HOWTO: Use Links, a text mode browser for browsing Javadoc

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Links is a text mode web browser. It's free under the Gnu Public License, supports tables and frames, has a small memory footprint and is very fast. And it's perfect for Javadoc, and can be launched from within NetBeans.

Many distributions of Linux (RedHat, Mandrake) come with Links pre-installed. If you don't have it, you can download binaries for Linux, Win32, OS/2, FreeBSD and BeOS here

To configure the IDE to use Links, perform the following steps:

  • On the Tools menu, select Options.
  • Open the IDE Configuration | Server and External Tool Settings folder.
  • Right-click the Web Browsers node, choose New | External Browser, and type Links as the browser's name.
  • Expand the Web Browsers node and select the Links node (which was created as a result of the previous step).
  • On the property sheet, click the Browser Executable property to edit it
  • Set the property to
    • On Unix:
    • xterm -geometry 130x50+50+50 +sb -e links {URL}
    • On Windows:
    • links {URL}
  • Choose Tools | Setup Wizard.
  • In the Web Browser combo box, select Links.
  • Click Finish to dismiss the wizard.

The next time you browse JavaDoc from within the IDE, the Links browser will be started.

Links is generally useful as a fast, lightweight web browser. If you want to use it as such and have to use a proxy, you may want to start it as follows links -http-proxy proxyhost:port Enjoy!

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