Get Lynx for Mac OS X

Jul 26, 2011 - 7 Comments

Lynx in Mac OS X via MacPorts

Lynx is a text based command line web browser, it’s relatively popular within unix communities but it also has a variety of general uses too; it’s great if you want to discretely browse the web and read articles at work or school, and developers use lynx frequently to test accessibility and to roughly estimate how spiders or crawlers view a website. Because it only loads text and avoids javascript and images, it’s also lightning fast.

Anyway, after updating to a new version of OS X I discovered my previous installation of lynx was not functioning. Thankfully it’s very easy to install a working version with the help of MacPorts. With that in mind, let’s review how to install and run a working version of Lynx in OS X.

How to Install & Run Lynx in Mac OS X

For the purpose of this walkthrough, we’re going to keep requirements to a minimum and install lynx through MacPorts, here’s what you’ll need:

Assuming you have now installed Xcode and MacPorts, here’s how to install lynx:

sudo port install lynx

MacPorts will then fetch all the required dependencies including ncurses and zlib, and then proceed to install the lynx browser.

Once it’s finished, just type ‘lynx’ at the command line and it’ll launch as expected. You can then hit “G” to go to a URL, or open one directly from the command line.

This opens, for example:


You then just use the arrow keys and return/enter to navigate around a site.

Lynx running in Mac OS X

Lynx is great, enjoy! And yes, this works to install lynx browser in OS X Yosemite, OS X Mavericks, OS X Mountain Lion, Lion, Snow Leopard, you name it. Just be sure to have the appropriate version of Xcode and MacPorts for your Mac. Yes, you can also use Homebrew to install Lynx if you want, that’s up to you.

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Posted by: William Pearson in Command Line, Mac OS X


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. And now Pine (or its replacement, Alpine) which I see is still running on my uni server.

  2. David says:

    Or get it from HomeBrew. This for all the people that hate MacPorts.

  3. […] was a blast from the past on Tuesday when William Pearson on OS X Daily discussed downloading and using Lynx. For those of us who were here when the internet first became […]

  4. Matthew Pack says:

    or you could just use Lynxlet – save you the hassle of xcode and porting

  5. Nick says:

    Lynx on my machine was installed in “/opt/local/bin”.

    I had to give the full path for Applescript “do shell script” command.

    do shell script “/opt/local/bin/lynx” is how I would have to launch it. do shell script “lynx”, gave me me the error “You can’t open the application lynx because PowerPC applications are no longer supported.

  6. […] command line users are probably familiar with the text based web browser lynx, which strips down the web to text-only format and allows for super-fast web browsing. But lynx can […]

  7. Kurt says:

    Another option is Lynxlet, which is lynx running in a termlet enclosed app, no need to install anything else just launch the termlet app and Lynx opens up

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