My Favorite Code Editors for GNU+Linux

Here’s the list of code/text editors I’m using the most often, either for job, system maintenance, writing or note taking.

Lets start with the most basic…

nano

Homepage | GNU General Public License

I’m using nano just for quick edits of system files. Nano is present on almost all systems, it runs in command line and is very easy and intuitive to use. If there’s no nano available, vi is my second choice.

gedit

Homepage | GNU General Public License

While my desktop environment is Xfce4, I’m using mostly GNOME applications. One of them is gedit which, in a way, serves me as a GUI replacement for nano, used mostly for quick edits of various files.

Sublime Text 3

Homepage | Proprietary software

For a really long time Sublime Text was my favorite editor for coding and writing. It’s really fast and responsive and has some amazing features, like multiple selections and a command palette with a fuzzy search. Unfortunately Sublime Text is not open sourced and, beside philosophical, this has some practical disadvantages. The development is really slow and some bugs and missing features go unnoticed for a really long time. The community is doing a good job with extending the editor, there are lots of plug-ins available. Unfortunately the interface and APIs on this field seems to be rather limiting, resulting in clumsy solutions for advanced features like debuggers and IntelliSense.

Other editors with open architecture, hence, started taking lead. For me personally, it was a cumbersome TypeScript, Git and debugging support, that made me finally look elsewhere.

Not entirely though, I’m still using Sublime Text for light coding and writing.

Visual Studio Code

Homepage | MIT License

Microsoft! You guys have done it right this time! What a lovely editor. I’m not a fan of Electron powered applications, but Visual Studio Code has some truly amazing features and performs betters than, say, Atom. It still isn’t as snappy as Sublime Text, but it comes close enough.

For me it was excellent (somehow expected) TypeScript support, which made me consider this editor at the beginning. But, as I’ve discovered build-in Git, and debugging support, and with addition of extensions, Code became my top editor.

Honorable Mentions

Of course there’s Atom, which never quite made it for me. Benefits do not outweigh poor performance. I do like the default UI, but, that’s just not enough. There’s also Brackets by Adobe, but I’m not sure if anyone still cares about it. Probably less familiar or relevant is Komodo Edit, which is more on the IDE side, but was my favorite editor for many years.