29 releases (10 stable)

1.2.0 Dec 4, 2022
1.1.0 Nov 17, 2020
1.0.7 Oct 3, 2020
1.0.3 May 30, 2020
0.1.7 Dec 31, 2019

#3 in #gopher

Download history 139/week @ 2024-02-21 34/week @ 2024-02-28 1/week @ 2024-03-06 8/week @ 2024-03-13 8/week @ 2024-03-27 11/week @ 2024-04-03

98 downloads per month
Used in phroxy

MIT license

4.5K SLoC

phetch is a terminal client designed to help you quickly navigate the gophersphere.

demo of phetch in action


  • <1MB executable for Linux, Mac, and NetBSD
  • Technicolor design (based on GILD)
  • No-nonsense keyboard navigation
  • Supports Gopher searches, text and menu pages, and downloads
  • Save your favorite Gopher sites with bookmarks
  • Opt-in history tracking
  • Secure Gopher support (TLS)
  • Tor support



    phetch [options]       Launch phetch in interactive mode
    phetch [options] url   Open Gopher URL in interactive mode


    -s, --tls              Try to open Gopher URLs securely w/ TLS
    -o, --tor              Use local Tor proxy to open all pages
    -S, -O                 Disable TLS or Tor

    -w, --wrap COLUMN      Wrap long lines in "text" views at COLUMN.
    -m, --media PROGRAM    Use to open media files. Default: mpv
    -M, --no-media         Just download media files, don't download
    -a, --autoplay         Autoplay media files without prompting.
    -A, --no-autoplay      Prompt before playing media files.

    -r, --raw              Print raw Gopher response only
    -p, --print            Print rendered Gopher response only
    -l, --local            Connect to
    -e, --encoding         Render text documents in CP437 or UTF8.

    -c, --config FILE      Use instead of ~/.config/phetch/phetch.conf
    -C, --no-config        Don't use any config file
    -t, --theme FILE       Use FILE for color theme or print current theme.
    --print-theme          Print current theme.

    -h, --help             Show this screen
    -v, --version          Show phetch version

Command line options always override options set in phetch.conf.

Once you've launched phetch, use `ctrl-h` to view the on-line help.


If you already have a Gopher client, download phetch here:


On macOS you can install with Homebrew or MacPorts.

If you're using Homebrew, open the Terminal and type:

brew install xvxx/code/phetch

For MacPorts:

sudo port install phetch

On Arch Linux, install phetch with your favorite AUR helper:

yay phetch

On NetBSD, phetch is included in the main pkgsrc repo:

pkgin install phetch

Binaries for Linux, Raspberry Pi, Mac and Android (termux) are available at https://github.com/xvxx/phetch/releases:

Just unzip/untar the phetch program into your $PATH and get going!

You can also build and install from source if you have cargo, make, and the other dependencies described in the next section:

git clone https://github.com/xvxx/phetch
cd phetch
env PREFIX=/usr/local make install

For Termux use:

env PREFIX=/data/data/com.termux/files/usr make install


To build with TLS support on Linux, you need openssl and pkg-config:

sudo apt install -y pkg-config libssl-dev

Regular development uses cargo:

cargo run -- <gopher-url>

Pro-tip: Run a local gopher server (like phd) on and start phetch with -l or --local to quickly connect to it. Useful for debugging!

phetch builds with TLS and Tor support by default. To disable these features, or to enable only one of them, use the --no-default-features flag:

cargo build --no-default-features

You can check whether TLS is enabled by visiting the About page:

cargo run --no-default-features -- gopher://phetch/about

To enable just TLS support, or just Tor support, use --features:

cargo run --no-default-features --features tor -- gopher://phetch/about

media player support

phetch includes support for opening video files (; item type) and sound files (s item type) in mpv or an application of your choice using the -m command line flag. To test it out, visit a compatible Gopher server (maybe one using Gophor?). Or check out the "gopher types" help page by pressing ctrl-h then 3 in phetch.


  • ctrl-c in load() not yet implemented


  • telnet IO seems broken after raw_input change (1146f42)

future features

  • track binary size per release
  • text views are menus when URLs are present (one per line max)
  • Find Text in Text views
  • fuzzy find incremental search
  • persistent history
  • bookmarks: toggle instead of just prepending to the file
  • bookmarks: save the title of the current page


~90K SLoC