Offpunk is an offline-first browser for the smolnet
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A command-line and offline-first smolnet browser/feed reader for Gemini, Gopher, Spartan and Web by Ploum.

The goal of Offpunk is to be able to synchronise your content once (a day, a week, a month) and then browse/organise it while staying disconnected.

Official repository :

Screenshot HTML page with picture Screenshot Gemini page

Offpunk is a fork of the original AV-98 by Solderpunk and was originally called AV-98-offline as an experimental branch.

How to use

Offpunk is a single python file. Installation is optional, you can simply download and run "./" or "python3" in a terminal.

You use the go command to visit a URL, e.g. go (gemini:// is assumed is no protocol is specified. Supported protocols are gemini, gopher, http, https, mailto, spartan and file).

Links in pages are assigned numerical indices. Just type an index to follow that link. If page is too long to fit on your screen, the content is displayed in the less pager (by default). Type q to quit and go back to Offpunk prompt. Type view or v to display it again. (view full or v full allows to see the full html page instead of the article view. v feed try to display the linked RSS feed and v feeds displays a list of available feeds. This only applies to html pages)

Use add to add a capsule to your bookmarks and bookmarks or bm to show your bookmarks (you can create multiple bookmarks lists, edit and remove them. See the list manual with help list).

Use offline to only browse cached content and online to go back online. While offline, the reload command will force a re-fetch during the next synchronisation.

Use the help command to learn about additional commands. Some abreviations are available. See abbrevs.

When launched with the "--sync" option, offpunk will run non-interactively and fetch content from your bookmarks, lists and ressources tentatively accessed while offline. New content found in your subscriptions (see help subscribe) will be automatically added to your tour (use tour ls to see your current tour, tour without argument to access the next item and tour X where X is a link number to add the content of a link to your tour).

With "--sync", one could specify a "--cache validity" in seconds. This option will not refresh content if a cache exists and is less than the specified amount of seconds old.

For example, running

offpunk --sync --cache-validity 43200

will refresh your bookmarks if those are at least 12h old. If cache-validity is not set or set to 0, any cache is considered good and only content never cached before will be fetched. --assume-yes will automatically accept SSL certificates with errors instead of refusing them.

Offpunk can also be configured as a browser by other tool. If you want to use offpunk directly with a given URL, simply type:

offpunk URL

To have offpunk fetch the URL at next sync and close immediately, run:

offpunk --fetch-later URL

Roadmap post 1.0

Known issues in the code:

  • NOT_FIXABLE : consider root file is always index.gmi or index.html

I would happily mentor anyone willing to implement those:

  • TODO0: Hard - Make a manual within the git repository and have it automatically deployed as a website.
  • TODO1: Easy - Update blackbox to reflect cache hits.
  • TODO2: Medium - Rendering themes to allow customizing of colors ? (if any interest in the feature)
  • TODO3: Hard - "search" - Offline search engine to search in the cache (hard, no idea on how to do that)


See how I browse Web/Gemini offline => gemini://

Announces about Offpunk will be made on Ploum’s Gemlog => gemini://

go gemini:// subscribe


Offpunk has no "strict dependencies", i.e. it should run and work without anything else beyond the Python standard library and the "less" pager. However, it will "opportunistically import" a few other libraries if they are available to offer an improved experience or some other features. Python libraries requests, bs4 and readability are required for http/html support. Images are displayed if chafa or timg are presents (python-pil is needed for chafa version before 1.10). When displaying only a picture (not inline), rendering will be pixel perfect in compatible terminals (such as Kitty) if chafa is at least version 1.8 or if timg is used.

To avoid using unstable or too recent libraries, the rule of thumb is that a library should be packaged in Debian/Ubuntu. Keep in mind that Offpunk is mainly tested will all libraries installed. If you encounter a crash without one optional dependencies, please report it. Patches and contributions to remove dependencies or support alternatives are highly appreciated.

Run command version in offpunk to see if you are missing some dependencies.

Mandatory or highly recommended (packagers should probably make those mandatory):

  • less: mandatory but is probably already on your system
  • file is used to get the MIME type of cached objects. Should already be on your system and may become mandatory.
  • xdg-utils provides xdg-open which is highly recommended to open files without a renderer or a handler. It is also used for mailto: command.
  • The cryptography library will provide a better and slightly more secure experience when using the default TOFU certificate validation mode and is highly recommended (apt-get install python3-cryptography).

Dependencies to enable web browsing (packagers should put those in an offpunk-web meta-package)

  • Python-requests is needed to handle http/https requests natively (apt-get install python3-requests). Without it, http links will be opened in an external browser
  • BeautifulSoup4 and Readability are both needed to render HTML. Without them, HTML will not be rendered or be sent to an external parser like Lynx. (apt-get install python3-bs4 python3-readability or pip3 install readability-lxml)
  • Python-feedparser will allow parsing of RSS/Atom feeds and thus subscriptions to them. (apt-get install python3-feedparser)
  • Chafa allows to display pictures in your console. Install it and browse to an HTML page with picture to see the magic.
  • Timg is a slower alternative to chafa for inline images. But it has better rendering when displaying only the image. Install both to get the best of both world but if you need to choose one, choose Chafa.
  • Python-pil is required to only display the first frame of animated gif with chafa if chafa version is lower than 1.10.

Nice to have (packagers should probaly make those optional):

  • Xsel allows to go to the URL copied in the clipboard without having to paste it (both X and traditional clipboards are supported). Also needed to use the copy command. (apt-get install xsel)
  • Python-setproctitle will change the process name from "python" to "offpunk". Useful to kill it without killing every python service.


  • Browse https/gemini/gopher/spartan without leaving your keyboard and without distractions
  • Built-in documentation: type help to get the list of command or a specific help about a command.
  • Offline mode to browse cached content without a connection. Requested elements are automatically fetched during the next synchronization and are added to your tour.
  • HTML pages are prettified to focus on content. Read without being disturbed or see the full page with view full.
  • RSS/Atom feeds are automatically discovered by subscribe and rendered as gemlogs. They can be explored with view feed and view feeds.
  • Support "subscriptions" to a page. New content seen in subscribed pages are automatically added to your next tour.
  • Complex bookmarks management through multiple lists, built-in edition, subscribing/freezing lists and archiving content.
  • Advanced navigation tools like tour and mark (as per VF-1). Unlike AV-98, tour is saved on disk accross sessions.
  • Ability to specify external handler programs for different MIME types (use handler)
  • Enhanced privacy with redirect which allows to block a http domain or to redirect all request to a privacy friendly frontent (such as nitter for twitter).
  • Non-interactive cache-building with configurable depth through the --sync command. The cache can easily be used by other software.
  • IPv6 support
  • Supports any character encoding recognised by Python
  • Cryptography : TOFU or CA server certificate validation
  • Cryptography : Extensive client certificate support if an openssl binary is available

RC files

You can use an RC file to automatically run any sequence of valid Offpunk commands upon start up. This can be used to make settings controlled with the set or handler commanders persistent. You can also put a go command in your RC file to visit a "homepage" automatically on startup, or to pre-prepare a tour of your favourite Gemini sites or offline to go offline by default.

The RC file should be called offpunkrc and goes in $XDG_CONFIG_DIR/offpunk (or .config/offpunk or .offpunk if xdg not available)

Cache design

The offline content is stored in ~/.cache/offpunk/ as plain .gmi/.html files. The structure of the Gemini-space is tentatively recreated. One key element of the design is to avoid any database. The cache can thus be modified by hand, content can be removed, used or added by software other than offpunk.

There’s no feature to automatically trim the cache. It is believed that gemini content being lightweight, one would have to seriously browse a lot before cache size is an issue. If cache becomes too big, simply rm -rf the folders of the capsules taking too much space.