Arachne (web browser)

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Developer(s)Michael Polák[1] and contributors
Initial release22 December 1996; 27 years ago (1996-12-22)
Stable release
1.99 / 23 December 2021; 2 years ago (2021-12-23)
Preview releasenone [±]
Written inC
Operating systemDOS, Linux
TypeInternet suite

Arachne is an Internet suite containing a graphical web browser, email client, and dialer.[2] Originally, Arachne was developed by Michal Polák[1] under his xChaos label, a name he later changed into Arachne Labs. It was written in C and compiled using Borland C++ 3.1.[3] Arachne has since been released under the GPL as Arachne GPL.

Arachne primarily runs on DOS-based operating systems, but there are also builds available for Linux.[4] The Linux version of Arachne utilizes SVGALib, allowing it to function without requiring a display server.


Screenshot of the Arachne web browser using the 640×350 graphics mode. The screenshot contains 14 colors.

Arachne supports many file formats, protocols and standards including video modes from

VESA 1024×768 in high color mode (65536 colors). It is designed for systems that do not have any windowing system installed.[5]

Arachne supports multiple image formats including

PDF documents. Arachne also supports DOS Gateway Interface (DGI), a unique feature similar to Common Gateway Interface
(CGI) scripting on the client.

The first version of Arachne with a known release date was 1.0 Beta 2, which was released on 22 December 1996. The final and official version by Arachne Labs was 1.70R3 for DOS (released 22 January 2001) and 1.66 beta for Linux (released 20 July 2000). While there have been several more DOS versions,[7][8] Linux development lay dormant until 24 May 2008 when a beta version 1.93 for Linux[9] was released. The current DOS version, maintained by Glenn McCorkle, is 1.99 as of 23 December 2021. In 2006, there also was an experimental DPMI port of Arachne by Udo Kuhnt, named DPMI Arachne.


Arachne supports a limited subset of stylesheets and HTML. Known support as of version 1.93:[6]

Style Aliases Options
color #rgb or #rrggbb or a color name
background-color background #rgb or #rrggbb or a color name
font-size %, px, pt
font-style i[talics]
font-weight b[old]
text-decoration font-decoration u[nderline]


xChaos software licensed the source code of Arachne to

Allegro for graphics. Also, they ported it to compile as a 32-bit protected mode extended DOS application (utilizing DPMI using DJGPP, a GNU compiler for DOS),[10] while Arachne is a 16-bit application. This program was sold as DR-WebSpyder in 1998; the name was to associate it with DR-DOS
, which Caldera owned at the time.

When Caldera had transferred DR-DOS to its branch company

Embedix Browser

See also


  1. ^
    Pirátská strana (in Czech). Archived from the original
    on 2019-05-31.
  2. ^ on 2007-11-28.
  3. ^ Arachne Labs
  4. ^ "Section 508 Alternative Browsers". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  5. ^ Stutz, Michael (1997-06-06). "Czech Browser Won't Do Windows". Wired. Archived from the original on 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2017-03-05.
  6. ^ a b "Arachne HTML support". FreeDOS. 2008-07-10. Archived from the original on 2008-07-13. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
  7. ^ "Arachne file archive". Archived from the original on 2008-06-24.
  8. ^ "Arachne". Evolt Browser Archive. Archived from the original on 2020-02-08. Retrieved 2020-02-08. […] 1.2_beta7 2002-05-03 […] 1.41b 2006-06-13 […] 1.43_beta2 2002-05-03 […] 1.47b 1999-08-21 […] 1.66_beta 2002-05-03 […] 1.70 2002-05-03 […] 1.73 2006-06-13 […]
  9. ^ McCorkle, Glenn (2008). "Arachne v1.93;GPL for Linux". Retrieved 2008-07-02.
  10. ^ "Arachne Frequently Asked Questions". Arachne Labs. 2005-03-02. Archived from the original on 2005-03-02. Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  11. Caldera, Inc. (1999-07-20). "Embedded Linux moved to top priority at Lineo, Inc. formerly known as Caldera Thin Clients, Inc." (Press release). Lindon, UT, USA. Archived from the original
    on 2017-06-25. Retrieved 2017-06-24.
  12. ^ Smith, Tony (1999-07-20). "Caldera Thin Clients renamed to focus on embedded Linux - Lineo, Lineo -- wherefore art thou, Lineo?". The Register. Archived from the original on 2018-08-22. Retrieved 2018-02-13.

Further reading

External links