Editors for the shell


Article from Issue 79/2007

More is not always better, especially at the command line. Lean text editors such as nano, JOE, and ee fit Linux novices and experts alike.

Text editors on Linux are two a penny. The two major desktop environments, KDE and Gnome, have their own graphical counterparts, all of which support mouse control and offer a multitude of functions with menus to match. But how will you manage if your GUI environment is broken or if you need to use SSH to work on a remote machine?

Classical text editors for the command line can be useful because you can control them with just the keyboard. Many users prefer one of the “major league” editors – Vi(m) or (X)Emacs – but if you prefer a leaner approach, you may find that a program like nano, JOE, or ee could be just as useful.

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