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A friendly Gopher client in Emacs Lisp.
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COPYING Fixed typo in README. Jun 24, 2019
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elpher.texi Added elpher-go-current. Jun 27, 2019


Elpher aims to provide a full-featured gopher client for GNU Emacs.

It supports:

  • intuitive keyboard and mouse-driven browsing,
  • out-of-the-box compatibility with evil-mode,
  • clickable web and gopher links in plain text,
  • caching of visited sites,
  • pleasant and configurable visualization of Gopher directories,
  • direct visualisation of image files,
  • jumping directly to links by name (with autocompletion),
  • a simple bookmark management system,
  • connections using TLS encryption.

Elpher is under active development. Any suggestions for improvements are welcome!


Elpher is available from MELPA. If you have never installed packages from this repository before, you'll need to follow the instructions at

To install Elpher, enter the following:

M-x package-install RET elpher RET

To uninstall, use M-x package-delete RET elpher RET.

Quick Start

Once installed, use M-x elpher to launch the browser. This will open a start page which documents the main key bindings and provides some links to help kick start your exploration of gopherspace.

From here you can move point between links (which may be menu items or inline URLs in text files) by using TAB and Shift-TAB, as in Info. You can also jump directly to a menu item using m, or use the standard Emacs or Evil motion and search commands to find your way around. To open a link, press enter. (Where a mouse is available, Clicking on a link with the mouse cursor has the same effect.)

To return to the page you just followed the link from, press u.

Elpher caches (for the duration of an Emacs session) both page contents and the position of point on each of the pages (gopher menus, query results, or text pages) you visit, restoring these when you next visit the same page. Thus, pressing u displays the previous page in exactly the same state as when you left, meaning that you can quickly and visually explore the different documents in a menu without having to wait for anything to reload.

Of course, sometimes you'll want to reload the current page rather than stick with the cached version. To do this use R. (This is particularly useful for search query results, where this allows you to perform a different search.)

To customize the various faces Elpher uses, the start page and a few other odds and ends, use the following:

M-x customize-group RET elpher RET

Full Documentation

The full documentation for Elpher can be found in the Info manual, which should become automatically available if you install Elpher using M-x package-install. To access it, select it from the root Info directory which can be displayed using C-h i.


Elpher is free software and is distributed under the terms of version 3 the GNU General Public License, which can be found in the file named COPYING.

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