It downloads HTML and renders it at blazing fast speed. If you ever wondered just how slow modern web development has made the web – Lynx will show you the meaning of haste.
I use Lynx most days. Not as my exclusive browser – I’m not a masochist – but as a handy tool. If I’m on a bandwidth constrained connection, or a site is overloaded, or I just want to browse without distraction. Lynx is where it’s at. It is also brilliant for seeing what weird markup bugs your site has.
Linux users can install it with
sudo apt install lynx or similar. Everyone else can download Lynx from the official website.
This is what it looks like:
Using it is simple. On the command line, type
lynx example.com to go to example.com.
Arrow keys up and down move you… up and down. Left goes back a page, right follows a link. Q quits. And that’s all you need to know for your first five minutes.
Pressing the letter
O gets you to the option screen. There are a bunch of things you can change here – and it shows off the UI pretty well.
There are some things you can’t change here. If you want to always accept or reject cookies – rather than be prompted every time – you’ll need to edit the
Why is this important
It also does interactive elements as well:
I’ve found so many bugs this way. Little quirks of markup which show up in the most unexpected places.
To be clear, Lynx isn’t about accessibility testing. You should do that with proper tools which expose ARIA, show colour contrast, and the like. But Lynx is a good first pass at seeing how the text renders and flows, whether images have alt text, and if the general structure is easy to navigate.
Take some time to use it on your favourite sites today.