SciTE: The Notepad++ for Linux

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Scite: Linux alternative for Notepad++Notepad++ is my favourite text editor in Windows (Yes, I do use Windows, at work). The awesomeness of Notepad++ forced me to look forward for replacing Gedit, Ubuntu’s default text editor, with Notepad++. But alas! The Linux version of Notepad++ was no where to found. And this is when I found SciTE. First of all, the title of the article is misleading, to an extent. Why you ask? Because Scintilla Text Editor (SciTE) is not the counterpart of Notepad++ for Linux but they are distant cousins in the sense that both of these use Scintilla Editor Component.

SciTE vs Notepad++:

Though based on same editing component, Notepad++ and SciTE differs in a lot of ways. Without going in too much of details, lets discuss the main pros and cons for both of them.

Notepad++ is a good looking, has better interface and comes with lots of plugins enabled by default. That makes it ideal for a beginner/average user. Installer files are available for Windows which makes it easy to install. Biggest drawback of Notepad++ is that it is only available for Windows.

SciTE too has lots of plugins but those are not enabled by default and it takes some time to enable the required ones. GUI is not as good looking as Notepad++. But it has its own advantage, it is cross platform and available for both Windows as well as Linux.

Install SciTE:

SciTE is available in apt repository of Ubuntu. You can install it using the following command in terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T):

sudo apt-get install scite

For other distributions, the source code is available for downloaded from its official website:

Download SciTE source code.

SciTE instead of Notepad++ or Gedit?

This decision is completely yours. Gedit and Notepad++ both are very powerful text editor with lots of feature and are at par with SciTE if not better than it. If you are frequent user of both WIndows and Linux, you might want to try SciTE as both Notepad++ and Gedit are is not cross platform applications. Also, there are new cutting edge text editors in development such as Brackets and Atom. As proud computer geeks, I trust you’ll make the right choice.

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  • Raja Varma

    I use Sublime text its really good.

    • Abhishek Prakash

      I heard about it. Never used it though. May give it a try.

  • Brentini

    Gedit is in fact cross platform, fyi []

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Just checked.. and glad to know it. Thanks for the tip.

  • Noli Sicad

    Looking for SciTe for Mac OS X for long time and I discovered that gEdit 3.2 has Mac OS native installer (i.e dmg). Have look at working gEdit 3.2 in Mac OS 10.8.

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  • Sathyanarayanarao Magadi Najap

    Interested to know if spell check of Kannada is possible in Note pad ++ either in windows or ubuntu.

  • Dickson Owuor

    scite is awesome, thanks for the info

    • Abhishek Prakash

      You are welcome Dickson.

  • Ralph

    I like Geany very much!

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Is it not and IDE?

  • Sharvesh Sivasharen

    I’m using Notepad++ in Wine lol .. as i’m so used to it . anyway nice article

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome Sharvesh :)

  • Cheery Onez

    I use Notepad++ in Wine as well. It seems to work 100% as I haven’t come across anything broken yet. I love all the plugins and it’s search feature. With the Extended and Regex search modes, I find that it makes more advanced search and replace much more accessible.

  • Farseer Nobundo

    Geany has the closest resemblance to N++. Smaller footprint than Gedit and better supported than Scite. Even at the moment I am using it for web development :)

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Thanks for the heads up. I’ll use it to get the experience :)

  • Sveta Rosenbaum
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  • Daniel Fernandes

    I love VIM and gedit. VIM is not basic but is very powerful and Gedit has munch plugin that to do amazing things.

    • Abhishek Prakash

      VIM is my favourite in command line. Gedit might be little on lower side if you compare it to the likes of SciTE or Sublime Text, in my opinion.

  • ProfGra

    Thanks for the article.
    “it tales some time” -> ” it takes some time”

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Corrected it. Thanks for mentioning it :)

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  • Landis

    my two cents… The closest to Notepad plus + and my favorite is KDE’s Kate editor.
    a non-KDE alternative, i’ve use in Enlightenment is greany, but have
    figured out now, how to ‘theme’ Kate to look Just like Enlightenment, so
    I now use kate in Enlightenment too.