University of Delaware

Introduction to Lynx:
A World Wide Web Browser


About Lynx

Lynx is a text-based World Wide Web (WWW) browser. Using Lynx, almost all the information on the WWW is available.

The primary difference between Lynx and other WWW browsers is that Lynx displays only the text on a WWW page; it cannot display images or other special file formats. And instead of a mouse, keyboard keys are used to navigate through the hypertext links.

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Accessing Lynx

Lynx is accessible from the University's central UNIX system. Type lynx (lowercase) at the % prompt and press the RETURN key to connect to the University's home page.
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Moving around Lynx

To move around the screen and connect to links, use the following keyboard keys:

UP and DOWN ARROWto move the cursor up and down the current page
RIGHT ARROWto connect to the highlighted link
LEFT ARROWto return to the previous page
SPACEBARto move down a page

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The Lynx menu

The Lynx menu is located in the bottom row of the screen:

H)elp O)ptions P)rint G)o M)ain screen Q)uit /=search [delete]=history list

To choose a menu option, type the letter that precedes the parenthesis. For example, type q to quit Lynx. Following is a breakdown of each menu item and its function:

H)elp | O)ptions | P)rint | G)o | M)ain screen | Q)uit | /=search | [delete]=history list


The Help Menu offers the following topics:

Lynx user's guide

is a complete explanation of how to use the latest version of Lynx.

Key-stroke commands

provides all available commands that are accessible. Some keys and their functions are included in the following example:

BACKSPACEhistory list that displays list of pages visited
SPACEBARgo to bottom of current page
RIGHT ARROWmove forward to next WWW page (link)
LEFT ARROWmove backward to previous WWW page (link)
DOWN ARROWmove to next input field or link on the current page
TAB (same as above)
UP ARROWmove cursor up on the current page
RETURNmove forward to next WWW page from current highlighted link
CTRL-Wrefresh the page
CTRL-Uerase input line

Line Editor

allows you to type information in response to prompts.

About Lynx

provides a detailed description of what Lynx is, where it is used, and who developed it.

Help with HTML

guides you in using HTML, the markup language for the WWW.

HTML Quick Reference Guide

lists the most commonly used HTML elements.


The Options menu customizes Lynx settings that include the following:


This option identifies a file where Lynx stores URLs (addresses) for frequently visited links. The bookmark file is assigned a default name that does not need to be altered. To set a bookmark, type a for Add. The following prompt will appear:

Save D)ocument or L)ink to bookmark file or C)ancel? (d,l,c):

Type d to save a link to the current page. To save the link that is currently highlighted on the page, type l. To cancel the bookmark option, type c. The list of URLs saved as bookmarks can be viewed in Lynx by typing v.

P)ersonal mail address

This option allows you to easily send files to your personal e-mail account. At the main screen type o to enter options, then type p at the command prompt. Type the desired e-mail address, and press the RETURN key.

To send a file through e-mail from the main screen, type p. This command will take you to the print menu and offer four printing options (see Print Section). Select "Mail the file." Your e-mail address should appear. However, you may enter another address. Press the RETURN key to send the file.


There are four different print options:

The best way to print sensitive information from a secure application is to mail the file to yourself and print it from your e-mail system to a locally attached printer (see Personal Mail address section).


The Go option displays a prompt at the bottom of the screen where you can type a URL. Type g to go to the URL prompt and then type the URL to open a particular WWW page. For example, to go to the URL for, type g. When prompted "URL to open," type:

M)ain screen

This command takes you back to the Lynx home page. After you type the "M," a prompt appears that confirms the request to return to the main screen. Type y or n to accept or reject the request.


Type q to quit Lynx and return to the UNIX prompt. Type y or n at the prompt to confirm exiting Lynx. Type exit to quit the UNIX system.


Press the [/] key to search for a desired word or phrase. Lynx will ask for a search word or phrase and will search the current page. If the word is found, Lynx positions the line containing the result at the top of the screen.

[delete]=history list

The DELETE (BACKSPACE) key shows a list of WWW pages that were visited in the current session.

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Last updated: April 28, 2005
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