w3m running in an xterm displaying the Wikipedia main page.
Developer(s) Akinori Ito and team members
Initial release 1995
Stable release
Original version 0.5.3[1] / 15 January 2011 (2011-01-15)
Tatsuya Kinoshita version v0.5.3+git20180125[2] / 25 January 2018 (2018-01-25)
Preview release none (n/a) [±]
Written in C
Operating system OS/2,[3][4] Unix & Unix-like (Solaris, SunOS, HP-UX, Linux, FreeBSD and EWS-UX (EWS-4800),[5] Windows (with Cygwin)
Available in English and Japanese
Type Web browser, Terminal pager
License MIT license
Website w3m.sourceforge.net

w3m is a free software/open source text-based web browser and terminal pager. It has support for tables, frames,[4] SSL connections, color and inline images on suitable terminals. Generally, it renders pages in a form as true to their original layout as possible.

The name "w3m" stands for "WWW wo miru (WWWを見る)", which is Japanese for "to see the WWW" where W3 is a numeronym of WWW.

The original project appears to be inactive, while a currently maintained version exist and it is packaged in various GNU/Linux distributions such as Debian and Fedora. This version is available from the repository of Debian developer Tatsuya Kinoshita.

In Emacs

w3m is also used by the Emacs text editor via the w3m.el Emacs Lisp module. This module gives fast browsing of web pages inside of Emacs. However, rendering of web pages isn't done in Emacs Lisp; only final display is handled in Emacs Lisp with the rendering done by the w3m application. (There exist other web browsers for Emacs, such as Emacs/W3, which is implemented entirely in Emacs Lisp, and eww,[6] which performs parsing using an external library written in C but all formatting and display in Emacs Lisp.)


Two forks of w3m add support for multiple character-encodings and for other features not in the original:

  1. Hironori Sakamoto's w3m-m17n ("m17n" stands for multilingualization)
  2. Kiyokazu Suto's w3mmee ("mee" stands for "Multi-Encoding Extension")

See also


  1. "w3m: Files". SourceForge. 15 January 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  2. "Releases · tats/w3m". GitHub. 25 January 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  3. TOKORO, Kyosuke. "w3m 0.2.1–3 for OS/2 WARP". Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  4. 1 2 Watson, Dave (September 2001). "Text-Mode Web Browsers for OS/2". The Southern California OS/2 User Group. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  5. w3m manual page
  6. "eww". ingebrigtsen.no. 16 June 2013.
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