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GOPHER(1) General Commands Manual GOPHER(1)


gopher - connect to gopher document server


gopher [-sSbDr] [-t title] [-p path] [-T type] [-i search term] [hostnameorurl] [port]


The gopher client is used to talk to gopher servers. Once you have started the gopher client, help on using it is available by pressing the ? key.

The Internet Gopher is a distributed document delivery service. It allows a neophyte user to access various types of data residing on multiple hosts in a seamless fashion. This is accomplished by presenting the user a hierarchical arrangement of documents and by using a client-server communications model. The Internet Gopher Server accepts simple queries, and responds by sending the client a document.

The [hostname] of a gopher server may be specified at startup; if omitted, the default server for your site is used. You may also specify a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) for this argument.

The [Port_number] of the server host may be specified at startup; if omitted you will use the default port specified at your site. The more or less standard and accepted Gopher port number on the Internet is 70.


starts the client on the bookmark page.

The next few options are for more advanced users who want to start at a location other than the default, or to set up special aliases or shell-scripts to point the gopher client to seperate places.

specify a specific selector string to send to the gopher server on startup.
let the client know what type of object the -p option is pointing at.
tell the client what to search for in the object defined by the -p and -T 7 options.
set the title of the initial screen for the gopher client.

The last few options aren't really of interest to regular users, but are provided for system administrators who waht to provide a secure client, or who need to debug a client.

"secure mode" which means that you can't save or print the files that you browse. -s is for users without an account, while -S assumes the user has an account on this machine. One security feature is forced on, regardless of the state of these options, if the name of the user's shell ends in rsh; the 'O' (options) command is disabled so the user cannot select a shell as an application.
tells the client that its user is remote.
turns on the copius debugging output

In-Session Options

Press return or the right arrow key on the mini keypad to view a document or enter a directory.

Press Control/W, Control/R, or Control/L to repaint your menu at any time.

At any time, you may press ? to see a help file of commands available.


Bookmarks allow users to create their own personallized menus from those available on the variety of Gopher servers available worldwide. The following list of keystrokes aids in developing and maintaining the bookmarks.

a : Add current item to the bookmark list.
A : Add current directory/search to bookmark list.
v : View bookmark list.
d : Delete a bookmark/directory entry.


Use the arrow keys to move around.

Use the Arrow Keys to move around.

Up, k ...............: Move to previous line.
Down, j .............: Move to next line.
Right, Return .......: "Enter"/Display current item.
Left, u ............: "Exit" current item/Go up a level.

>, +, Pgdwn, space ..: View next page.
<, -, Pgup, b .......: View previous page.

0-9 .................: Go to a specific line.
m .................: Go back to the main menu.


s : Save current item to a file.
S : Save current list of items to a file.
D : Download a file.
q : Quit with prompt.
Q : Quit unconditionally (also Control/Z).
r : goto root menu of current item.
R : goto root menu of current menu.
= : Display Technical information about current item.
^ : Display technical information about current directory.
o : Open a new gopher server
w : Open a new gopher server or item by URL
O : Change options.
f : Connect to an anonymous FTP host
/ : Search for an item in the menu.
g : "Gripe" via email to administrator of current item.
n : Find next search item.
$, ! : Spawn to subprocess (use "logout" to return to session)
Ctrl-T : Show host's local date and time.


Menu entries ending with "/" are directories; additional characteristics for files (such as binary, sound, image, and others) are identified within angle brackets.

Item tag Type Description
(none) 0 file
/ 1 directory
<) s sound file
<Picture> I,g image file
<Movie> ; movie file
<HQX> 4 BinHexed Macintosh file
<Bin> 9 binary file
<PC Bin> 5 DOS binary file
<CSO> 2 CSO (ph/qi) phone-book server
<TEL> 8 telnet connection
<3270> T telnet connection (IBM 3270 emulation)
<MIME> M Multi-purpose Internet Mail Extensions file
<HTML> h HyperText Markup Language file
<?> 7 index-search item
<??> (none) ASK form


Connect to the gopher server running on the computer

Connect to the gopher server running on port 70 of the computer and start at the menu retrieved with the selector string 1/Information About Gopher

Connect to the gopher server running on the computer and start at the menu of items matching the string FAQ in the index specified by the selector string 7/indexes/Gopher-index/index


The client gets configuration data from the system gopher.rc file and the user's .gopherrc files. The options in these files may be set by using the O key in the client.

See the manual page for gopherrc for more information about these options.


The client also checks for environment variables for its configuration information. The following variables can be used:

The program used to connect to telnet services
The program used to connect to TN3270 services
The program used to read HyperText Markup Language documents.
The program used to print from a pipe.


user bookmarks and configuration information
system default configuration information (default location - may be somewhere else on your system)
client help file displayed by the '?' command (default location - may be somewhere else on your system)


The Internet Gopher(tm) software and documentation is copyright (c) 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 by the University of Minnesota. Gopher has limitations on its use and comes without a warranty. Please refer to the file 'Copyright' included in the distribution.