Top 10 Text Editors for Linux Desktop

In this article we are going to look at the top 10 text editors for Linux desktop environment. Some text editors are not just a default editor to edit text but also doubles up as an IDE, which makes it quite useful. These are very helpful in developing application in the linux environment and even though there are a lot of text editors out there, we are only going to focus on the ten best text editors for the linux desktop environment. So let’s quickly jump into the list without wasting any more time:

1. VIM

If you are bored of using the default “vi” editor in linux and want to edit your text in an advanced text editor that is packed with powerful performance and lots of options, then vim is your best choice. As per the name suggests, VIM means “vi improved” as it is just an advanced version of the default linux text editor. It is specially designed keeping in mind the needs of a developer. It is also called as a programmers editor for its highly configurable options. Similar to the Vi editor, it can be used as a command line utility or also as a standalone GUI application.

vim-text-editor-linux-desktop

Some of the unique features of VIM includes:

  • Syntax Coloring
  • Tag System
  • Tab expansion
  • Session Screen
  • Split screen
  • Digraph input
  • Automatic commands

2. Geany

Geany is one of the most popular text editors for Linux desktop environment that comes with an integrated GTK+ toolkit. It also serves as an excellent development environment for programmers and developers. If you are looking for text editor that also doubles up as a development environment, then Geany is your best bet. It is lightweight and supports almost all major programming languages and doesn’t have many dependencies from other packages.

Use below steps to Install Geany on Ubuntu / Linux Mint

[email protected]:~$ sudo apt update
[email protected]:~$ sudo apt install geany -y

Geany-Text-Editor-Linux-Desktop

Some of the unique features of Geany includes:

  •  Easy to use and clean interface
  • Syntax highlighting for easy development
  • Lots of customizable options
  • Line numbering for easy tracking of code
  • Easy pluggable interface

3. Sublime Text Editor

Sublime text editor is another popular text editor for the linux environment. It is packed with a lot of features and is specially designed to be used as a text editor and also as a development environment. It supports a lot of programming along with many markup languages. With the numerous plugins available, you can take the text editor to the next level by extending its functionality to a great extent. One of the unique features of the text editor is the “Goto Anything” feature that helps you to easily go to any section of the code or navigate to any file in your system.

Refer the beneath steps to install stable version of Sublime Text Editor on Ubuntu / Linux Mint

[email protected]:~$ wget -qO - https://download.sublimetext.com/sublimehq-pub.gpg | sudo apt-key add –
[email protected]:~$ echo "deb https://download.sublimetext.com/ apt/stable/" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/sublime-text.list
deb https://download.sublimetext.com/ apt/stable/
[email protected]:~$
[email protected]:~$ sudo apt update
[email protected]:~$ sudo apt install sublime-text –y

Refer below steps to install sublime Text Editor on CentOS 7.x / RHEL 7.x

[[email protected] ~]# rpm -v --import https://download.sublimetext.com/sublimehq-rpm-pub.gpg
[[email protected] ~]# yum-config-manager --add-repo https://download.sublimetext.com/rpm/stable/x86_64/sublime-text.repo
[[email protected] ~]#  yum install sublime-text -y

Sublime-Text-Editor-Linux-Desktop

Some of the other unique features of Sublime text editor includes:

  • Excellent Command Palette
  • Python-based plugin API
  • Parallel editing of Code
  • Project specific preferences

4. Brackets

Adobe launched a text editor way back in 2014 called the Brackets for the linux environment. It is an open source text editor that comes packed with a lot of exciting features that makes working with this text editor a lot of fun. It is also easy and simple to use with a clean interface. It is specially designed to act as both as text editor as well as a code editor to help web designers and programmers. It’s completely developed using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. It is lightweight, but still has all the qualities to beat some of the best text editors with its advanced features.

Use below steps to install Brackets on Ubuntu / Linux Mint

[email protected]:~$  sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/brackets
[email protected]:~$ sudo apt-get update
[email protected]:~$ sudo apt-get install brackets

Brackets-Text-Editor-Linux

Some of the unique features of Brackets text editor includes:

  • Live Preview
  • Inline Editing
  • Focused visual tools Pre processor support

5. Gedit

If you are working in a GNOME desktop environment, then by default it comes loaded with a text editor called Gedit. Similar to the objective of GNOME to always provide functionalities that are clean and straightforward, Gedit also follows the same objective as it is lightweight and comes with clean and simple user interface. It first got released to the public in 2000 with the GNOME desktop environment. It is completed developed using C language and supports completely for internationalized text.

Gedit-Text-Editor-Linux-Desktop

Some of the unique features of Gedit includes:

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Supports internationalized text
  • Supports various programming languages

6. Kate

If you are familiar with the Kubuntu desktop environment then you would have definitely know about Kate text editor that comes as a default editor loaded with the Kubuntu environment. It is a lightweight and easy to use text editor. You can work with multiple files simultaneously. It also can be used a powerful IDE.

Installations step of Kate on Ubuntu / Linux Mint

[email protected]:~$ sudo apt-get install kate

Kate-Text-Editor-Linux

Some of the unique features of Kate includes:

  • A powerful IDE
  • Supports many languages
  • Auto-detects languages
  • Sets indentation for documents automatically

7. Eclipse

Front end developers and designers looking for a robust and advanced text/code editor can definitely go for the Eclipse editor. It is popular among many java developers as it is completely developed in JAVA and is also contains a lot of features that supports writing and developing Java application easily. If you need additional language support, then you need to install extra plugins to achieve this. The Eclipse IDE becomes even more powerful with the help of additional plugins as you can insert a lot of advanced functionalities to the editor. It can also be used to develop programs for PHP, Python, C, C++, Ruby on Rails, COBOL etc.

Use following command to install eclipse on Ubuntu / Linux Mint

[email protected]:~$ sudo apt update
[email protected]:~$ sudo apt install eclipse

Eclipse-Text-Editor-Linux

Some of the unique features of Eclipse includes:

  • Free and open source text editor
  • Includes Java Development tools for Java developers
  • Plugin Support

8. Kwrite

Kwrite text editor is developed by KDE and first released to the public in 2000. It is entirely based on the Kate text editor along with the KParts technology from KDE. With the help of additional plugin installation, you can extend the functionality of Kwrite to a great extent and make it a more powerful development environment.  It can also be used to edit remote file along with encoding your files.

Use following command to install kwrite on Ubuntu / Linux Mint

[email protected]:~/Downloads$ sudo apt-get install kwrite

kwrite-text-editor-linux-desktop

Some of the unique features of Kwrite includes:

  • Word Completion
  • Auto Indentation
  • Syntax highlighting
  • vi input mode

9. Nano

Nano is another popular text editor that is also used in the UNIX operating systems. It is similar to the Pico text editor and first got released in 2000. It also comes packed with a lot of additional functionalities to make this as a powerful and advanced text editor. It can be run in a command line interface only.

nano-text-editor-linux-desktop

Some of the unique features of Nano includes:

  • Case sensitive search
  • Auto Indentation
  • Tab Completion
  • Autoconf support

10. GNU Emacs

GNU Emacs is one of the oldest text editor for the linux environment that has been here for a long time. It is developed by Richard Stallman, the project founder of GNU. It is being used by thousands of linux programmers all around the world and GNU Emacs is one of their favorite and preferred text editors. It is entirely developed using LISP and C.

Use the beneath commands to install emacs on Ubuntu / Linux Mint

[email protected]:~/Downloads$ sudo apt-get update
[email protected]:~/Downloads$ sudo apt-get install emacs

Emacs-Text-Editor-Linux

Some of the unique features of GNU Emacs includes:

  • Mail and News options
  • Debugger interface extension
  • Extensive documentation and support

Apart from these text editors notepadqq and Atom can also be as Text Editors and IDE  for Linux Desktop

7 Responses

  1. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Left out jEdit – extremely powerful text editor/IDE with tons of plugins for utilities and languages. Only negative is it requires Java – which also means it runs on most OS that can run Java.

  2. Rick Stanley says:

    I find it interesting that emacs is listed last, and the only one that you show with no source code in the editor.

    Bias against emacs? ;^)

    BTW, Eclipse is not just an editor, but a full IDE, or Integrated Development Environment. Out of place if evaluating Linux text “Editors”, and not “IDE’s”!

  3. Dave Lane ([email protected]) says:

    Too bad Atom’s not included here… it’s similar to Brackets (although I prefer Atom)… And, is it worth noting that Sublime isn’t open source?

  4. DUONG Hiep says:

    tried all sublime, atom, bracket, picked VSCode. rather pick pico over nano

  5. Stas says:

    I highly recommend Codelobster: ‘http://www.codelobsteride.com’

  6. S Wright says:

    Where are Pluma and/or Xed? I use both, and while I don’t necessarrily recommend them, I find them feasible, low-profile alternatives to the “majors” like GEdit and Kate.

  7. Christiane says:

    Natpad is a really nice one, especially for opening big files

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