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Which is the best text editor for Linux?

By   |  May 7, 2008

Real geeks use text editors. Even when they should be using a proper word processor. But not all geeks use the same text editor. We’re partial to Gedit for serious writing and Vim for short scripts. Tell us what makes your words work.




15 Responses to “Which is the best text editor for Linux?”

  1. Gustav Bertram
    May 7th, 2008 @ 3:41 pm

    XEmacs FTW!

  2. Sash
    May 7th, 2008 @ 7:38 pm

    Well I think that vi is the most crudest of all text editors out there and dont really understand why it is rated no.1 – even dos’es edit was leaps ahead.

    I guess the only reason why it is rated so high is that you can log into any linux/unix distro and ol faithful vi will be there. Also its such a small executable.

    To say its the best is flawed, more like every sys admin has to know vi and thats it.

  3. alleman
    May 7th, 2008 @ 7:42 pm

    Can’t believe you list Kwrite instead of Kate. Kate is awesome – i’ve even seen people use it as their preferred editor within Gnome.

  4. Alastair
    May 7th, 2008 @ 8:20 pm


    I liked Kate when I last used it. But we had to cut off somewhere. Perhaps we’ll do a follow-up vote based on the editors we’ve not listed this time around? 😉

  5. Alastair
    May 7th, 2008 @ 8:22 pm

    > I guess the only reason why it is rated so high is that you can log into any
    > linux/unix distro and ol faithful vi will be there. Also its such a small executable.

    Yes. That’s pretty much the reason. No matter where you are, Vi is there. And if if you know your way around Vi it is powerful.

  6. Greg
    May 7th, 2008 @ 10:29 pm

    I love and use Geany. It is light and functional.

  7. Jonathan
    May 9th, 2008 @ 7:47 pm

    What? DOS Edit more powerful than vim? No ways. Learn to use it before you criticize it, Vim is universes more powerful than

    BTW, Alistair, you’re trolling again 😉

  8. Alastair
    May 10th, 2008 @ 6:53 am


    Trolling? Me? never.
    Gedit is simply more user-friendly than Vim. Even if it isn’t as powerful.

  9. Herman
    May 15th, 2008 @ 6:59 pm

    The best Linux text editor is Geany.

  10. Andre
    May 19th, 2008 @ 8:40 am

    The best graphical text editor is NEdit. Even though it does not seem to be actively developed anymore I can still not find a better editor for the GUI environment. Vim is technically a better editor, but I am lazy and the memory it not that good anymore (well, actually never was) so all the keystrokes that I need to remember put it just below NEdit in my book.
    In a non-gui environment, nothing beats vim.

  11. burla
    August 27th, 2008 @ 3:32 am

    Geany is a very good text editor.
    It is light and handy features.

    It is comparable to PsPad or Notepad .

  12. dave fernandes
    February 4th, 2009 @ 7:15 am

    vim is powerful but a steep learning curve. The only reason I tolerate it, is because of its universal setup but that’s like saying Internet Explorer is the best because it comes with the OS. Sometimes we get accustomed to something and that makes it the best for that reason alone.
    Heck, I’m the first to admit my own bias in so many areas. For example, I hate the graphic interface of linux for ANY file server. I use the command line but that’s because it’s what I know.

  13. arun
    February 10th, 2009 @ 1:40 pm

    vi/vim is a powerful and flexible editor with lots of features. If you really know its features, you will love it and will not use any other editor in linux.

  14. hruda
    March 13th, 2009 @ 6:06 pm


    In my X normally I use Kate.
    For fast editing in terminal Nano (which is better for me than remember all vim shortcuts).

    But, I was solving another issue:
    I work remotely on X linux machine, my line is 2.5 MB/s (but ok, usually gives 1.5 MB/s).
    Many times I just need to paste a code (hundreds of lines) from my local machine into some file on remote machine, which is nice to do in some GUI editor.
    In this case to work with (new) Kate on remote machine is very very very painful, slow process.
    For this purpose I found Leafpad as a good option – light and fast enough.

  15. Conrad
    March 20th, 2009 @ 12:11 am

    I like Kate, never liked Kwrite, but I rate Gedit above them for one reason alone. With Gedit you can open multiple documents in SEPARATE windows – not tabs – WINDOWS.

    Put one document on one screen, put your other on another screen, copy and paste easily between them.

    For me, this makes Gedit much more powerful than the KDE equivalents. Otherwise, I think Kate is actually nicer to use, tho I hate how it handles selected text…

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