Ubuntu Text Editors

Written by Full-Stack Developer

September 9, 2023
Ubuntu Text Editors

Operating systems are programs managing hardware and software interactions in our digital lives. They oversee hardware drivers, system efficiency, and application support. Operating systems like Mac OS X, Windows, and Ubuntu, a free Linux-based system, are user-friendly and highly efficient. These systems, present in desktops and servers, come with pre-installed text editors for text creation and editing, enhancing their utility across different fields.

Ubuntu text editors are pre-installed software tools in the Ubuntu operating system used for creating, editing, and manipulating text.

In this article, we will dive into the world of Ubuntu text editors but first;

A Brief History of Ubuntu Editors


Ubuntu was developed, supported, and released in 2004 by Canonical Ltd., a UK-based privately held computer software company founded and funded by Mark Shuttleworth. With its explosive growth in the software market, it rapidly became a programmer's choice, with some citing that it is easy to program on, unlike its other counterparts.

Mark Shuttleworth was born and raised in South Africa. The name "Ubuntu" comes from ancient Zulu and Xhosa languages that translate to "humanity to others," a concept he embraces. Also, Ubuntu translates as "I am what I am because of who we all are." These sentiments precisely describe the spirit of the Ubuntu distribution today.

Amongst all Linux distributions available on the internet, Ubuntu is the most popular for its;

  • Strong security: It utilizes advanced security measures to prevent breaches.

  • Hardware and software compatibility: It follows a strict principle of compatibility. All hardware that used to work for the previous versions of Ubuntu will also work for all the latest versions.

  • Cost: It is free for all to download anywhere around the globe.

  • Ease of Use: It has a simple and practical user interface.

Ubuntu is used for cloud computing, web hosting, and personal computing and is used on IOT designs and mobile devices for different purposes. Ubuntu is committed to remaining free, and its global ecosystem of developers and contributors supports each other to make it reliable and accessible to everyone; furthermore, users can also share and distribute it to anyone freely.

We’ve looked at the history of Ubuntu and a few reasons why it is popular; now let’s discuss the text editors.

What is a Text Editor?


Text editors are computer programs that enable users to create, edit, open, and view plain text files. They are often used to write complex code and edit source code on websites. Furthermore, they are used in a number of fields like web development, writing, data analysis, and so on.

Text editors are free and accessible to anyone; they are also lightweight and fast with fewer, simple features that are easy to use. Additionally, they can be customized with different features and support plugins and extensions to integrate with other tools. To make your text editor more efficient, for example, you may adjust keyboard shortcuts, improve the interface with themes and color schemes, change the font family and size, and highlight the syntax with colors for easier readability. The level of customization is dependent on the text editor.

Below we will list some of the best text editors for Ubuntu that may help you on your programming journey. Note that some text editors come with auto-complete and auto-correct features, while other text editors have plugins that make programming projects easier. Here’s a list of some of the commonly used Ubuntu text editors;

1. Gedit

The default text editor in the Ubuntu operating system is Gedit. Gedit is a simple text editor that supports a number of programming languages, including C, C++, Java, HTML, and others. It is UTF-8 compliant and offers the majority of basic text editor capabilities. Gedit also has advanced capabilities, which include a variety of official and third-party plugins, multilingual spell-checking, and significant syntax highlighting support.

Features of Gedit include;

  • Syntax Highlighting
  • Auto completion
  • Cross-platform Support
  • Plugins and Integrations
  • Collaborative Editing

2. Nano

Nano is a small, lightweight, open-source text editor that was first introduced in 1999 using the C programming language. It was developed for Unix computing using a command-line interface. Aside from its text editing functions, Nano offers many extra features, for example;

  • An interactive search-and-replace
  • Syntax coloring
  • Smooth scrolling
  • Auto-indentation
  • Go-to-line-and-column-number
  • File locking, and backup files.

Nano uses simple key combinations to work with files.

3. Vim

Vim, an acronym for "Vi Improved," is a classic, powerful, and advanced text editor for developers that was introduced and released in 1991. It is not user-friendly and is one of the hardest text editors for beginners to grasp. The Vim interface does not include menus or icons, and the editor relies on commands given in a text user interface. As for user programmability, there are limitations in using plugins and custom scripts.

Vim is coded in C and Vim Script, so if you are not well-versed in these languages, it may be hard to understand. However, there are resources to help beginners get started through the basics.

Key binding is an integral feature of the Vim editor. The Vim keys for movement, editing, and manipulating text conform naturally to the motion and positions of your fingers on the keyboard. With much practice, Vim users can complete complex text manipulations faster. Vim lets you work more quickly through text than any other editor; it also has a built-in, integrated help system that allows users to query and navigate through commands and features.

Features of Vim include;

  • Smart Indenting
  • Customization
  • Multiple Window Support
  • Plug-in support
  • Auto completion

4. Sublime Text

As one of the most popular text editors for programmers, Sublime Text is bombarded with sophisticated features. The text editing window does not need much instruction to get started. It was released in 2008 and marketed to JavaScript and Python developers. The sublime text editor is written in C++, which gives it an edge in performance over other editors written in JavaScript (Brackets). One of its key features is its cross-platform functionality (you could use it on other operating systems). Other features, like the Python-based plugin API, are handy for developers using third-party plugins.

The sublime text editor is extensively customizable and has one of the fastest response times to code queries. It has advanced features like split editing, multiple selections, a minimap, and more.

5. Brackets

Brackets is a source code editor developed by Adobe in 2014. Its interface was designed to focus on web development projects. It is written in JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. Brackets have features like Live Preview (its best functionality), Inline Editing, Quick Docs & Edit, and additional plugin support. Brackets blend visual tools into the editor, which has garnered support from a very active user community. Its only major flaw would be its speed.

6. Atom

Atom, a 2014 open-source text editor released by GitHub, is built on the Electron framework, which is an open-source framework developed by GitHub that allows developers to build cross-platform desktop applications using web technologies.

Atom makes it simple to personalize your interface; there are several options available. You can, for example, connect it to GitHub, install plugins/packages, change styling, select themes, and so on. Atom is regarded as a powerful, robust, flexible, and versatile text editor capable of performing a wide range of tasks. It is popular among developers for handling programming tasks.

7. Leafpad

Leafpad is a simple and lightweight graphical text editor. It is similar to Microsoft notepad, it has minimal dependencies, and it’s great for basic text editing (e.g. create, open, and save files, etc.)

Features of Leafpad include;

  • Simplicity
  • Lightweight
  • Customization
  • Multiple language support

8. Eclipse

Eclipse is an open-source IDE that includes a text editor for operating systems. It is designed for Java development and performs programming using the Java language. However, with the use of plugins, you can program in other major languages, e.g., JavaScript, Python, PHP, C, and C++.

Features of Eclipse are;

  • Syntax Highlighting
  • Code Completion
  • Plugin support
  • Refactoring

9. Emacs

Emacs, or Editor Macros, is a free text editor popular among software developers. It is one of the oldest text editors, and it is customizable and extensible. Users can extend its functionality due to a built-in scripting language called Emacs Lisp used by Emacs to implement editing functionality. Users can customize the behavior of the editor, automate tasks, and add new features. Emacs is said to have a steep learning curve, which may be a little difficult to understand, but with constant use and practice, it becomes easy to use.

Features of Emacs include;

  • Syntax Highlighting
  • Robust Editing Commands
  • Multi buffer and Windows support
  • Multi-platform support
  • Customizable feature
  • Integrated Developer Environment(IDE)
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Summary


Text editors can be used for a variety of reasons, and each text editor has features suitable for different tasks. Ubuntu offers a range of text editors installed by default; you can also install editors that aren’t available by default by simply installing them via the CLI (Command Line Interface) using a package manager.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Linux reseller hosting and regular Linux hosting?

The main difference between Linux reseller hosting and regular Linux hosting is that reseller hosting allows users to sell hosting services to their own customers. Regular Linux hosting is designed for users who only need to host their own website or application.

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What control panel is used in Linux reseller hosting?

The most common control panels used in Linux reseller hosting are cPanel and Plesk.

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