Standalone Gopher Clients | mari's Gopher Repository

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Thanks to its simplicity, many hobbyists have attempted to write their own, standalone Gopher clients of all shapes and sizes. The number of them can get overwhelming, frankly, which is why I've taken to trying out and writing about as many as I can. This is also where mobile clients are featured, those for iOS, Android, and similar platforms. If a client is no longer being actively maintained, I offer my own mirror of it; otherwise, you should visit the developer's website or the relevant app store.

Of course, your mileage may vary on whether a specific client works for you or not; I recommend you try out as many of these for yourself as you'd like. You might find something even better than my recommendations.

Table of contents

Gophie (https://gophie.org/)

Basics Necessities Nice-to-haves Screenshot
  • Maintainer: Jan Kammerath (site in German)
  • Written in: Java
  • Actively maintained: Yes
  • Open-source: Yes (GPLv3)
  • Platform: Any with a Java runtime engine
  • Supports informational selectors: Yes
  • Hardcoded to port 70: No
  • Full URI compatibility: Yes
  • CCSO: No
  • HTML links: Forwards to system default web browser
  • Images: Inline
  • Uses a home page: Yes (configurable)
  • History: Yes (clears on close)
  • Bookmarks: No
Gophie

Gophie is my recommended standalone Gopher client. It features a slick, easy-to-use interface, has excellent support for the protocol, is customizable in its colors and styling (using a config.ini file in your home directory), integrates a download manager, and is actively maintained. Gophie is also written in Java, so it's supported on any OS with a runtime engine. Far too many clients make compromises between usability and functionality; in my experience, Gophie doesn't.

DiggieDog (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.afewroosloose.gopher)

Basics Necessities Nice-to-haves Screenshot
  • Maintainer: Matthew Potter
  • Written in: Java
  • Actively maintained: Yes
  • Open-source: No
  • Platform: Android (4.1+)
  • Supports informational selectors: Yes
  • Hardcoded to port 70: No
  • Full URI compatibility: No
  • CCSO: No
  • HTML links: Forwards to system default web browser
  • Images: Inline
  • Uses a home page: Yes
  • History: Yes (clears on close)
  • Bookmarks: Yes
DiggieDog

DiggieDog is an overall solid client with a major shortcoming in the lack of inputting arbitrary URLs. You can only browse to host addresses and ports (any port works), no paths or documents. Certainly not a terrible showing other than that. Good interface, supports downloads, it's got history (albeit history that clears on app close, bookmarks (though I've been told there's no way to edit bookmarks), and unlike Pocket Gopher, images open inline.

(Note: tested on the BlueStacks App Player.)

GemiNaut (https://www.marmaladefoo.com/pages/geminaut)

Basics Necessities Nice-to-haves Screenshot
  • Maintainer: Luke Emmet
  • Written in: C#
  • Actively maintained: Yes
  • Open-source: Yes (GPLv3)
  • Platform: Windows
  • Supports informational selectors: Yes
  • Hardcoded to port 70: No
  • Full URI compatibility: Yes
  • CCSO: No
  • HTML links: Forwards to system default web browser
  • Images: Forwards to system default web browser (as does everything else...)
  • Uses a home page: Yes (configurable)
  • History: Yes (clears on close)
  • Bookmarks: Yes
GemiNaut

I'm cheating a little because GemiNaut isn't strictly a Gopher client, it's a Gemini client. Gemini bills itself as "heavier than Gopher, lighter than the web" and essentially amounts to a utopian toy protocol with no useful real-world purpose. What makes GemiNaut relevant, however, is that as of v0.8.6, it also acts as a basic Gopher client...with some real flaws in its implementation.

As an application, GemiNaut is alright. The interface is functional and simple and the themes is nice, though you can't create your own and it's lacking in customization. As a Gopher client, however, it's unpleasantly slapdash. Item types have no visual distinction between them, unlike even the more basic clients of the 90s and 2000s, it can't even open basic file types like GIF or download binaries natively, relying on HTTP Gopher proxies for both, and CCSO outright crashed the program. I wouldn't be surprised if this was just a way to get Gopher diehards introduced to Gemini, because not a lot of thought went into the execution. Not really recommended.

Gopher Client (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/gopher-client/id1235310088)

Basics Necessities Nice-to-haves Screenshot
  • Supports informational selectors: Yes
  • Hardcoded to port 70: No
  • Full URI compatibility: Yes
  • CCSO: No
  • HTML links: Forwards to system default web browser
  • Images: Inline
  • Uses a home page: Yes (configurable)
  • History: Yes (clears on close)
  • Bookmarks: Yes
Gopher Client

The clunkily-named Gopher Client is an alright choice for iOS, though it's by no means perfect. Content for Gopherspace tends to be both built for a monospaced font and also at a specific line width, so portrait mode on a phone isn't ideal. Nevertheless, GC lets you set both the font and size to your preference, and you can always go landscape if necessary. Images are handled in-app and work fine, as do servers on non-standard ports. Web links forward to the system default web browser.

The good bits about GC: bookmarks and an absolutely ace "reflow" option for text files, which rejoins lines in 80-column text files with major improvements to readability as a result. The bad bits about GC: CCSO softlocks it, and Veronica-2 searches outright crash the app. Somnolescent's server, running the Pituophis server package, doesn't work at all on the app, returning only an error selector. Thankfully, the maintainer is remarkably prompt about responding to bug reports through his email. Hopefully, a fix can be worked out for this and some of its other issues.

Overbite for Android (http://gopher.floodgap.com/overbite/d?android)

Basics Necessities Nice-to-haves Screenshot
  • Supports informational selectors: Yes
  • Hardcoded to port 70: No
  • Full URI compatibility: Yes
  • CCSO: No
  • HTML links: Forwards to system default web browser
  • Images: Inline
  • Uses a home page: Yes
  • History: No
  • Bookmarks: Yes
Overbite for Android

Overbite for Android is another fairly good choice for your Android phone. The interface isn't quite as attractive as Pocket Gopher or DiggieDog and it can't do file downloads, but it does have one unique feature in letting you add Gopher servers to the home screen. Otherwise, it's at least as capable as any other garden-variety Gopher client, supporting arbitrary ports, inline images, and bookmarks.

An older version of Overbite for Android is also still available for devices running at least Android 1.5 (Cupcake).

(Note: tested on the BlueStacks App Player.)

Pocket Gopher (https://f-droid.org/en/packages/com.gmail.afonsotrepa.pocketgopher/)

Basics Necessities Nice-to-haves Screenshot
  • Maintainer: afonsotrepa
  • Written in: Java
  • Actively maintained: Yes
  • Open-source: Yes
  • Platform: Android (4.1+)
  • Supports informational selectors: Yes
  • Hardcoded to port 70: No
  • Full URI compatibility: Yes
  • CCSO: No
  • HTML links: Forwards to system default web browser
  • Images: Forwards to system default image viewer
  • Uses a home page: No
  • History: Yes
  • Bookmarks: Yes
Pocket Gopher

As far as Android Gopher clients go, Pocket Gopher is probably the sleekest experience. You have your choice of a dark or light theme, the interface is clean and usable, there's bookmarks, it supports downloading files, and it has full URI compatibility. No CCSO, admittedly, and images load in a separate app rather than inline. Compared to the competition, though, the nicest of the bunch.

(Note: tested on the BlueStacks App Player.)