A text editor is software used for editing plain text files. It has many different uses such as modifying system configuration files, writing programming language source code, jotting down thoughts, or even making a grocery list.
Whatever the level of sophistication of the editor, they typically have a common set of functionality, such as searching/replacing text, formatting text, undo/redo, importing files, as well as moving text within the file. However, many of the editors included in this article are feature-rich, and can be further extended using plugins and libraries.
We previously published an article on the best open source editors in 2008. Given the length of time that has elapsed, and the new projects that have come forward, it’s prudent to update the article. Here’s our updated list of the finest open source editors available for Linux. Naturally, it’s largely a matter of preference, but it’s extremely likely you’ll find your ideal editor below.
To provide an insight into the quality of software that’s available, we’ve compiled a list of 21 high quality Linux text editors. There’s a mix of graphical and console based applications included. Many run on multiple platforms. Hopefully, there will be something of interest for all types of users.
Now, let’s explore the 21 editors at hand. For each title we’ve compiled its own portal page, providing a screenshot of the software in action, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.
|Emacs||Extensible, customizable, self-documenting text editor|
|Vim||Power of the editor 'Vi', with a more complete feature set|
|Atom||Hackable text editor for the 21st Century|
|Brackets||Editor for web designers and front-end developers|
|Light Table||Modify running programs and embed anything from websites to game|
|ICEcoder||Develop websites directly within the web browser|
|SciTe||SCIntilla based Text Editor|
|Komodo Edit||Editor for dynamic languages based on Komodo IDE|
|Geany||Small and lightweight Integrated Development Environment (IDE)|
|Textadept||Fast, minimalist, and extensible cross-platform text editor|
|ne||Easy but powerful alternative to vi|
|nano||Clone of Pico, the editor of the Pine email client|
|gedit||Small and lightweight text editor for the GNOME environment|
|Kate||Multi document editor which is part of KDE|
|TEA||GTK-based with wide range of text-processing functions|
|Bluefish||Powerful editor for writing websites, scripts and programming code|
|BlueGriffon||WYSIWYG content editor powered by Gecko|
|KompoZer||Complete Web Authoring System|
|LyX||Advanced open source document processor|
|Texmaker||Integrates many different tools|
|TeXmacs||WYSIWYW scientific word processor|
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Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, alternatives to Google, fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.