Gopher is a document retrieval protocol developed by the University of Minnesota in 1993. Unfortunately, many people regard it as a mere predecessor to the Web that has no value in the present day.

In actuality, this isn't true! Gopher has its place in this world; professionals just haven't embraced it yet. There is still even now a bustling niche community embracing Gopher for what it is: An efficient, structured, and simple in design protocol for retrieving documents and information.

I have my own gopherhole here on the Somnolescent server. I've just started burrowing it out, but you should see more stuff coming up on there in the following weeks.

The Snake Shack on Gopher

No client? See below.



Some gopher servers have their own HTTP mirrors.


Gopher's lightweight nature is perfect for mobile devices, particularly on data limits.


While there are a couple Gopher clients on the iOS App Store, they are mostly paid applications and I haven't been able to try them. (write me if you do though!)



Have a Java-based flip or feature phone? Well, first, I salute you, and second, there's a Gopher client for that too, Pocket Gopher (not to be confused with the Android client with the same name). I haven't tried it yet, unfortunately.

Browser Addons

Floodgap's Overbite Project maintains a Firefox extension, OverbiteWX, that will automatically redirect Gopher links to use their proxy mentioned above. If you use a pre-Quantum version of Firefox, TenFourFox, or Seamonkey, you can use OverbiteFF, which does make native connections to Gopher servers without any proxy required. (boycott mozilla *now!*)


Through a console is one of the more traditional ways to experience Gopher in all its ASCII glory.


Server software

In time you may decide you want to leap on this bandwagon and host your own Gopher server. That's great! You have a few options.

Places of Interest