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Lynx README file
Lynx Version 2.8.6 is the latest release (October 2006).
See the CHANGES file for a complete record of all changes and bug fixes.
New releases are announced on the lynx-dev mailing list (see below).
To use this package, you need a compiler & a bit of experience
at very simple programming. If you just want something which will work
`out-of-the-box', you can get pre-compiled versions of Lynx
by following the links from <URL:> ;
for DOS or Windows, goto <URL:>.
Lynx is a fully-featured World Wide Web (WWW) client for users running
cursor-addressable, character-cell display devices such as vt100 terminals,
vt100 emulators running on Windows 95/NT or Macintoshes, or any other
character-cell display. It will display Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
documents containing links to files on the local system, as well as files on
remote systems running http, gopher, ftp, wais, nntp, finger, or cso/ph/qi
servers, and services accessible via logins to telnet, tn3270 or rlogin
accounts. Current versions of Lynx run on Unix, VMS, Windows95/NT, 386DOS
and OS/2 EMX.
Lynx can be used to access information on the WWW, or to establish
information systems intended primarily for local access. Lynx has been
used to build several Campus Wide Information Systems (CWIS). Lynx can
also be used to build systems isolated within a single LAN.
For the latest release of Lynx goto:
the latest development version is at:
The Lynx homepage is <URL:>.
The on-line help page (enter `h') has links to many useful things.
Lynx is distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) without
restrictions on usage or redistribution. The Lynx copyright statement,
"COPYHEADER", and GNU GPL, "COPYING", are included in the top-level
directory of the distribution. Lynx is supported by the Lynx user
community, an entirely volunteer (and unofficial) organization.
Certain portions of the Lynx source distribution were originally
created by CERN and have been modified during the development of
Lynx. See WWW/FreeofCharge.html for copyright info regarding CERN
products used in Lynx.
Note that Lynx is not self-contained; typically it is built with a
variety of add-on libraries, including those for compression, IPv6,
SOCKS and SSL support.
We believe Lynx works properly for the Year 2000 issues, since it does
not store dates in 2-digit form. Since it must communicate with a wide
range of web servers, it interprets dates in a variety of formats. In
particular, if Lynx receives a date with a 2-digit year, it assumes that
values less than 70 are in the range 2000-2069.
To install Lynx, follow the steps in the INSTALLATION file, which is
located in the top directory of the source distribution.
A users guide is included in this distribution along with a man page
for Unix systems and a help file for VMS systems. All documentation is
contained in the top directory and the docs, samples and lynx_help
While running Lynx, type 'h', 'H', or '?' to invoke the help menu
system. From the help menu you may access several useful documents
pertaining to Lynx and the World Wide Web. The most important of
these is the Lynx Users Guide. By default, Lynx will use the Lynx
Enhanced Pages, which includes http links for help and FAQs concerning
Lynx. It is recommended that you install your own help menu system at
your site in order to lessen the load on http servers. This also will
allow you to customize the help menu system for your site and greatly
speed up access for those using Lynx over a slow connection.
For Unix and related systems which support the autoconf configure script,
the help menu system is installed by the "make install-help" command.
For other systems (such as VMS), copy COPYHEADER and COPYING into the
lynx_help/ subdirectory. Then copy the lynx_help subdirectory to a public
place on your system, or into your $HOME directory if you are a single
user. Finally, edit the lynx.cfg file so that the HELPFILE line is
defined as follows:
where [public_path] is the absolute path to the lynx_help directory.
Customizing the help menu system is just a matter of editing a set of
HTML files. Additional information about installing and customizing
the help file set is available at <URL:
To install Lynx, follow the steps in the INSTALLATION file, which is
located in the top directory of the source distribution. Win32 users
who need pre-compiled distributions should visit the site
If you experience problems configuring, compiling or installing Lynx,
please read Section VI. "General installation instructions" in the
INSTALLATION file. Instructions are given there for reporting your
problem to the "lynx-dev" mailing list, which is frequented by experienced
Lynx users.
To subscribe to lynx-dev, send email to
with "subscribe" for a subject line.
If you wish to unsubscribe from lynx-dev, send email to
with "unsubscribe" for a subject line.
Any messages you wish to post should be sent to
PLEASE use the lynx-dev list, NOT private email to the developers,
for questions or discussion about Lynx, or contributions of patches.
Patches should use the unified diff format (diff -u), which can be
generated by building the target, "make lynx.patch" after unpacking
a pristine copy of the source into a subdirectory called "orig".
You need not be subscribed to the lynx-dev list in order to post. If
you post without subscribing, though, you should read replies to your
questions or comments in the archive since more often than not nobody
will send a carbon copy to you. View the archives at:
"lynx-dev Mailing list archives"