Text Editor

Howl – fast and lightweight editor with a keyboard-centric minimalistic user interface

Howl is a general purpose, fast and lightweight open source editor with a keyboard-centric minimalistic user interface. Howl aims to combine fast startup times and a small footprint.

While Howl uses GTK, its interface is primarily text oriented. Files are opened from the command line, using commands.

Howl has a minimal C core, and has some dependencies written in C as well. The software is built on LuaJIT, Moonscript, LPeg, and Busted.

Features include:

  • Minimalistic user interface driven mainly by the keyboard.
  • View more than one buffer at a time by supporting multiple open views.
  • Regular expression search/replace.
  • Code inspections integrates various types of annotations, typically from linters and similar checkers, directly into How. Built-in inspection for Lua, Moonscript, and Ruby.
  • Flexible configuration system, allowing you to set configuration for different layers: globally, for a specific mode or a specific buffer.
  • Syntax and structure support for many languages.
  • Support for X11 primary selection (e.g. copy & paste using middle button).
  • Custom-built editing engine for Howl. Written in Moonscript, Aullar enables new features for Howl and is easier to customize.
  • Built-in themes: Monokai, Steinom and Blueberry Blend.
  • Good buffer management.
  • Run external commands from within the editor and view the output in a buffer. Howl provides two different commands: exec and project-exec.
  • Command line API.
  • Ability to use custom fonts.
  • Use Vim keybindings.

Website: howl.io
Support: Documentation, Blog, FAQ, Gitter, GitHub Code Repository
Developer: The Howl Developers
License: MIT License


Howl is written in C. Learn C with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

Return to Text Editors

Popular series
Free and Open Source SoftwareThe largest compilation of the best free and open source software in the universe. Each article is supplied with a legendary ratings chart helping you to make informed decisions.
ReviewsHundreds of in-depth reviews offering our unbiased and expert opinion on software. We offer helpful and impartial information.
Alternatives to Proprietary SoftwareReplace proprietary software with open source alternatives: Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Autodesk, Oracle, Atlassian, Corel, Cisco, Intuit, and SAS.
GamesAwesome Free Linux Games Tools showcases a series of tools that making gaming on Linux a more pleasurable experience. This is a new series.
Artificial intelligence iconMachine Learning explores practical applications of machine learning and deep learning from a Linux perspective. We've written reviews of more than 40 self-hosted apps. All are free and open source.
Guide to LinuxNew to Linux? Read our Linux for Starters series. We start right at the basics and teach you everything you need to know to get started with Linux.
Alternatives to popular CLI tools showcases essential tools that are modern replacements for core Linux utilities.
System ToolsEssential Linux system tools focuses on small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users.
ProductivityLinux utilities to maximise your productivity. Small, indispensable tools, useful for anyone running a Linux machine.
AudioSurveys popular streaming services from a Linux perspective: Amazon Music Unlimited, Myuzi, Spotify, Deezer, Tidal.
Saving Money with LinuxSaving Money with Linux looks at how you can reduce your energy bills running Linux.
Home ComputersHome computers became commonplace in the 1980s. Emulate home computers including the Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, ZX81, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum.
Now and ThenNow and Then examines how promising open source software fared over the years. It can be a bumpy ride.
Linux at HomeLinux at Home looks at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged.
Linux CandyLinux Candy reveals the lighter side of Linux. Have some fun and escape from the daily drudgery.
DockerGetting Started with Docker helps you master Docker, a set of platform as a service products that delivers software in packages called containers.
Android AppsBest Free Android Apps. We showcase free Android apps that are definitely worth downloading. There's a strict eligibility criteria for inclusion in this series.
Programming BooksThese best free books accelerate your learning of every programming language. Learn a new language today!
Programming TutorialsThese free tutorials offer the perfect tonic to our free programming books series.
Linux Around The WorldLinux Around The World showcases usergroups that are relevant to Linux enthusiasts. Great ways to meet up with fellow enthusiasts.
Stars and StripesStars and Stripes is an occasional series looking at the impact of Linux in the USA.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments