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Python Gopher server.
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gb Break out of the wait for an invalid selector and better selector log… Nov 19, 2019



gb or gopherball is a gopher server written in Python with the main goals of ease of use and integration. The name gopherball is inspired by a recurring theme in the Calvin & Hobbes comicbooks and a tongue in cheek reference of an alternative to the World Wide Web as we know it today.


Quick examples to get you running.

gb --mode=implicit . will start a gopher server on port 7070 serving a recursive index of files starting from the current directory.

gb --mode=explicit /home/user/explicit.json will start a gopher server on port 7070 with an index generated from the passed configuration file. For the format of this file see gb's documentation.

gb --mode=implicit --magic . will start gb in magic-mode on port 7070. Magic mode will make gb parse .txt files as templates. For more information on magic mode see gb's documentation.

gb --mode=implicit --host="" --port 1025 . will start gb in implicit mode on the chosen ip and port. Note that using ports under 1024 requires superuser permissions!


gb is written with the help of Python 3.5 and higher and the Tornado framework for its networking.


gb has two main modes of operation that are commonly used. Each has its appeal for differing usecases.


Implicit mode serves a directory recursively. Indexes are automatically generated and text files are served to the client. Data files are also supported.


Explicit mode requires a configuration which maps each path to a certain asset. This mode will generate indexes not based on the file system but based on a configuration file.


gb will serve all non-directories as type 9 files, these are non-readable files and most clients will prompt for download. Turning on magic with --magic will let gb try to determine the correct filetypes.

Turning on magic will also start templating special .gb files. See documentation for what you can do with templating.


The source code for gb lives on GitHub where you can also submit issues and pull requests. It mostly needs help by people with the ability to test in various clients and libraries that might still support the gopher protocol.


An often asked question is why gb does not use any of Python 3.6+'s type annotations. The answer is quite simply that gb wants to support pypy as well as CPython. When pypy catches up to 3.6 type annotations will be added.

gb loves to run on pypy so give it a whirl!

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