Text editors can be used for writing code, editing text files such as configuration files, creating user instruction files and many more. In Linux, the text editor is of two kinds that are a graphical user interface (GUI) and command line text editors (console or terminal). Here we provide 12 Best Open Source Text Editors (GUI + CLI).
Bluefish is an easy-to-install and use text editor targeting Linux programmers and web developers. Bluefish is available for many platforms, including Linux, Solaris, macOS, and Windows. Bluefish was started by Chris Mazuc and Olivier Sessink in 1997 to facilitate web development professionals.
- Lightweight and fast
- Integrates external Linux programs such as lint, web link, make and many others and filters, piping such as sed, sort, awk and many more
- Spelling checks feature
- Supports working on multiple projects
- Remote file editing
- Search and replace support
- Undo and redo option
- Auto-recovery of modified files
Notepad++ is a free and popular advanced text editor for the Windows operating system. It is very versatile in looking at all types of files and it has many programming language syntax highlighters built in.
A great quality code editor like Notepad++ comes with a wide range of great and useful features and can be extended using plugins. It is a wonderful and simple option for beginners as well as for developers.
- Syntax Highlighting and Syntax Folding
- User Defined Syntax Highlighting and Folding
- PCRE (Perl Compatible Regular Expression) Search/Replace
- GUI entirely customizable
- Zoom in and zoom out
- Multi-Language environment supported
- Macro recording and playback
- Launch with different arguments
Atom is a multiplatform code editor (Windows, Linux, and Mac) that can be used for free and, a perfect tool for junior and advanced programmers. This code editor tool has all the features you could ask for in a code editor like a context autocomplete system, language autodetection, syntax highlighting, the possibility of using different panels and much more.
The text editor is very easy to customize, and you can search for and install new packages to get you started with your customizations.
- Cross-platform editing
- Built-in package manager
- Smart autocompletion
- File system browser
- Multiple panes
- Find and replace
The interface of this code editor is very easy to navigate, and the extensions offer a variety of options. The Live Preview option is a really helpful tool because you get instant feedback on any changes to your code.
- Inline Editors
- Live Preview
- Preprocessor Support
Vim is a powerful command line based text editor that has enhanced the functionalities of the old Unix Vi text editor. It is one the most popular and widely used text editors among System Administrators and programmers that is why many users often refer to it as a programmer’s editor. It enables syntax highlighting when writing code or editing configuration files.
- Integrates with many tools
- Extensive plugin system
- Support for hundreds of programming languages and file formats
- Powerful search and replace
- Persistent, multi-level undo tree
Nano is easy to use a text editor, especially for both new and advanced Linux users. It enhances usability by providing customizable key binding.
- Highly customizable key bindings
- Syntax highlighting
- Undo and redo options
- Full line displays on the standard output
- Pager supports to read from standard input
This is a highly extensible and customizable text editor that also offers an interpretation of the Lisp programming language at its core. Different extensions can be added to support text editing functionalities.
- User documentation and tutorials
- Syntax highlighting using colors even for plain text.
- Unicode supports many natural languages.
- Various extension including mail and news, debugger interface, calendar and many more
This is a general purpose GUI based text editor and is installed by default text editor on Gnome desktop environment. It is simple to use, highly pluggable and a powerful editor.
- Support for UTF-8
- Use of configurable font size and colors
- Highly customizable syntax highlighting
- Undo and redo functionalities
- Reverting of files
- Remote editing of files
- Search and replace text
- Clipboard support functionalities and many more
Also, remote file editing and many other features including advanced editor features, applications features, programming features, text highlighting features, backup features and search and replace features.
This is a powerful IDE-like text editor which is a free and open-source successor of popular Sublime Text. It has a few frontends such as a command-line interface that you can use with the pluggable backend.
- Powerful API and package ecosystem
- Multiple selections
- Split editing
- Customizable with simple JSON files
- Command palette
- Instant project switch
Pico is also a command line based text editor that comes with the Pine news and email client. It is a good editor for new Linux users because of its simplicity in relation to many GUI text editors.
- Open Source
- Blazing Fast
- Stupidly Simple
- Twig Templates
- No Database
- Markdown Formatting
This is also another command line editor with support for GUI like features such as drop-down menus. It is developed purposely for software development and one of its important features is the support of Unicode mode.
- Edit TeX files with AUC-TeX style editing
- Built-in support for the GPM mouse driver on Linux console
- Abbreviation mode and Dynamic abbreviation mode
- 8 bit clean with mute/dead key support
- Color syntax highlighting
- Folding support
- Drop-down menus on _ALL_ terminals/platforms.
- Emulation of Emacs, EDT, Wordstar, Borland, and Brief editors.
- Extensible in the C-like S-Lang language making the editor completely customizable.
- Capable of reading GNU info files from within JED’s info browser
- A variety of programming modes (with syntax highlighting) are available including C, C++, FORTRAN, TeX, HTML, SH, Python, IDL, DCL, NROFF.
It is a GUI version of the popular Vim editor and it has similar functionalities as the command line Vim.
- Free software with full functionality
- Works concurrently in multiple windows
- Includes code completer and spell checker
Geany offers basic IDE-like features with a focus on software development using the GTK+ toolkit. It should run on every platform, which is supported by the GTK libraries. Only the Windows port of Geany is missing some features.
- Syntax highlighting
- Pluggable interface
- Supports many file types
- Enables code folding and code navigation
- Symbol name and construct auto-completion
- Supports auto-closing of HTML and XML tags
- Elementary project management functionality plus many more
This is a GTK+ based, lightweight GUI based text editor which is also popular among Linux users today. It is easy to use by new Linux users.
- Codeset option
- Allows auto detection of codeset
- Options of undo and redo
- Display file line numbers
- Supports Drag and Drop options
- Printing support
Kate is a feature rich and highly pluggable text editor that comes with KDesktop Environment (KDE). The Kate project aims at the development of two main products that are: KatePart and Kate.
KatePart is an advanced text editor component included in many KDE applications which may require users to edit text whereas Kate is a multiple document interface(MDI) text editors.
- Extensible through scripting
- Encoding support such as Unicode mode
- Text rendering in bi-directional mode
- Line ending support with autodetection function
I believe the list is more than what we have looked at, therefore, if you have used other free and open source text editors, let us know by posting a comment. Thanks for reading and always stay connected with us.
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