15 Ubuntu Text Editors – Grab Your Favorite

The choice of a good text editor is very important because one needs to write, edit, compose/save notes almost on daily basis while working on office projects, class assignments, etc. Like all other operating systems, Ubuntu supports a large numbers of text editors.  Below we have compiled 15 useful text editors and their installation details for your productivity.


It is the default text editor in Ubuntu Linux and support UTF-8. It required no installation and can be loaded from Applications > Accessries > Text Editor.

gedit main 15 Ubuntu Text Editors   Grab Your FavoriteView in gallery


Cream is basically an extension of a terminal based text editor Vim(which we have also covered in this post). It has a graphical interface while Vim does not have graphical interface. Run the following command in terminal to install it.

sudo apt-get install cream

Now, run it by pressing Alt + F2 (Run Application utility).

run cream 15 Ubuntu Text Editors   Grab Your FavoriteView in gallery

Maintaining notes using Cream is quite easy and is similar to notepad for Windows.

cream-mainView in gallery


It runs on all operating systems. Programmers around the world prefer using it as a text editor. It is an extensible text editor written in Java. Since a lot of people are contributing to its development, it is getting quite some popularity. To install Jedit in Ubuntu, run following command:

apt-get install jedit

Now load it from Run Application box.

run-jeditView in gallery

Here you are ready to experience the exciting features and look of Jedit.

jedit-mainView in gallery


Emacs is an extensible and customized text editor which is most commonly used and perhaps has greater number of features then any other open source text editor. Although it does not comes by default with Ubuntu Linux, but installing it in Ubuntu Linux is very simple. Open your terminal and enter following command to install it in Ubuntu Linux.

apt-get install emacs

Once installation is complete, you can load it from Run Application by typing emacs in the box.

emacsView in gallery


Vim is improved version of text editor Vi. Vim is often said to be Improved Vi. People working in terminal use Vim editor to create and edit text files. System administrators who perform remote server administration, use Vim to do required changes in files. It is installed by default in almost all Linux flavors including Ubuntu. You can open some file with Vim by running following command:

vim filename

where filename is the name of file to open.

vimView in gallery


Nano is basically an improved and extended form of pico text editor.  It provides very easy navigation between beginning and end of lines and paragraphs.  It is a part of standard Ubuntu distribution and you can run it easily from Run Application box.

nanoView in gallery


SciTE is famous for syntax highlighting. You can install it by running following simple command in terminal.

sudo apt-get install scite

Once loaded, it looks like the screenshot shown below.

scite1View in gallery


LeafPad is a light GUI based text editor which is commonly used by Linux users. It can also be installed on Ubuntu Linux using apt repositories.

sudo apt-get install leafpad

It can be loaded from Run Application, by typing leafpad in text box.

leafpad1View in gallery


Geany is a famous cross platform text editors and lot of Linux/Unix users use it.  It has rich set of features which makes it famous on different operating systems. To install it on Ubuntu Linux,  run following command in your terminal.

sudo apt-get install geany

Due to its simplicity, the interface looks more like a PDF editor.

geany1View in gallery


Bluefish is easy-to-install and use text editor and offers spell check feature. Due to broad sets of features, it looks more like MS Word of Ubuntu. You can install it via following simple command in Ubuntu Linux.

sudo apt-get install bluefish

Once installation is complete, you can load it from Run Application utility.

bluefish screenshotView in gallery


XEmacs is a highly customizable  graphical text editor and application development system. It has full color support on a color-capable character terminal. Run the following command in the terminal to install it.

sudo aptget install xemacs21

XemacsView in gallery


Kwrite is basically developed for the KDE environment but runs flawlessly on Gnome desktop as well. If you want to run it in Gnome then you will need to install some of its supporting packages as well, simply run the following command in the terminal and it will take care of all the required packages as well.

sudo apt-get install kwrite

kwriteView in gallery


It is developed for Gnome desktop environment and the common repetitive tasks are intelligently automated in it. To install it, simply open the terminal and run the following command :

sudo apt-get install scribes

ScribesView in gallery


It is popular text editor for the technical authors and scientists. Its one of the key feature is that it provides Mathematical formula editor. You can insert graphs, add various formulas, enter equations and much more. Run the following command to install it.

sudo apt-get install lyx

LyxView in gallery



After Vim and Nano, it is considered to be one of the most popular command line based text editor and system administrators who work on remote Linux/Unix servers. It comes by default installed with modern Linux/Unix distributions.

PicoView in gallery


  • Guillaume

    You missed Kate!

  • 1. LyX is not a text editor 😉

    2. for Crean you have screenshot with Vim 🙂

    3. What about Joe and Cooledit?

  • Linux Guru

    The title should be 15 Linux text editors – Grab your favorite. Considering any one of these can be installed in any Linux distro.

  • “It runs on all operating systems.”

    With all due respect, NOTHING runs on all operating systems. Not all platforms have a free JVM port, some don’t even have one available for money, and some will run text-based Java apps but have no means for executing GUI applications.

    • Linux Expert

      Firefox, Opera, and OpenOffice.org run on all Operating systems.

      • edglex

        haiku? syllable? atheos? irix? dos?

        Think before you drink, before you drive me mad

      • seasoned_geek

        They do not run on OpenVMS, OS/400, MVS, or Z/OS

    • Libreoffice, CDEX, Doom3, Chrome/ium, VLC, Thunderbird…..

  • Emil

    Ubuntu editors? There are no such things. Ubuntu has no editors whatsoever.

  • Justin

    Agreed about JOE. It’s my favorite console-based text editor. Reminds me the most of edit.com from my MS-DOS days.

  • Nick

    Can’t say I know all of these but I was surprised there was no mention of Kate.

  • Shawn

    I sorry but ViM does have a GUI: gvim. What Cream does for gvim (not vim) is make it respond to conventional GUI commands. Normally gvim responds only to vi(1) commands.

  • Kate is substantially better than almost all of these editors (with the possible exception of emacs and/or vim.) It REALLY should have been included. In fact the last linuxworld poll I saw had Kate the third most popular text editor used on Linux.


  • rel

    My favorite: X File Write

    It is installed as an integrated text editor when you install the XFE file manager package (also my favorite file manager). Runs fast and stays out of your way.


  • Albinootje

    Very nice article!
    Except there are some mistakes in it. Nano was developed for only one reason, I’ll quote it from the nano manual page :
    “nano is a small, free and friendly editor which aims to replace Pico, the default editor included in the non-free Pine package.”
    (By the way, the pine mail-reader has a free replacement look-alike called alpine).

    Another mistake is your remark that pico is included by default on modern GNU/Linux systems, but that is certainly not the case for e.g. Debian and Ubuntu.
    And I’d like to point out also that installing pine in FreeBSD (From ports) will give you a warning that pine is using insecure source code.

    Furthermore, my all time favourite text editor Joe was missing in this list. Looking at the other comments I’m not the only one who likes it.

    Thanks for the article!

  • yeah, u missed kate… i love it…

  • Great post, my favourite is Geany…

  • fox

    Which have active www links in .txt files?

  • Fredd

    They work for bill gates and spew bull shit on the net about linux. Gdit is a note pad trash program ejaculated from the Windows XPness of Bill Gates. As he rapes the linux community with spermbuntu operating system

  • Pingback: Geany Is Lightweight IDE With Build-in Compiler, Now For Windows()

  • BYTE


  • MarcusSioux

    Kate is by far superior to any of these.


    what about sublime text editor?