Brief: Notepad++ is not available for Linux but we’ll show you the best Notepad++ alternatives for Linux in this article.
Notepad++ has been my favorite text editor in Windows at work. At home, I use desktop Linux and I miss Notepad++. I do not know why even after several years Notepad++ has not come up with its Linux client. So what if it is not available for Linux, we can always have some worthy alternatives to Notepad++ for Linux. I have compiled a list of seven best text editor that you could use in place of Notepad++ in your favorite Linux distribution, be it Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora or any other Linux distribution.
Before we check out this list of Notepad++ alternatives, let’s first see what are we looking for in a text editor. I say the basic features should be lightweight, syntax highlighting, auto-completion, appealing GUI, multi language support, macros, regex search and a good number of additional plugins. All the text editors listed here are chosen based on these criteria. Without further ado, let’s have a look at Notepad++ Linux alternatives.
Best Notepad++ alternatives for Linux
Just to add, not all text editors discussed here are open source. Though this list is for Notepad++ alternatives, I would not hesitate to call it the list of best text editors for Linux. I know few people will pitch for Vi, Vim, Emacs, Pico or Nano but these legendary (and preferably) command line editors have been deliberately excluded from the list.
Wait! Did I just say Notepad++? Yes, I did in fact.
You can use the same good old Notepad++ on Linux thought it’s not the same experience. You see, you can use certain Windows applications in Linux using Wine. Though it’s not the same as using a native Linux application, it is still usable to a good extent.
Someone has created a Snap application of Notepad++ running on Wine. While it would be slightly difficult for you to configure Wine, the Snap app makes it easier for you.
Make sure that you have Snap support enabled. And then just type the command below to install Notepad++ on Linux:
sudo snap install notepad-plus-plus
The first one on the list is Notepadqq and the reasons are obvious. Notepadqq is an exact replica of Notepad++, at least in terms of looks. It is free and open source. In Ubuntu and Linux Mint, you can install Notepadqq using its official PPA. Open a terminal and use the following command:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:notepadqq-team/notepadqq sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install notepadqq
You can get the source code for other Linux distributions:
SciTE is a cross platform, open source text editor that comes with a number of plugins/add-ons. GUI may not look as good as the next generation text editors such as Atom but it has features enough to make you use it. It has been in the Linux world for quite some time and has a fan following of its own.
Most of the Linux distributions have SciTE included in their repository. In Ubuntu and Linux Mint, you can install it using the command below:
sudo apt-get install scite
For other Linux distributions, you can get the source code here:
Alright! Geany is not merely a text editor, it is (almost) an IDE. A free and open source product, Geany is available for all desktop platforms such as Windows, Linux, OS X, BSD etc. A quick list of features are as following:
- Syntax highlighting
- Code folding
- Symbol name auto-completion
- Construct completion
- Auto closing of XML and HTML tags
- Many supported filetypes including C, Java, PHP, HTML, Python, Perl etc
- Code navigation
- Compile and execute your code
- Project management
Like SciTE, Geany too is available in default repository of major Linux distributions. In Ubuntu and Linux Mint, you can install it using the following command:
sudo apt-get install geany
You can get the source code for Geany from the link below:
4. Sublime Text
Sublime Text is perhaps one of the few non-free and non-open source products that are widely popular in Linux world. Despite of opaque and slow development, Sublime Text has been the preferred text editor for programmers for a long time. Feature rich, extremely cool looks and tons of plugins make Sublime Text a hot favorite for many. Its features can be summarized as follows:
- Goto Anything
- Multiple Selections
- Command Palette
- Distraction Free Mode
- Split Editing
- Instant Project Switch
Current stable version Sublime Text 2 can be easily installed using this unofficial PPA in Ubuntu and Linux Mint:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/sublime-text-2 sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install sublime-text
5. Lime Text
The name might give it away. Lime Text is actually related to Sublime Text. It is a free and open source clone of Sublime Text. Frustrated with slow development with hardly any insights on the upcoming Sublime Text 3 (it’s in beta for nearly three years now), Frederic decided to take the matter in his own code and thus Lime Text was born. Almost identical in looks, Lime Text also mimics Sublime Text in terms of feature.
You can get the source code of Lime Text from the link below:
KDE users must be aware of Kate which is the default text editor in KDE desktop environment. Kate is powerful and feature rich text editor and was declared the best text editor for Linux by Life Hacker a few years back. A quick glance at its feature is as following:
- MDI, window splitting, window tabbing
- Spell checking
- Shell integration
- Syntax highlighting and bracket matching
- Regular expression support
- Code and text folding
- Infinite undo/redo support
- Block selection mode
- Auto indentation
- Auto completion
- Plugin support
- Customizable shortcuts
In Ubuntu and Linux Mint, you can install Kate using the following command:
sudo apt-get install kate
It should be in the repositories of other Linux distributions. You can also download the source code from the link below:
Atom is the latest sensation in the programming world. A cross platform, open source text editor from GitHub, Atom has just seen the first stable release but it already has over 300,000 monthly active users. Termed as the “hackable text editor for 21st century”, Atom has a lot of interesting new features apart from an uber cool GUI. You can install Atom in Ubuntu or Fedora by downloading the respective binaries. You can also get its source code.
Which is the best?
How do you find this list? Does it have your favorite text editor in it? Which according to you is the best text editor for Linux? Do share your views. And if you liked this link, do check the list of best modern open source code editors for Linux.