Text Editors Round Up

There are many text editors available on Ubuntu. Some are graphical others also have a command line interface. Here is a quick description of the most popular.


vi is the oldest unix visual text editor. It owes a lot of its design to ed, a line text editor that has been part of unix systems since the begining. Vi is extremely powerful, it includes code highlighting for many languages, code completion, regular expresion search and replacement... and much more.

Vim, Vi improved, is a direct decendent of Vi. It includes many nice enhencements that I believe make Vi a whole lot better.

Gvim a graphical Gnome GTK based version of vi.



Emacs, a text editor written by Richard M. Stallman, is a often described as being a operating system within an operating system. The expression describes the vast amounts of extensions that are usually shipped with emacs. Emacs can not only do everything that Vi can but it also integrates various tools to accomplish task such as email, news, shell, games, etc. These extension are usually written in Emacs Lisp since emacs contains a Lisp interpreter. This allow emacs to be adapted to many different languages for programming.

Emacs is not installed by default on Ubuntu. To obtain it simply type the following command at a shell:

apt-get install emacs



Nano is probably the easiest command line editor you can find. It is pre-installed by default. Nano is so simple that I really don't need more details Wink ;-)



An HTML editor for web developers http://bluefish.openoffice.nl/index.html


An XFCE based gui editor that is the default on Xubuntu

PowerUsersTextEditors (last edited 2010-04-22 08:49:51 by bilbo)