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2. Setting up WWW client software (Antiquated)

Please note that the following section is very outdated and was last updated in 1997. This section is being kept here for historical purposes only. All major distributions of Linux come with Netscape and Lynx. These are the two most popular browsers for the Linux Operating System. If you do not have these browsers installed currently please go to their respective sections for download information.

The following chapter is dedicated to the setting up web browsers. Please feel free to contact me, if your favorite web browser is not mentioned here. In this version of the document only a few of the browsers have there own section, but I tried to include all of them (all I could find) in the overview section. In the future those browsers that deserve there own section will have it.

The overview section is designed to help you decide which browser to use, and give you basic information on each browser. The detail section is designed to help you install, configure, and maintain the browser.

However I use Lynx when I don't feel like firing up the X-windows/Netscape monster.

2.1 Overview


Netscape Navigator is the only Linux browser mentioned here, which is capable of advanced HTML features. Some of these features are frames, Java, Javascript, automatic update, and layers. It also has news and mail capability. But it is a resource hog; it takes up lots of CPU time and memory. It also sets up a separate cache for each user wasting disk space.

Netscape is currently an OpenSource product and can be downloaded from>. <tag><ref id= name="Lynx"> Lynx is the one of the smallest web browsers. It is the king of text based browsers. It's free and the source code is available under the GNU public license. It's text based, but it has many special features. Lynx now supports tables, color (via curses) and frames.

Note on frame support for lynx:

The frame support for lynx is limited, it will notice the frames and show the title of the frames for your to select as hot links. Since, frame titles are usually very undescriptive for coding simplicity this can be confusing.


Kfm is part of the K Desktop Environment (KDE). KDE is a system that runs on top of X-windows. It gives you many features like drag an drop, sounds, a trashcan and a unified look and feel. Kfm is the K File Manager, but it is also a web browser. It is very usable as a web browser and it supports frames, tables, ftp downloads, looking into tar files, and more. The current release of KDE is 1.1.1 with 1.1.2 very near by. Kfm can be used without KDE, but you still need the librarys that come with KDE. For more information about KDE and Kfm visit the KDE website at


Emacs is the one program that does everything. It is a word processor, news reader, mail reader, and web browser. It has a steep learning curve at first, because you have to learn what all the keys do. The X-windows version is easier to use, because most of the functions are on menus. Another drawback is that it's mostly text based. (It can display graphics if you are running it under X-windows). It is also free, and the source code is available under the GNU public license.

NCSA Mosaic

Mosaic is an X-windows browser developed by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois. NCSA spent four years on the project and has now moved on to other things. Again, Mosaic is no longer supported. However since the source is free for non-commercial use it might make an interesting project for someone who wants to develop a new browser.


Amaya is the X-windows concept browser for the W3C for HTML 3.2. Therefore it supports all the HTML 3.2 standards. It also supports some of the features of HTML 4.0. It supports tables, forms, client side image maps, put publishing, gifs, jpegs, and png graphics. It is both a browser and authoring tool. The latest public release is 1.0 beta. Version 1.1 beta is in internal testing and is due out soon. For more information visit the Amaya web site at It can be downloaded from


Qweb is yet another basic X-windows browser. It supports tables, forms, and server site image maps. The latest version is 1.3. For more information visit the Qweb website at The source is available from The binaries are available in a Red Hat RPM from

It is the reccomendation of this author that users of web browsers use either Netscape 4.x, Lynx or Netscape 5.xAlpha. They are the only one currently available for Linux that support most features. Personally I suggest Netscape5.xAlpha, even though it is Alpha Software it is quite stable and frankly implements the standards better than the 4.x versions do.

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