How do you login to the sites if you are using a text-browser such as Lynx? I get the error

Because JavaScript is disabled, you can only log in by entering your openID URL manually

When JavaScript is enabled, I click on the Google icon and it logs me in. But I do not know what an openID URL is. Could you please tell me what this means and how to log in?

  • I can view the pages with little problem, but i want to answer and ask questions and to do that i need to login.
    – kyle k
    Jun 9, 2013 at 19:44
  • 2
    https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id if I'm not mistaken
    – Bart
    Jun 9, 2013 at 19:46
  • 20
    You have to love people that use lynx...
    – rene
    Jun 9, 2013 at 19:54
  • 6
    @rene: indeed, you should: they force you to write decent sites! :)
    – haylem
    Jun 9, 2013 at 21:24
  • 1
    @Bart correct, just tried and it's working fine. Jun 11, 2013 at 11:53
  • 10
    I'm not sure what shocks me more, a Lynx user trying to use Stack Exchange, a Lynx user that does not understand the meaning of "...you can only log in by entering your openID URL manually..." or a Lynx user that has not been flamed to death by now by w3m users... Jun 11, 2013 at 12:34
  • 7
    This reminds me, I need to open a question about how SO doesn't display properly on my TI-85 graphing calculator.
    – JNK
    Jun 11, 2013 at 13:09
  • 2
    Lynx is such an amazing browser.
    – Greg
    Jun 11, 2013 at 13:24
  • That is so cool, you can access the internet with your TI-85 graphing calculator, i would love to hear more.
    – kyle k
    Jun 11, 2013 at 19:36

1 Answer 1


An OpenID identifier is a URL that represents an identity on the Internet. OpenID was invented by LiveJournal as a way for users to prove their control over a particular blog. It has since come to be used by Google, AOL, Yahoo!, Stack Exchange, and other web sites as a decentralized authentication platform to let someone with an account on one site (the "provider") log in to other sites ("relying parties"). Sometimes the identifier is specific to a user, such as a user's profile page or blog, and sometimes it's a generic identifier that the provider redirects to a user's identifier. For more information about OpenID, check FAQ for Stack Exchange sites.

As Bart pointed out in a comment to the question, Google is an OpenID provider. This generic identifier will trigger the Google Account login flow on Stack Exchange or any other relying party:


In any case, there are good reasons to access Stack Exchange sites with Lynx or another user agent that does not require a running GUI, such as doing things that the Stack Exchange sites support but which currently do not have a corresponding API function. Posting questions and answers used to be one of them back in the first quarter of 2011 when the API was read-only. As of the fourth quarter of 2014, one thing that the API still does not support is suggesting edits.

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