I have a script that uses gedit to open text file in Ubuntu. That script does not work under Lubuntu. What command is required to execute the default text editor?

I want to make the script usable under Ubuntu and Lubuntu.

  • Do you have gedit installed in lubuntu? – LnxSlck Jan 28 '13 at 12:45
  • no, i do not have gedit installed in lubuntu – UAdapter Jan 28 '13 at 12:52
  • i got gedit by default on ubuntu 14 – Adi Prasetyo Jul 21 '17 at 22:48

Use xdg-open it works in most linux distros.

xdg-open /filepath/file.txt
  • Of all the answers, this method just works. – u2n Jan 27 '15 at 0:40

You might get somewhere with /usr/bin/gnome-text-editor, as that's set using the alternatives system and points to the default editor under a gnome-ish environment. Not quite sure whether it is actually useful under lubuntu/kubuntu, but you could try.

Just to supplement Dennis' answer, with respect to Lubuntu 12.10, if one runs sudo update-alternatives --display gnome-text-editor, the output is:

gnome-text-editor - auto mode
  link currently points to /usr/bin/leafpad
/usr/bin/leafpad - priority 40
  slave gnome-text-editor.1.gz: /usr/share/man/man1/leafpad.1.gz
Current 'best' version is '/usr/bin/leafpad'.

And, as Dennis suggested, /usr/bin/gnome-text-editor does open Leafpad in Lubuntu.

  • 1
    it works under lubuntu. system does not allow me to accept your answer. it says I have to wait. the .... system – UAdapter Jan 28 '13 at 12:54

Or you can install gedit

sudo apt-get install gedit


  1. Right-click a text or php file
  2. Select "Properties"
  3. Select "Open with" tab
  4. Choose among the listed/installed text editors
  5. Click "Set as default"
  6. Click "Close"
  • but you need the superuser password to install any new software, and it requires a internet connection. Not something you want in a "general" script. – Alvar Jan 28 '13 at 12:56
  • You only have to do this one time. Then you can execute your script normally – LnxSlck Jan 28 '13 at 14:06

In addition to Dennis Kaarsemaker's answer, you could try using /usr/bin/editor for something even more generic. This will likely lead to a terminal-based editor be launched, though.

Cf. the update-alternatives manpage.

  • 1
    The update-alternatives --config editor doesn't list any GUI text editors unfortunately. – gertvdijk Jan 28 '13 at 13:00
  • 1
    Hence the "This will likely lead to a terminal-based editor be launched, though." I forgot to mention update-alternatives --config editor, though. Thanks. – Michael Biech Jan 28 '13 at 13:02

Here is a list of Lubuntu Apps. However, in 18.10 the editor has changed from Leafpad to Featherpad.

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