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Managing remote ELinks instances
Some programs provide the ability to pass URIs to external programs. When
stumbling upon a reference to a page you want to see, it is sometimes a kludge
to copy and paste it into ELinks. This is where -remote can be a nifty
When invoking ELinks with the -remote argument, it does not start a new
instance, but instead connects to an already running ELinks, making it
possible to control that ELinks instance. The -remote command line switch
takes a command consisting of the action to invoke and any parameters to the
action. Here is an example for opening freshmeat.net in a new tab:
$ elinks -remote "openURL(http://freshmeat.net/, new-tab)"
When running this command in a terminal, you will see a small delay before
ELinks returns. If no running instance was found, it will return with the
error message:
ELinks: No remote session to connect to.
All URLs passed to the openURL() commands can be URL prefixes, so the command
above could have simply used ``openURL(fm, new-tab)''.
Limitations and outstanding issues
Remote control is implemented using the intercommunication socket created in
~/.elinks/, so the command has to be run on the same machine as the instance
you want to control; or put differently: the two ELinkses need to share a file
system that supports socket files, which rules out usage of -remote over NFS.
This also implies that the ELinks instance you want to control should be
started without passing -no-home nor -no-connect.
The built-in -remote support is to some degree compatible with the one Mozilla
provides (http://www.mozilla.org/unix/remote.html), but with some homebrew
extensions added and few unsupported features. All the supported actions are
documented below.
Under some circumstances, use of the -remote control can cause ELinks to
become unresponsive. This is cause by the current key press and mouse focus
being redirected to new tabs or dialogs opened by the -remote action.
Remote Actions
The command syntax is case-insensitive. For readability, we use the casing in
the listing of supported commands.
.Mozilla `-remote` compatible commands.
Command Description
ping() Checks for existence of a remote instance. \
Makes it possible for scripts to query if \
remote controlling is possible.
openURL() Prompts for a URL in current tab by opening \
the Goto dialog.
openURL(URL) Open the passed URL in current tab.
openURL(URL, new-tab) Opens the passed URL in new tab.
openURL(URL, new-window) Opens the passed URL in new window.
xfeDoCommand(openBrowser) Opens an ELinks instance in a new window. \
This ELinks instance will connect to the \
already running one.
.ELinks extensions.
Command Description
addBookmark(URL) Bookmarks the passed URL.
`-remote` can also take a list of URLs without an explicit action, in which case
the URL arguments will be opened in new tabs in the remote instance. For
example, by running:
$ elinks -remote slashdot.org fm g:elinks
new tabs containing `slashdot.org`, `freshmeat.net` and a Google search of elinks
will be opened.