Best Linux Text Editor For Web Development

Choosing the best Linux text editor for your web development needs is a little like choosing the best-tasting food—everyone has their own opinion! In fact, if you’re new to this topic, you might be surprised at just how passionate people are about the tools they use.

But don’t stress! We’ve done our homework for this one. Today we’ll be exploring the different kinds of editors out there, and discussing the features that make them stand out. After reading this article, you should have a pretty good idea of what you need in an editor and which one is right for you.

Best Linux Text Editor For Web Development

Note: The list is in no particular order of ranking.

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1. Atom

Atom Screenshot

Atom is a modern and sleek-looking open-source editor for programmers. Atom was developed by GitHub and promoted as a “hackable text editor for the 21st century”.

Atom became popular even before its first stable release. Based on its excellent list of features, I can certainly mention it as one of the best text editors for Ubuntu, or any other operating system for that matter. 

Don’t just take my word for it. Have a look at some key features of the Atom code editor:

  • Easily extensible
  • Built-in package manager with a huge number of plugins available
  • Smart autocompletion
  • Split windows
  • Cross-platform
  • Embedded Git control
  • Command palette support

Atom offers .deb and .rpm packages on their official website. You can also follow our tutorial to easily install Atom on Ubuntu and Fedora-based Linux distributions.

In either case, you can also head to their GitHub page to explore more.Atom

2. Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code screenshot

Visual Studio Code is a popular code editor from Microsoft. Now don’t push the panic button just yet. Visual Studio Code is completely open-source.

In fact, Visual Studio Code was among the first few ‘peace offerings’ from Microsoft to the Linux and open-source world.

Visual Studio Code is an excellent code editor for all kinds of tasks. It’s lightweight as well. Some key features are:

  • Intellisense provides useful hints and auto-completion features
  • Built-in Git support
  • Built-in extension manager with plenty of extensions available to download
  • Integrated terminal
  • Custom snippet support
  • Debugging tools
  • Support for a huge number of programming languages
  • Cross-platform

Because of their similarity, it is often difficult to choose between Atom and VS Code. Both are owned by Microsoft, after all.

Installing Visual Studio Code on Ubuntu and other distributions such as Fedora-based ones is very easy, thanks to Snap and Flatpak packages.

Alternatively, you can also download .deb/.rpm packages for Ubuntu, Fedora, and other Linux distributions from its official website.Visual Studio Code

3. VSCodium

Vscodium Screenshot

If you want to get rid of the telemetry, branding, and licenses of Visual Code Studio, VSCodium is for you.

VSCodium is essentially the same minus Microsoft telemetry and branding.

You can find .deb/.rpm packages along with files for Windows or ARM-based systems on their GitHub page. If you prefer to use Flatpak, you can also find it listed on Flathub. For reference, you can take a look at our Flatpak guide for help.VSCodium

4. Kate

kate editor screenshot

Kate is an underrated modern text editor developed by KDE.

Kate can prove to be a potential alternative to Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code. It may not offer the same features/plugins that you find with Visual Studio Code, but you should get all the essentials to get started.

Some of the features are:

  • Split window
  • Multiple document editing
  • Session support
  • Code folding
  • Cross-platform support
  • Integrated Git support
  • Autocomplete feature
  • Plugins to extend functionality

If you want a different code editor with similar features as VS Code, you should try Kate editor.

You can find an AppImage file and a Snap package to install it on any Linux distribution.

In either case, you may find it listed in your software center (check for the version available), or you can build it from the source.Kate Editor

5. CudaText

Cudatext Screenshot

CudaText is a neat open-source text editor which is a cross-platform option that also includes Linux support.

It may not be the best there is, but it is suitable for HTML/CSS coding; it gives you the ability to tweak the editor’s theme with a couple of options available.

If you want a simpler and faster solution with a modern look/feel, you should try CudaText. Here are some key features that it offers:

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Code tree
  • Code folding
  • Binary/hex viewer
  • Cross-platform support

You can get the latest release files to install from FossHub. Also, you may check our separate article on CudaText to explore more about it and how to install it.

In either case, head to their official website for more information.

best linux text editor command line

These are some of the most commonly-used and powerful command-line text editors for Linux.

1. Vim


If you’re on Linux for quite some time, you must have heard about Vim. Vim is an extensively configurable, cross-platform, and a highly efficient text editor.

It may not be suitable for newbies but it’s something every aspiring Linux System administrator should get comfortable with. You will probably find it pre-installed in your Linux distribution. It is extremely popular for its wide range of advanced features.

Vim can be quite agonizing for first-time users. I remember the first time I tried to edit a text file with Vim, I was completely puzzled. I couldn’t type a single letter on it and the funny part is, I couldn’t even figure out how to close this thing. If you are going to use Vim, you have to be determined for climbing up a very steep learning curve.

But after you have gone through all that, combed through its official documentation, and practice the commands/operations, you’ll find it worth all the time spent. Not to forget, you can use it for basic text editing or leverage its support for hundreds of programming languages, extensions and file formats.

How to install it?

If you don’t have it installed already, you can just try typing in the command (on Debian-based systems) to install it:

sudo apt install vim

You can also find it listed in your software center of the Linux distribution you use. In either case, just head on to its official download page to get more details.Vim

2. GNU Emacs

Gnu Emacs

GNU Emacs is undoubtedly one of the oldest and versatile text editor out there. In case you didn’t know, it was created by GNU Project founder Richard Stallman.

Emacs is cross-platform and has both command-line and a graphical user interface. It is also very rich with various features and, most importantly, extensible.

Just as Vim, Emacs too comes with a steep learning curve. But once you master it, you can completely leverage its power. Emacs can handle just about any types of text files. The interface is customizable to suit your workflow. It supports macro recording and shortcuts as well.

The unique power of Emacs is that it can be transformed into something completely different from a text editor. There is a large collection of modules that can transform the application for using in completely different scenarios, like — calendar, news reader, word processor etc. You can even play games in Emacs!

How to install it?

You should find it in your software center or if you prefer using the terminal on Ubuntu-based distros, you can type in:

sudo apt install emacs

You can find more information on it in their official download page. Once you’re done installing, you need to type in a specific command to launch emacs in your terminal, which is:

emacs -nw

Basically, this command instructs to not include any window to launch the program but the terminal itself.

3. Nano

Nano Editor Screenshot

When it comes to simplicity, Nano is the one. Unlike Vim or Emacs, it is suitable for beginners to get used to quickly.

If you want to simply create & edit a text file, look no further.

The shortcuts available on Nano are displayed at the bottom of the user interface. It is minimal and perfectly suitable for editing system & configuration files. For those who don’t need advanced features from a command-line text editor, Nano is the perfect pick.

If interested, you can learn how to use Nano text editor in our beginner’s guide.

How to install it?

For the most part, Nano editor should come in pre-installed on Ubuntu-based distributions. If it isn’t there, you can simply visit the official download page to get the binaries for the distribution you want.Nano

Modern Text Editors For Command Line

Here, I shall list some terminal-based text editors that bring something new to the table or focus on making things easier.

4. ne – The Nice Editor

Ne Editor

When compared to the classic and popular text editors, ne (the nice editor) is a good alternative which tries to offer advanced functionalities and making it easier to use them.

In other words, it’s a simpler alternative to Vim/Emacs offering you powerful features. It is being actively maintained — but not as regular as you’d expect. However, I tried it installing on Pop OS 20.04 and it worked just fine. You can explore more about it in their GitHub page.

Of course, unless you test it extensively, you should take it with a pinch of salt.

How to install it?

You should find it available in the official repositories of your Linux distribution. For Ubuntu-based distros, you can install it using the command:

sudo apt install ne

You can also check out their official download page for more information on other Linux, the nice editor

5. Neovim

Neovim Editor

Neovim is a fork of Vim that aims to add more extensibility while simplifying it. If you’re comfortable with Vim, you will be good to go using Neovim.

The project is being actively maintained and the progress is promising so far. Of course, unless you’re acquainted with how Vim works, you may not notice the striking difference between the two.

But, overall, Neovim tries to take Vim up a notch.


Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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