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PC-style text editors for Unix

News Cooledit Jedit
(Java-based and not that super light)
Mcedit FTE LE Jed Joe
geany     Dead Editors Society ;-)        

In computer science, a good simple convenient text editor is a must. And most of them have Windows heritage ;-) To this end, we've included a multitude of Windows-style lightweight editors available today.

GUI-based environments have some pretty decent PC-style editors link KDE_KEdit and Nedit. For command line situation is not so good, but still there are some decent implementations...


MC also comes with what appears to be a much better editor known as mcedit. This is a console window version of CoolEdit, but the development stalled long ago. 

This editor has interesting non standard for Windows cut and paste scheme. First F3 marks start of selection, second F3 marks the end of selection and highlight the selection. Then you can move your cursor. If you press F5, selected area will be moved to the cursor location. If you press F6, selected area will be copied and inserted to the cursor location. F2 will save file.F10 will get you out. Most other cursor keys works intuitively for Windows users

This editor can be directly started like:

     $ mc -e filename_to_edit
     $ mcedit filename_to_edit

This is not a multi-window editor but one can use multiple Linux console to achieve same effect. To copy between windows, ALT-Fn-keys to switch virtual consoles and use "File->Insert file" or "File->Copy to file" to move portion of file to other files.

In Midnight Commander this internal editor can be replaced with any external editor of choice.

Also many programs use environment variables EDITOR or VISUAL to decide which editor to use. If you are uncomfortable with vim, set these to "mcedit" by in ~/.bashrc:

     export EDITOR=mcedit
     export VISUAL=mcedit
See Mcedit


jEdit - Open Source programmer's text editor -- if you use Java (1.4.2 or later, then it might be an optimal choice, otherwise it might be too much staff to install ;-)

jEdit is a mature and well-designed programmer's text editor that has been in development for over 5 years.

While jEdit beats many expensive development tools for features and ease of use, it is released as free software with full source code, provided under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

The core of jEdit is primarily developed by Slava Pestov, and jEdit plugins are being written by a large and diverse team of programmers from around the world.

Some of jEdit's features include:

LE - le editor 1.9 by Alexander V. Lukyanov - February 25th 2000, 12:37 EST. See also

LE 1.9 supports Perl and has many block operations with stream and rectangular blocks, can edit both unix and dos style files (LF/CRLF), is binary clean, has hex mode, can edit files and mmap'pable devices in mmap shared mode (only replace), has tunable syntax highlighting, tunable color scheme (can use default colors), tunable key map. It is slightly similar to Norton Editor, but has more features.


The JED Programmer's Editor  -- a free text editor for Unix, VMS, MSDOS, OS/2, and MS Windows based on S-Lang scripting language.  Default set of commands close to WordStar(or Borland IDE, if you wish ;-).  Actively developed and has active mailing list.

It is relatively small (less than 200K), loads fast, does not take much disk space or memory.   Included on most Linux distributions.  For a long tyme it is used as a standard editor on Slackware. On RH is it configured to emulated Emacs mode (actually it's doing it pretty well and is noticeably faster). To change to WordStar mode one needs to edit file /usr/lib/jed/lib/jed.rc and

Developed by John E. Davis, who also developed S-Lang language. Embeddable implementation of S-lang is often called S-lang library is pretty popular and used in Midnight Commander and Lynx, MOST, and SLRN.

 and participated in the development of Color Lynx, rxvt. slsc.

The color highlighting is a big plus. The latest version is B0.99-7 which may be obtained via ftp from which is also mirrored in Europe at Among features:

There is also a useful add-on jedstate. Using jedstate together with jed's startup_hook() and exit_hook() as glue, jed remembers the cursor position of all visited files and will automatically jump to that position again when the files are revisited. The database, which is gdbm based, is purgeable on a "time since last view" criterion. Jedstate comes with two sample hooks for easy integration with jed.

Additional sources of information:


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Old News ;-)

[Dec 06, 2015] How To Install Microsoft Visual Studio Code on Linux by Vivek Gite

November 18, 2015

Visual Studio code (VScode) is the cross-platform Chromium-based code editor is being open sourced today by Microsoft. How do I install Microsoft Visual Studio Code on a Debian or Ubuntu or Fedora Linux desktop?

Visual Studio supports debugging Linux apps and code editor now open source by Microsoft. It is a preview (beta) version but you can test it and use it on your own Linux based desktop.

From the project website:

Visual Studio Code provides developers with a new choice of developer tool that combines the simplicity and streamlined experience of a code editor with the best of what developers need for their core code-edit-debug cycle. Visual Studio Code is the first code editor, and first cross-platform development tool - supporting OS X, Linux, and Windows - in the Visual Studio family. If you use Unity, ASP.NET 5, NODE.JS or related tool, give it a try.

Requirements for Visual Studio Code on Linux

  1. Ubuntu Desktop version 14.04
  2. GLIBCXX version 3.4.15 or later
  3. GLIBC version 2.15 or later

The following installation instructions are tested on:

  1. Fedora Linux 22 and 23
  2. Debian Linux 8
  3. Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS

Download Visual Studio Code

Visit this page to grab the latest version and save it to ~/Downloads/ folder on Linux desktop:

Make a new folder (say $HOME/VSCode) and extract inside that folder or in /usr/local/ folder. Unzip to that folder.

Alternate install method

You can use the wget command to download VScode as follows:
$ wget ''
Sample outputs:

--2015-11-18 13:55:23--
Resolving (, 2606:2800:11f:179a:1972:2405:35b:459
Connecting to (||:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 64638315 (62M) [application/octet-stream]
Saving to: ''
100%[======================================>] 64,638,315  84.9MB/s   in 0.7s
2015-11-18 13:55:23 (84.9 MB/s) - '' saved [64638315/64638315]

Install VScode using the command line

Cd to ~/Download/ location, enter:
$ cd ~/Download/
$ ls -l

Sample outputs:

Unzip in /usr/local/ directory, enter:
$ sudo unzip -d /usr/local/

Cd into /usr/local/ to create the soft-link as follows using the ln command for the Code executable. This is useful to run VSCode from the terminal application:
$ su -
# cd /usr/local/
# ls -l
# cd bin/
# ln -s ../VSCode-linux-x64/Code code
# exit

Sample session:

How do I use VSCode on Linux?

Open the Terminal app and type the following command:
$ /usr/local/bin/code

And, there you have it, the VSCode installed and working correctly on the latest version of Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora Linux. I suggest that you read getting started pages from Microsoft to understand the core concepts that will make you more productive writing and navigating your code.

[Nov 29, 2012] Geany - A Great Lightweight Code Editor For Linux

However, I'm glad to know that there are now two really good IDEs out there, and Geany is one of them. Compared to Eclipse, the other good IDE, it's much more lightweight but just as capable.

... ... ...

Aside from being lightweight, Geany does a great job of staying out of the way while you code, and displaying certain features right where you need them. Line numbers, syntax highlighting, automatically closing braces, parenthesis, and more, all do what they need to do, and don't alter your personal workflow style. For a programmer, it's very good to develop a coding habit you're comfortable with and use a code editor that doesn't force you to do things differently.

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[Nov 14, 2000] FED - a folding text editor

FED is a dead folding text editor for MS-DOS and Linux, with source code freely available under the GPL. It features:

DOS: (262k)

Linux: fed.tar.gz (200k)


ZED -- practically dead and should probably be removed. Was developed by Sandro Serafini; has decent DOS port. Default command set is WordStar like, but can easily be changed. Current version seems to be 1.03 (as of July 1999). Does not make much sense in view of existence of Jed.

Other GUI-based with ad-hos created macro languages

Rather Strange Unix-based Super-Lightweight Editors



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