4.8 KiB


A client/browser that accesses gopherspace. It is under current early stage development.

NOTE: The current version of Burrow will not run on some versions of OSX, and will look really really bad on the versions that it does run on. It has not been tested on Windows. It looks and runs great on Ubuntu though, like this:

Burrow browser


Gopher is a communications protocol that, in the early 90s, competed (briefly) with what became the world wide web. Gopher serves up files and text based menus. As such, it is much lighter weight than HTML documents and the like served over http. Due to its text based nature it also has the benefit of being reliable in its visual output and style, and for being relatively accessible.

Browser Features

The following is a list of current and future Burrow features:

  • Graphical User Interface

    • Back/Forward buttons, move about in session history
      • Can also be done with vim style keys h and l
    • Favorite button adds current page to favorites
    • Home, shows favorites and is a start page (configurable)
    • Address bar, on ENTER submits a request for a gopher page
    • Settings button, brings up configuration menu (non-functional)
    • Main window, displays request data/pages/files
    • Vertical scroll bar
      • Scrolling can also be done with vim style keys j and k
    • A status bar to display various information
    • Links in menu pages behave similar to http style hyperlinks
    • Tabs (non-functional)
  • Menus, Pages, and Files

    • Menus display clickable links
    • Text files display in the viewport
    • Image files display in the viewport
    • Downloadable images
    • Downloadable binaries/audio/video
    • HTML files, open in a new tab in the default web browser
    • Interactive pages/search display a search dialog and return a menu on send
  • History

    • Session based history for backward and forward navigation
    • Persistent favorites
    • Record of last URL visited
  • Application settings and menus

    • Settings menu (non-functional)
      • Color themes
      • Icon themes
      • History settings
      • Files/download settings
      • Toggle load into home vs. last visited
    • Secondary click context menus for favoriting, text manipulation, & file saving
    • Page saving for offline viewing
  • Errors

    • Error warnings to user (semi-functional)
    • Error page on bad/malformed request (semi-functional)
    • Error display for type 3 server response (semi-functional)


Burrow requires python3 to be installed on the system prior to running. Until some bundling/setup-file creation occurs, you will also need to add:

pip3 install pillow

On some linux distributions an additional package for tkinter may be required. If you get a console error complaining about tkinter try the following (or equivalent for your package manager):

sudo apt-get install python3-tk
sudo apt-get install python3-pil.imagetk

Once the above items are installed, you should be able to run the following to get things up and running:

python3 /path/to/burrow/burrow.py

Note: Users on OSX will get an error thrown as OSX's version of Tkinter does not support PNG files. There is currently an issue open for this, if anyone wants to either convert the PNG buttons to GIFs, or use PIL to make them work with Tkinter (both are pretty easy, I just have not gotten around to it yet since I am not on a mac).


Burrow's primary system target is debian based linux systems. Once a version 1.0 is reached the plan is to distribute via .DEB packages and possibly through snapcraft (if a workable bundle can be figured out).

Some version of windows executable may come along as well, depending on configurability of build tools (py2exe, freeze, etc) for windows executables and time.


To contribute, please branch off of develop and then submit a pull request into develop with any changes. As the project grows I will likely add wiki, issues, etc as the need arises and more people get involved.


There is another project by the name of Burrow (that predates this one) by jamestomasino. It is a really cool collection of tools for managing gopher sites/projects. I definitely recommend checking it out!

Interested in gopher clients but want one for your terminal? Try my main, and currently very supported client, bombadillo (it supports: gopher, gemini, finger, local files, telnet, and the web. That last one via integration with lynx, w3m, or elinks).