The Best 8 Text Editors for Linux Command Line

A text editor is a must have application for any operating system. As you know, the real power of Linux lies in the command line. And when you are working in command line, you would need a text editor that could work right inside the terminal.

For that purpose, today we are going to make a list of best command line text editors for Linux.


Geany is a text editor using the GTK+ toolkit with basic features of an integrated development environment.

It was developed to provide a small and fast IDE, which has only a few dependencies from other packages. It supports many filetypes and has some nice features.


JED is a popular Linux text editor that uses S-Lang library. This cross-platform tool is available for a variety of other platforms as well, including Unix, VMS, OS/2, BeOS, Windows, OpenVMS, etc. In case you’re running DOS, you can run JED’s older versions.

The major plus point of using JED Linux editor is its lightweight nature that makes sure that you can use it with ease on a hardware with limited resources.


Vim, or Vi IMproved, is an advanced text editor that aims to deliver a more powerful performance and extend the capabilities of de-facto Unix editor ‘Vi.’ It’s a highly configurable text editor that’s built to serve the needs of a developer.

That’s why it’s often called a ‘programmer’s editor.’ It’s designed to be used both as a command line interface and as a standalone application in a GUI. While the beginners complain that it’s tough to use, they also learn that it’s one of the most powerful text editors around.

GNU Emacs

There’s a good chance that Emacs would be one of your favorite Linux text editors. It has been around for a long time. It’s the most popular version that’s used by developers and Linux enthusiasts all across the world.

Written in Lisp and C programming language, this free software is extensible using a Turing complete programming language.


nano is a user-friendly text editor that’s widely used on Unix-like operating systems. nano, first released in June 2000, emulates the Pico text editor and comes loaded with additional functionality. It runs in a familiar command line interface.

Its major highlights include Autoconf support, case sensitive search function, auto indentation, interactive search and replacement, tab completion, soft text wrapping, etc. It’s written in the C programming language.



Gedit comes loaded as the default text editor of the GNOME desktop environment. This general purpose text editor aims at simplicity and ease of use.

Following the GNOME project philosophy, Gedit comes with a clean and straightforward GUI. Written in C programming language, Gedit witnessed its first public release in 2000.



Atom is a free and open source text editor that’s developed by GitHub. The major features of Atom are cross-platform editing, built-in package manager, file system browser, multiple pane support, find and replace function, and smart autocompletion.

You can select from 1000s of open source packages and add new features to the Atom. It’s also customizable to suit your needs and style.

Sublime Text

This feature-packed text editor is built for “code, markup, and prose.” It natively supports tons of programming language and markup languages. Using plugins, that are maintained under free-software licenses, one can extend its functionality. “Goto Anything” is a popular feature of Sublime Text.

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