How to Browse the Gopher Network on Linux

Whereas the net guidelines the trendy web, there was one other hypertext protocol that was briefly common within the early Nineteen Nineties known as Gopher. Whereas it was overtaken by the World Large Net, it nonetheless has a small however lively person group that’s price exploring at this time.

So how are you going to entry Gopher in your Linux system? Let’s discover out.

What Is Gopher?

Gopher is a hypertext protocol that was developed for the College of Minnesota and named after its sports activities crew, the Golden Gophers.

The protocol permits authors to arrange hypertext into hierarchical menus. The benefit of Gopher within the early ’90s was that purchasers could possibly be easy and will run throughout totally different interfaces, together with textual content terminals once they had been nonetheless in large use.

Gopher is not solely textual content, however customers may learn the information, obtain recordsdata, and test climate forecasts like they will on the trendy net. Even a digital actuality model was developed.

HTML finally gained out as a result of the College of Minnesota began charging for Gopher servers whereas Tim Berners-Lee gave the World Large Net requirements away. HTML was additionally rather more versatile in format than the strictly menu-based Gopher and thus simpler to writer.

Many net browsers of the period supported Gopher anyway, so many customers merely migrated to the extra common system.

Regardless of its relative obscurity, Gopher nonetheless has a cult following amongst customers who assume fashionable net design is simply too bloated. They discover makes use of that did not exist, corresponding to “Phlogging,” or creating blogs with Gopher.

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You may discover fashionable Gopherspace out of your Linux machine in addition to others since fashionable looking instruments are cross-platform.

Looking Gopher within the Linux Terminal

There are a number of apps you should use to browse Gopher. However we’ll talk about essentially the most distinguished ones: Gopher and Lynx. Word that it is also attainable to browse the Gopherspace utilizing a graphical app (mentioned later).

With Gopher


Gopher client in Debian XFCE

You may browse Gopher such as you might need in 1991 by putting in a text-based Gopher browser. One possibility is the official Gopher consumer.

To put in Gopher on a Debian or Ubuntu system:

sudo apt set up gopher

On Arch Linux and its derivatives:

sudo pacman -S gopher

And on Pink Hat-based distros:

sudo dnf set up gopher

To make use of it, kind “gopher” with the tackle you wish to go to, as you’ll with an online browser. A superb one to strive is the Floodgap Gopher web page.

gopher gopher.floodgap.com

With Lynx


Lynx client showing Gopher page in Debian terminal

An alternative choice is to make use of the text-based browser Lynx.

On Debian/Ubuntu, you should use APT to put in Lynx:

sudo apt set up lynx

To put in Lynx on Arch Linux, run:

sudo pacman -S lynx

And on the Pink Hat household:

sudo dnf set up lynx

Lynx is a greater guess as a result of it helps the net in addition to Gopher. It additionally has a extra engaging interface. You may entry Gopher pages such as you had been utilizing an online browser, however exchange “HTTP” with “gopher” within the URL:

lynx gopher://gopher.floodgap.com

Associated: Enjoyable Linux Command-Line Packages You Ought to Strive When Bored

Exploring Gopher in a Graphical Browser


Floodgap Gopher Proxy in Firefox on Debian

Many fashionable graphical browsers like Firefox and Chrome have dropped help for Gopher since fewer folks use it, however you should use Cameron Kaiser’s Floodgap proxy to browse Gopherspace in your browser.

Simply navigate to the proxy, click on the “Customary” or “Lite” hyperlinks, and put in your Gopher tackle. This may work throughout any net browser on any platform, not simply Linux.

Now You Can Discover Gopherspace on Linux

With Gopher, you will get a glimpse of the world because it was earlier than the net. You may assume it is a pre-web curiosity, nevertheless it has quite a bit to supply that is likely to be off the radar for the remainder of the web. Should you’re seeking to go additional and off the crushed path, try these helpful darkish net assets.



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