Looking for the best text editors in Linux? Here’s a list of best code editors for Linux. The best part is that all of them are free and open source software.
If you ask the experienced Linux users, their answer would be Vim, Emacs, Nano etc. No doubt these legendary editors are great but I am not talking about the old school, (primarily) terminal based text editors. I am going to talk about the new age, cutting edge, great looking, sleek and yet powerful, feature-rich best open source code editors for Linux that would enhance your programming experience.
Best modern Open Source text editors for Linux
I use Ubuntu as my main desktop and hence I have provided installation instructions for Ubuntu based distributions. But this doesn’t make this list as best code editors for Ubuntu because the list is apt for any Linux distribution. Just to add, the list is not in any particular priority order.
Some of the main features of Brackets code editor are:
- Inline editing
- Live preview
- Preprocessor Support
- Built-in extension manager
You can get the source code as well as binaries for Linux, OS X and Windows on its website.
Atom is another modern and sleek looking open source editor for programmers. Atom is developed by Github and promoted as a “hackable text editor for the 21st century”. The looks of Atom resembles a lot like the Sublime Text editor, a hugely popular but closed source text editors among programmers.
Atom became popular even before its first stable release. Based on the features, I can certainly call it one of the best text editors for Ubuntu or any other operating system for that matter.
Don’t take just my words for it. Have a look at some of the main features of Atom code editor:
- Easily extendible
- Built-in package manager with a huge number of plugins available
- Smart autocompletion
- Split windows
- Embedded Git control
- Command palette support
- Looks customization
Atom has recently released .deb and .rpm packages so that one can easily install Atom in Ubuntu and
3. Light Table
Flaunted as “the next generation code editor”, Light Table is another modern looking, underrated yet feature-rich open source code editor which is more of an IDE than a mere text editor.
There are numerous extensions available to enhance its capabilities. Inline evaluation is what you would love in it. You have to use it to believe how useful Light Table actually is.
Some of the main features of Light Table are:
- Built-in extension manager
- Inline evaluation obviates the need for printing to screen as you can evaluate the code in the editor live
- ‘Watches’ feature lets you see your code running live
If you are using Ubuntu-based Linux distribution, then installing Light Table is easier for you. However, officially, Light Table doesn’t provide any packages. You have to build it yourself.
4. Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code is a popular code editor from Microsoft. Now don’t push the panic button just yet. Visual Studio Code is completely open source.
In fact, Visual Studio Code was among the first few ‘peace offering’ from Microsoft to Linux and Open Source world. Microsoft has open sourced a number of its tools after that. Of course, that doesn’t include Microsoft Office.
Visual Studio Code is an excellent code editor, especially for web development. It is lightweight as well. Some of the other main features are:
- Intellisense provides useful hints and auto-completion features
- Built-in Git support
- Built-in extension manager with plenty of extensions available to download
- Integrated terminal
- Custom snippet support
- Debugging tools
- Support for a huge number of programming languages
Installing Visual Studio Code in Ubuntu and other distributions
What’s your pick?
No, we are not limited to just four code editors in Linux. The list was about modern editors for programmers. Of course, you have plenty of other options such as Notepad++ alternative Notepadqq or SciTE and many more. So, among these four, which one is your favorite text editor for Linux?