text editors

We have lots of different text editors on the CS machines: vim, emacs, atom, sublime, and others. See below for more details. Email local-staff if there's an editor you love that we don't already have.


Described as "a hackable text editor for the 21st Century", atom is a fairly new editor, and the one we currently use (Fall 2018) in our intro CS classes. Has lots of plugins.


Another fairly new editor. Described as "a sophisticated text editor for code, markup and prose". The license prevents us from installing it system-wide, but you can download and try it for free.

Here's one way to download and try on the CS systems:

At this point you should be able to type sublime_text from anywhere, and it will start. You could also add an alias (like st3) to your ~/.bashrc file (just edit your .bashrc file and look for the aliases section). Also see Adrian's sublime page for errors after installing Package Control.


A commonly-used old-school editor, found on all linux/unix machines. Has two modes (command mode and insert mode), that take some getting used to if you've used other editors. Try vimtutor for a built-in tutorial. Use Esc :wq to quit. :)


Another commonly-used old-school editor found on many unix machines. There's also an xemacs variant. Has a built-in tutorial. Use Ctrl-x Ctrl-c to quit.

looking for other editors

You can search for ubuntu/debian packages (software we could easily install on the CS computers) with apt-cache search _______. For example, to search for myfaveditor:

apt-cache search myfaveditor

To see what packages we already have installed, use the dpkg -l command. By itself, it lists all packages. You can also pipe the output to grep to search for something. Try this:

dpkg -l | grep myfaveditor

See also:

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