ELinks is an effort to create an advanced text-based web browser. It started as a fork based on the code of Links browser. Aiming first to try and realize several features more or less weak / absent in Links. Hence "E" in "ELinks" - "Experimental" [Links]. The success of the effort made it to be understood as "Extended" or "Enhanced".
There was a crossroad at the point when Links browser achieved certain level of completeness, surpassing in some areas then the most advanced text mode web browser, Lynx: to move forward into displaying graphics and further beyond pure text or to enhance text-based web surfing experience beyond boundaries reached first by Lynx and then Links browsers - but still keeping it in text mode. The first course resulted into a Links version capable of displaying graphic content of web pages - Links2. The second one is ELinks web browser.
Lynx was and is a very mature software in its kind. Its authors conceived and realized a quite elaborate concept of web surfing in text mode with specific abstractions and conventions, which aided to overcome many restrictions and shortages of text-based surfing and created an experience, a world so definitely different from rapidly expanding graphical web. But with the time HTML and hardware moved forward, spread of scripting languages took place, the whole world of presenting, finding and consuming information advanced. New possibilities appeared.
ELinks moved forward the concept of text mode web browser, making ELinks the most advanced example of it. Although Lynx still keeps positions pretty strongly. Its concept of text mode web surfing even if being simplifying, bringing different approach to information presentation and handling rather than trying to be resembling to graphical web browsers environment - works quite well. Web documents become more and more complicated in realization and (while having all the inevitable restrictions of text mode web browsing) to follow a different way of handling it is quite competitive to trying to be like mainstream, graphic full featured web browsers of desktop computers. It is like this dilemma for smaller screen mobile devices browsers: to try and imitate full sized display computers or to transform web document and make it corresponding to the characteristics of the environment. Text-based web browsers are used mostly on computers with more or less large displays, so there are less of dimensional restrictions and more temptations: Lynx - to stay restrained, ELinks - to extend it.
Text-based web browser. Versions for Linux, other *nix systems, Windows, DOS, OS/2, BeOS and some others.
Tabbed browsing, background download with queuing. Mouse support. Editing of text boxes / forms in web pages in external text editor. Shortcuts for URLs. Scripting in Perl, Lua, Guile, Ruby. Passing URI of a web page in ELinks or URI of a link in a web page in ELinks to external applications: from clipboard app (to copy URI and paste it some place else) to other web browser, etc. Control over how HTML of the surfed web pages is rendered: like display frames or not. Bookmarks. And More.
HTTP and Proxy authentication. Persistent HTTP cookies. SSL. http, https, ftp, fsp, IPv4, IPv6 and experimentally BitTorrent, gopher, nntp protocols.
Go to "ELinks. Configuration" page. A description valid for Linux + some other *nix systems versions of ELinks and except a couple of things also for Windows ones.
Go to "ELinks. Use" page. A description valid for Linux + some other *nix systems versions of ELinks and except a couple of things also for Windows ones.
ELinks for Linux in GNOME Terminal 2.32.1 on Zenwalk Linux
ELinks for Windows in Win32 console
- ELinks for Linux: Look for an ELinks package in the repository of your Linux distribution, if it is not already installed during the distribution installation process.
- ELinks for Windows: Download ELinks prepared for working under Windows without Cygwin. Unpack and run.
- Or go to the source code download page on elinks.cz.