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Fun with ncurses,gpm & links
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Joined: 21 Apr 2002
Posts: 335

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 10:46 pm    Post subject: Fun with ncurses,gpm & links Reply with quote

If you are like me, chances are you have a slow box with a modest video card and limited memory. I manage to do most of my work in fluxbox without much overhead on the system. But not all apps are as light weight as fluxbox, specially not mozilla, konqueror (running in a non-kde env), etc. In my attempt to find a light weight browser I stummbled across links. For a long time I had the misconception that links was a text only browser. This is not exactly true. Links is capable of using ncurses libs to display web pages in text but it also supports gui using x,fb or svgalib drivers. To get Links to display gui you will need:
[1] ncurses and/or slang
[2] gpm
[3] links
[4] svgalibs
[5] fb support in kernel
You have three options when it comes to displaying links in gui. Using x,fb,or svgalibs. For fb (frame buffer) driver to work you need to have fb support in your kernel (check to see if you have /dev/fb0 file). As for svgalibs, I was only able to get it to work for root user and not for a non-root user :-(. To be able to use x driver you need to be in X environment. Check out links --help for more information.
To run links in gui using x driver, simply type:
links -g -driver x -mode 1024x768x24M32
In the example above I'm tell links to run in gui (-g) using x driver and at resolution 1024x768 @24/32 color depth.
Links does have its oddities. Many times it will not render the page as expected, but over all its very functional. For basic googling I find it perfect. Comparing Links and browsers like Mozilla/Konqueror etc. is not fair because Links lacks a lot of features that other browsers provide. How ever it is a nice light weight solution.

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Joined: 24 Jul 2002
Posts: 564
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

great tip. As an added bonus, links can be run in graphical mode directly from the console. IE, no X necessary. Very sweet.
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