Looking for the best text editors in Linux? Here’s a list of the best code editors for Linux. The best part is that all of them are free and open-source software.
If you asked experienced Linux users, their answers would be Vim, Emacs, Nano, etc. No doubt these legendary editors are great, but I’m not talking about old school, (primarily) terminal-based text editors. I’m 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’ve provided installation instructions for Ubuntu-based distributions. But that doesn’t make this list the 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, macOS 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 are very similar to the Sublime Text editor, a text editor that is hugely popular among programmers, but closed-source.
Atom became popular even before its first stable release. Based on it features, I can certainly call it one of the best text editors for Ubuntu, or any other operating system for that matter.
Don’t just take my word for it. Have a look at some of the main features of the Atom code editor:
- Easily extensible
- 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 on 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. You’ll love the inline evaluation feature. 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’re using an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution, then installing Light Table will be 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 offerings’ from Microsoft to the Linux and open source world. Microsoft has open-sourced a number of its tools since then. Of course, that doesn’t include Microsoft Office.
Visual Studio Code is an excellent code editor, especially for web development. It’s 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 on Ubuntu and other distributions such as
What’s your pick?
No, we’re not limited to just four code editors on Linux. This list just covered 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 is your favorite text editor for Linux?