26 Best Free and Open Source Linux Integrated Development Environments

An integrated development environment (IDE) (sometimes known as an integrated design environment or integrated debugging environment) is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to programmers for software development.

Many coders learn to code using a text editor but in time they move towards using an IDE as this type of software application makes the art of coding quicker and more efficient.

For example, IDEs have semantic knowledge of the programming language which highlights coding problems while typing. Compiling is ‘on the fly’ and debugging is integrated.

An IDE normally comprises a:

  • Source code editor (essentially a text editor with additional features such as code completion, structural navigation, and syntax highlighting);
  • Debugger;
  • Compiler and/or interpreter;
  • Build automation tools.

A good IDE helps developers produce bug-free, maintainable applications quicker than by using an editor and console based tools. However, selecting an IDE can be a daunting task, in part because there are a large number available for Linux.

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 26 highly polished free Linux IDEs. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wants to quicken the pace of software development. Here’s our verdict captured in a legendary LinuxLinks-ratings chart.

Ratings chart

Click the links in the table below to learn all about each IDE.

Integrated Development Environments
RStudioEnterprise-ready professional software for R
PyCharmIntegrated Development Environment for Python
EclipseJava based environment combining a number of different Eclipse projects
NeovimContinuation and extension of Vim
LapceFast and powerful code editor written in Rust
NetBeans IDEJava based IDE from Apache
VSCodiumBinary distribution of VS Code
Qt CreatorCross-platform, complete Integrated Development Environment
SpyderThe Scientific Python Development Environment
KDevelopAn easy to use IDE for KDE
HelixPost-modern modal text editor
ericFull featured Python editor and IDE
ThonnyPython Integrated Development Environment for Beginners
LazarusDelphi compatible cross-platform IDE
PyDevPython Integrated Development Environment for Eclipse
GambasDevelopment environment and a full powerful development platform
IntelliJ IDEAIDE for Java, Groovy, and other languages
LeoPython based IDE, Outliner and PIM
Arduino IDEElectronics prototyping platform
CodeLitePowerful and lightweight C/C++ IDE
PyzoCross-Platform Python IDE focused on interactivity and introspection
LiteIDEEdit and build Go projects
DrRacketIDE for the Racket programming languages
BuilderIDE for GNOME
GeanySmall and lightweight IDE based on Scintilla
Code::BlocksVery extensible and fully configurable

This article has been revamped in line with our recent announcement.

Best Free and Open Source SoftwareRead our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.

There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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4 months ago

A pretty comprehensive roundup here. Nice work.

4 months ago

An eclectic mix.