How to Install Atom Editor & IDE on Linux

🚧
Development has stopped for Atom. It is no longer available and you should not use it.

Atom is a sleek and feature-rich open source text editor from the makers of Github. The beautiful interface and the long list of features make it one of the best code editors for Linux or any other operating system out there.

I am not going to bore you with all the features of Atom here.  probably already know how awesome Atom is.

Atom Editor Screenshot
Isn’t Atom super cool?

I am going to show you how to install Atom text editor on Ubuntu and other Ubuntu based distributions such as Linux Mint and elementary OS.

Installing Atom on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions

There are various ways you can install Atom:

Method 1: Install Atom using Snap

Atom editor in Ubuntu Software
Snap version of Atom is available in Software Center

Atom is available in Ubuntu’s Software Center. This is actually the Snap version of the Atom. It can be used on any Linux distribution that has Snap support with this command:

sudo snap install atom --classic

Snap packages are huge in size and the installed application is often slower at start up.

This is why I recommend the DEB application over the Snap version available in the Software Center. 

Method 2: Install Atom using DEB/RPM binaries

Atom can be easily installed using the DEB file available from its website.

Do note that this DEB installation file is for the 64-bit systems only. So if you have an older system, please check if you have a 32-bit system or a 64-bit system.

If you have a 64-bit system, simply head over to Atom website. You’ll see the option to download the DEB file on its homepage itself.

In case you are wondering, that rpm file option is for Fedora Linux.

Atom text editor download for Ubuntu
Click on “Download .deb” for Ubuntu

Once you have downloaded the DEB file, simply double click on it and it will open with the software center. You just have to click install button here.

If you are still not sure, please see this video and learn how to install Atom on Ubuntu is a few clicks.

See, how easy it is to install Atom on Ubuntu if you have 64-bit system.

But what if you have a 32-bit system? How would you install Atom on a 32-bit Ubuntu system? Let’s see it in the next section.

The deb install file is only available for 64-bit systems. The official way for 32-bit Ubuntu users is to download the source code and build it from the source code.

But installing software from source code is neither convenient nor easy for everyone. So what are your options here?

Thankfully, there is an unofficial PPA that allows you to easily install Atom on 32-bit Ubuntu systems.

Open a terminal and use the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/atom
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install atom

That would be it. You can now happily use Atom on 32-bit systems.

Uninstall Atom installed via PPA

Here is how to uninstall Atom that you installed via the unofficial PPA:

sudo apt-get remove atom
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:webupd8team/atom

This will remove Atom and the PPA repository. A good thing to do would be to run auto remove as well. This will free some space on your Ubuntu system.

sudo apt-get autoremove

Bonus Tip: Turn Atom Text Editor into Atom IDE

Atom is essentially a text editor that you can use for coding. But did you know that you can turn Atom into a full-fledged IDE (integrated development environment) like EclipsePyCharm or IntelliJ IDEA etc?

Screenshot of Atom IDE
Atom as an IDE

With Atom IDE, you get the IDE features like auto tab completion, diagnostics, references, go to definition, mouse hover etc.

To use Atom IDE:

  • You’ll have to install Atom text editor first that you just saw.
  • Next you should install the atom-ide-ui package. Read this post to know how to install a package in Atom.
  • Now that you have atom-ide-ui, you need to install the language package like Java, PHP, JavaScript etc. You can search for these packages.

There are a multitude of Atom packages available for you to explore and make your editor even more awesome.

Your experience with Atom?

If you tried Atom, do share your experience with us. Do you think Atom deserves the adulation it gets from its fans?

About the author
Abhishek Prakash

Abhishek Prakash

Created It's FOSS 11 years ago to share my Linux adventures. Have a Master's degree in Engineering and years of IT industry experience. Huge fan of Agatha Christie detective mysteries 🕵️‍♂️

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