SciTE: The Notepad++ for Linux

Scite: Linux alternative for Notepad++

Notepad++ is a popular text editor among programmers who use Windows. Gedit is the default text editor on Ubuntu and many other Linux distributions. It’s a decent tool for programming but I don’t think it can be treated as a full-fledged code editor.

If you want the awesomeness of Notepad++ on Linux, you are in for a disappointment. There is no Linux version of Notepad++. You’ll have to compromise with Notepad++ alternatives on Linux. And this is where SciTE comes into the picture.

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 on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions

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:

SciTE instead of Notepad++ or Gedit?

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

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  • Scite is awful, takes years to customize, no themes, no plugins. Anything you want to configure, you have to look up and most times it is not available. Not anywhere in the ballpark of Notepad++ and lightyears from VS Code.