Gopher is a protocol for distributing, searching and retrieving documents over the Internet as an alternative to the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). In contrast to the World Wide Web, Gopherspace is navigated using a menu-based interface.

Your normal web browser likely won’t be able to access Gopher sites so you will need to install some other software or browser plugin first. Once you do this you should be able to find the SRCF’s presence at gopher://gopher.srcf.net/.

Publishing your Gopher site

To get started with a Gopher site you’ll want to create a subdirectory in your public home directory called public_gopher:

>     /public/home/spqr2/public_gopher         # For individual users
>     /public/societies/foosoc/public_gopher   # For groups and societies

After a short delay your site will be available via Gopher at:

>     gopher://gopher.srcf.net/1/users/spqr2
>     gopher://gopher.srcf.net/1/societies/foosoc

Customising your directory listing

Gopher sites consist of a directory listing of files and a description (or abstract) for each file. To attach an abstract to a file, say myfile.txt, create another file called myfile.txt.abstract with a line or two of descriptive text. This will be displayed with any links to that file. To attach an abstract to a directory, create a .abstract file inside that directory.

The directory listing of a Gopher site can be customised using a gophermap file in the directory in question. For full details on how to do this take a look at the /var/gopher/gophermap-info.txt file on pip.

Last modified on Thursday May 6, 2021 by Matias Silva