I made some containers to run some old browsers_

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December 16, 2017 @12:32

Oldweb.Today I don't remember where I ran across oldweb.today but I thought it was a pretty rad idea. I was able to find an old version of my website there and enjoy it in a browser similar to what I would have been running back then...

Old Screenshot

Inspired by their work and wanting to fool more around with Docker containers I set about to make some containers filled with old browser goodness.

If you saw my earlier post on Docker you might have noticed that like a reasonable human who values his time, I'm running macOS on my workstation and not Linux. So now that I want to run X11 apps the trick of just passing the local X11 socket through to the container isn't viable. I could install something like XQuartz but... no. That sounds awful, and also totally ignores Windows users. I'm told Windows can run Docker too... So the first hurdle was to figure out how to overcome my... opinions.

I ended up making a container called x11base that does a few things. For as wide support as possible, it checks to see if you have passed an X11 socket into the container and if so it will use it. If you have not then it launches a X11 server, then x11vnc so you can attach to it with any VNC client.

All the browsers inherit from this containers.

You can find them in my git repository. At the moment I have Netscape 3.04 Gold and NetScape 4.79 working. I'm having some frustrating problems with Wine so getting Netscape 1.22/win32 working is proving to be difficult.

Netscape 3.04 Gold Netscape 4.79

I included jwz's http 1.0 proxy so they sort of actually work, though HTTPS has changed a lot since they were made so I don't think any secure websites will work without more work. I've been meaning to hack together a sslstrip type proxy, but that feels kind of dirty (not that it will stop me, mind you...).


For the eagle eyed, there is also a version of Elite Plus in there, it works over VNC... sorta, but you probably should run it on Linux...

See you in the black...

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