" for online help and descriptions of key-stroke commands.

o Type "k" for a complete list of the current key-stroke command mappings.


This is the Lynx 2.3-FM Release for UN*X/VMS

If you wish to contribute to the further development of Lynx, subscribe to our mailing list. Send email to <> with "subscribe lynx-dev <your-name>" as the only line in the body of your message.

Send bug reports, comments, suggestions to <>. Send general help requests to <>.


Lynx has incorporated code from a variety of sources along the way. The earliest versions of Lynx included code from Earl Fogel of Computing Services at the University of Saskatchewan, who implemented HYPERREZ in the UN*X environment. HYPERREZ was developed by Niel Larson of and served as the model for the early versions of Lynx. Those versions also incorporated libraries from the UN*X Gopher clients developed at the University of Minnesota, and the later versions of Lynx rely on the WWW client library code developed by Tim Berners-Lee and the WWW community. Also a special thanks to Foteos Macrides who ported much of Lynx to VMS and to everyone on the net who has contributed to Lynx's development either directly (through comments or bug reports) or indirectly (through inspiration and development of other systems).


Michael Grobe, Charles Rezac, Lou Montulli

Academic Computing Services

University of Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas 66047