What is Gopher and why?

Gopher is one of the first hypertext protocol which predate the World Wide Web that we are all familiar with. HTTP and HTML “won” the competition however there where several contender Gopher being one of them.

Its simplicity and efficiency (everything is text based) made it very popular in the early days of the world wide web since computing power was very limited. has a Gopher portal available at gopher:// and Gopher being a different protocol you can’t just use your normal web browser like Firefox or Chrome, but don’t worry there are several ways to explore it.

Using a webproxy

The easiest way is to use a web proxy: You don’t need to install anything. This will translate gopher into a normal web page you can browse:

Using an extension

If you like a more “integrated” Gopher experience and you would like to explore directly inside your browser there are extension enabling you can install one of the various extension to enable support in your browser. You can find extension for your favorite browser Once installed you can simply click the link above starting with gopher:// and you will reach the gopher hole.

Going full retro

You can also go full retro and experience it like its 1992 in text only mode. For this the easiest is to use the lynx browser on Linux and using the following command to browse the gopherspace

$ lynx gopher://