Using ubuntu 10.10 the editor in mc (midnight commander) is nano. How can i switch to the internal mc editor (mcedit)?


Press the following keys in order, one at a time:

  1. F9 Activates the top menu.
  2. o Selects the Option menu.
  3. c Opens the configuration dialog.
  4. i Toggles the use internal edit option.
  5. s Saves your preferences.

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  • 8
    Can you also add how to change the editor to any other editor?
    – trusktr
    Nov 4 '12 at 20:34
  • It would be better to specify a way to change this from the command line, but not by changing the OS default editor.
    – sorin
    Apr 30 '13 at 8:10
  • This is great, but is there a way to do the same in the command line, say, by adding/changing an environment variable? I'd like to automate this. Apr 5 '14 at 17:34
  • 3
    Looks it has changed to 't' instead of 'i' image Feb 15 '16 at 5:43
  • 1
    @trusktr to change to other editor you need to uncheck the option and set the EDITOR environment variable, easily with select-editor May 20 '20 at 2:46

Run MC as usual. On the command line right above the bottom row of menu selections type select-editor. This should open a menu with a list of all of your installed editors. This is working for me on all my current linux machines.

  • Thank you! That was the only solution that worked for me with the mc version in the Ubuntu 14.04 repositories. Aug 9 '15 at 11:57
  • 4
    Doesn't work for me. I get a "Command not found" error from Bash.
    – marlar
    Mar 17 '16 at 8:50
  • This solution is useful in Ubuntu (not tested in Debian) but in Redhat or Centos you need to do something like this blog rhel-centos-set-default-editor-to-nano
    – hermeslm
    Aug 9 '19 at 15:09

You can also change the standard editor system-wide. Open a terminal and type this command:

sudo update-alternatives --config editor

You will get a list of the installed editors on your system, and you can choose your favorite.

  • 3
    OP is not asking how to change the system default editor. Dec 9 '10 at 18:33

If you want to leave mc and system settings as it is now, you may just run it like

$ EDITOR=mcedit mc

In user's home folder (/home/<user-name>/) there should be a file named .selected_editor. One can edit it and change it there to a desired editor.

# Generated by /usr/bin/select-editor

Or remove this file to force MC to ask about default editor on first edit.

  • This is the best way to also set a custom editor like micro.
    – Vassilis
    Oct 16 '20 at 7:38

Open Midnight Commander, go to Options -> Configuration and check "use internal editor" Hit save and you are done.

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