DEV Community

Cover image for How to browse the web in the terminal - W3M (Instructional Video)
Benjamin Kadel
Benjamin Kadel

Posted on

How to browse the web in the terminal - W3M (Instructional Video)

Turn your Terminal into a web browser

The tool covered in this video is called w3m and it is basically a text based web browser that runs inside of a Terminal. Here is how to use it, so that after you have watched this video, you can immediately get running with it and use it to your advantage!


What the hell?! This exists?!

Yes, this incredibly mad and awesome tool does indeed exist... I suppose you are asking the question when/why would you use this instead of a normal browser like chrome/firefox, well the short answer is probably in most cases you wouldn't, but let me paint you a picture, if you will...

Imagine you are SSHing onto a headless server (that would be one without any graphical user interface, so its just CLI) and imagine you needed to very quickly code a fix for something or edit a config file or even just read some news whilst in this environment, well, you need a web browser to find the answers, but you have no GUI so traditional ones wont work, you get the gist...

The video above goes into all the basic keyboard shortcuts you need to command w3m to your whim. although it looks wildly different w3m has most of the features that all other browsers has they are just slightly more tricky to access or hidden away, the video will show you how to access these features so that if you wanted to you could even switch over to a full text based browser...


If you have ANY feedback at all please let me know in the comments below or reach out to me on twitter:

My Twitter (@ben_kadel)

Thanks for reading and possibly watching!

Top comments (3)

moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

lynx came out 20 years earlier and is available in most distribution repositories. Links is a slightly newer option.

I use these occasionally when I want to quicky check whether something's working and I know my office IP address is likely to be confusing things one way or another (white/blacklists on clients' firewalls, that sort of thing). I'll ssh into a VPS and run a quick curl, but if I need to do anything more complex like logging in, I'll use lynx.

kardelio profile image
Benjamin Kadel

Ahhh yeah i've heard about lynx in passing remarks, i need to have a good dive into it and have a look see if its for me :D :D
Yeh right its incredibly useful just to have one of these stripped down terminal browser options in your back pocket just incase!
Very cool thanks for you comment!

anadiprabhu profile image

I don't want to be THAT guy but a transcript would be cool.