lynx program says 'Can't Access `file://localhost/usr/share/doc/HTML/index.html' Alert!: Unable to access document.'

Where is the startup config file? Can someone please provide a solution?

# lynx

Can't Access `file://localhost/usr/share/doc/HTML/index.html'
Alert!: Unable to access document.

lynx: Can't access startfile

2 Answers 2


The default Lynx homepage is set in /etc/lynx.cfg by the STARTFILE statement. You can set $LYNX_CFG to your own config file, or set $WWW_HOME to your preferred homepage.

export WWW_HOME="http://www.google.com/"

Or you could just give an address on the command line:

lynx www.google.com

Aside: You could also try elinks or w3m browsers.


Update: I ran into this message, and didn't quite understand this responses above. Here's what I learned: The lynx STARTFILE is the 'home page' that you see if you don't specify a URL on the command line.

Older versions of lynx point to http://lynx.isc.org/ in the config file. Newer versions of lynx point to https://lynx.invisible-island.net/ (See the two config's below.)

To stop this message, update to a recent version of lynx or update the STARTFILE in the config file. I used brew update lynx on my Mac to get the newer version.

Older version of lynx

### Lynx 2.8.8rel.2, at Thu Jan  2 10:34:54 2020

Newer version of lynx

### Lynx 2.8.9rel.1, at Thu Jan  2 10:43:33 2020

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