Browse the Web Without CSS, JS, or Images with the Kristall Browser

Feb 18, 2023 - 3 Comments

Simple web browser Kristall on Mac

Want a super simple internet browser for gemini, gopher, finger, and of course http and https? Kristall is a fun little app that strips away css, JS, and graphics on websites, leaving you with a pure text experience. It does support styles with HTML, gemini, and markdown, however, which makes it perhaps more usable than you may initially expect, kind of like a beefier lynx command line browser.

Kristall is kind of a fun browser for playing around, but it does have some valid uses too, like for testing websites for accessibility (if a site doesn’t work at all without CSS/JS… that’s not great), or for reading the web in ultra-low bandwidth situations. Or even if you’re just having a bit of fun and goofing off, it’s a fun free utility you can grab from the developers site, or via the projects github page. Whether or not it’s practical for your usage is up to you to decide, but not every fun tool or utility needs to be practical does it?

Note that Kristall does not support http/https by default, but that’s easy to change.

Pull down the Kristall menu and go to Preferences, where you can enable support for http/https, along with gemini, gopher, and finger, if those are what you’re looking for.

Enable HTTP and HTTPS in Kristall

Once http is enabled, you can browse the web as usual, like visiting the always amazing, where an article looks like this:

Kristall small internet browser

And navigating the homepage looks like this:

Despite stripping away all the CSS and javascript, the site is still readable, usable, clickable… as it should be, right?

This is kind of like a GUI version of lynx on Mac which is purely text based and limited to the command line, though you can use Lynx with image support if you’re into that sort of thing.

Will Kristall become your default web browser on the Mac? Probably not, but you may have some fun with it or find a use-case for the app.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Marius says:

    Why would anyone even think of such a thing? In. World of speed, of too much information, instead of figuring out ways to make the relevant information easier to get, why would anyone want such a thing like no css / Js? This sort of thinking reveals how some people promoting such things have no vision. This idea takes away the entire evolution of web design and drops it back in the age of the very first pure notepad like pages accessible through a network. In an age of GB/s internet speed, what kind of. Speed is still out there that doesn’t afford to open a few hundreds of kb of pictures and a few kb of Js/css? What a world…

  2. Peter J. Large says:

    I thought Gopher was extinct!

  3. Pete Hanson says:

    Somebody has reinvented the Lynx browser.

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