Topics Map > Computing > linux

Linux Editors

This is a non-comprehensive list of editors to use in a command line environment for Linux.

A text file file is composed of any of the characters that can be entered using a keyboard. It may be a program, settings for a program, a database, a dissertation, a reading list, or a system settings file.

Text Editors

A text editor is a program that has been designed especially for creating and editing text files. Keep in mind that a text editor is not a word processor.

The text editors below are run from the servers themselves in your SSH session. 

This is a list of text editors available on the Linux machines here in the Math Department, along with some online help guides. Each editor is different with its own capabilities and commands. They are listed with the simplest first.


GNU Nano is an extremely simple editor. Nano was designed to be a free replacement for the Pico text editor, part of the Pine email suite from The University of Washington. It aimed to "emulate Pico as closely as is reasonable and then include extra functionality". Run: nano textfilename



Joe is an easy-to-use editor that is very configurable. Run: joe textfilename



The Vim project describes Vim as "Vim is an advanced text editor that seeks to provide the power of the de-facto Unix editor 'Vi'"

The vi editor is a screen-based editor used by many Linux and Unix users. Vim can take some time to become fluent because it operates differently than almost all other editors that we are accustomed to today. There are those that swear by vim/vi(but they only swear at emacs). Run: vim textfilename

Mastering the Vi Editor: A great place to start if you are new to Vi.


Emacs is an advanced, self-documenting, customizable, extensible real-time display text editor. There are those that swear by emacs also(but they only swear at vim/vi) Run: emacs textfilename

GNU Emacs Manual

Integrated Development Environments(IDEs)

An integrated development environment (IDE) is a software application that provides a wide range of tools for software development.


"Visual Studio Code, also commonly referred to as VS Code, is a source-code editor made by Microsoft with the Electron Framework, for Windows, Linux and macOS. Features include support for debugging, syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, snippets, code refactoring, and embedded Git. Users can change the theme, keyboard shortcuts, preferences, and install extensions that add functionality."(Wikipedia)

You install and run VSCode on your device.  Then you can connect it via SSH to the machine where your code is stored and run. The experience is like you are editing a file on your computer.


"VSCodium is a community-driven, freely-licensed binary distribution of Microsoft’s editor VS Code."(

See the description of VSCode above.

Keywordseditors, linux, command line   Doc ID114556
OwnerErik M.GroupUW Math Department
Created2021-10-28 12:38:36Updated2024-01-19 11:04:21
SitesUW Math Department
Feedback  1   0