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End-User Hints

The API section of the help wiki is primarily for developers using the launchpad API. However, this page collects helpful information for people trying to use applications based on launchpadlib.

Authenticating with launchpadlib over a text-based console web browser

Sometimes you may want to use launchpadlib-based applications without benefit of a graphical browser. As of this writing, the Canonical Launchpad team supports lynx for this purpose. Other users and Launchpad contributors may support other text-based console browsers.

Selecting a browser

Python's webbrowser module, which launchpadlib uses to start a browser, looks at the BROWSER environmental variable to select a browser. Therefore, even if you have multiple browsers installed, you can set that value to control the authentication behavior.

For instance, if you want to run the ec2 land command (a tool to test a Launchpad branch and then submit it to the shared development branch if the tests pass) with lynx, try BROWSER=lynx ec2 land.


lynx is the text-based browser supported by Canonical Launchpad developers.

You might encounter a "Forbidden" error from Launchpad complaining about no REFERER header on the last step of the process. By adding the following to /etc/lynx-cur/local.cfg , you should be able to proceed:


Active bugs: https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/535456

Some users have reported success with elinks. Hints welcome!


Some users have reported success with w3m. Hints welcome!

Active bugs: https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/556927

No users have reported success with links.


No users have reported success with links2.


If you have access to an open web browser in a separate window, you can use the Unix 'echo' command to authenticate your OAuth application. This is especially useful if you are using Gnome Terminal to run an OAuth application on a headless server via SSH:

  1. Run the console application using /bin/echo as the browser: $ BROWSER=/bin/echo tarmac authenticate

  2. The URL to validate the OAuth token will be printed to the console: copy it to the clipboard
  3. Open a web browser in a different window, paste the token URL into the address bar, hit Enter
  4. Use the browser to grant the application access
  5. Return to the window that contained the original console session, hit Enter to complete the token authentication

API/EndUserHints (last edited 2010-11-30 22:01:02 by mars)