Xenu : Java Glossary

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Xenu Xenu
Xenu Link Sleuth is a free program to rapidly scan your website to find broken links. The latest version is 1.3.9 Last revised/verified: 2012-06-04. You give it the of URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of your local index.htm page like this:
and tell it whether you want to check external links off site and well. It can also spider any site on the web, e.g.

You can also get it to spider just a subtree. It works very rapidly, spidering your site using multiple threads. It now understands Applets and jars and checks links to jar entries. It does not understand anchors. It only checks that the file exists, not the target. It spiders very quickly, but is extremely slow preparing reports since it uses linear algorithms that do not scale well. Other than that, it is pretty good. You can speed it up by chopping out everything you don’t need from the links report. The by-links is much faster than the by-page. It does not just sort, it does a linear sweep for links in each page. Ouch! With a website the size of mine, I have to turn off the by-page report or the program never completes.

Xenu can also produce an orphans report, a list of files nobody links to. These are most often discarded images, or stray files. Just because something is an orphan does not mean it should be discarded. It may be the home page of a ring or a download you posted not linked into your site.

Xenu puts most of its configuration information in X:\Program Files\Xenu\xenu.ini. You may find it more convenient to edit the xenu.ini file than use the menus if you have a lot of repetitive information to enter. It lets you store the broken link data in user files such as xenu.xen which you can save anywhere you please.

For each constellation of checks you will see two sections like this:


Putting something on the exclusion list blocks both checking links on that page and links to that page. Thus they may show up on the orphans report.

You can safely discard such sections you no longer use. You can use the ini tidying utility to tidy/sort the file to help you make sense of it. It lets you export tab separated files anywhere you please. It creates the broken link report in "C:\Documents and Settings\user\local settings\temp\" temp files with W2K and XP or in C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Temp\XXXX.htm with Vista, W2008, W7-32, W7-64, W8-32, W8-64, W2012, W10-32 and W10-64.

You can use File ⇒ Export to TAB-separated File… or File ⇒ Export Page Map to TAB-separated File… for further computer processing, e.g. with the BrokenLinks utility.

You can configure a list of URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) not to check only when you click File ⇒ Check URL.

While spidering, it appears to stop everything to ask you about some site with a certificate, but actually it is continuing to check links in the background.

It has a number of bugs and problems including:

I have written a free back-end add-on for Xenu that partially fixes a number of these shortcomings. It is called Brokenlinks. I have also written two utilities TidyXenuIniFrag and Ini to tidy the xenu.ini file.

Here is what a Xenu configuration file typically look like.


I find it sometimes easier to edit the xenu.ini file with a text editor than to use Xenu’s GUI (Graphic User Interface). It certainly easier to proofread. I tidy xenu.ini with INI before and after each edit.

When you specify the url you want to check, e.g. file:///E:/mindprod/index.html it must exactly match the [file:///E:/mindprod/index.html-Exclude] in the *.ini file including whether you use / or \.

You can find the changelog in Program Files\xenu\whatsnew.txt.

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