I like Notepad++ under Windows. I was wondering if there are some similar ones for Ubuntu? Or just the powerful and convenient one in your opinion.

Features that I like are:

  • syntax highlighting for language X
  • theme support
  • line numbering
  • code folding
  • regex style
  • Powerful, yet not resource-consuming
  • 6
    This sounds rather subjective. I recommend you add a few use-cases and requirements to your questions, so that it has one correct answer. Commented Feb 14, 2011 at 7:16
  • useful requirements could include things like syntax highlighting for lanugage X, theme support, line numbering, code folding, regex style.
    – belacqua
    Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 18:37

15 Answers 15


I would think gedit would be perfect. It is on Ubuntu by default, is easy to use, and can be extended with plugins.

That being said, since notepad++ is based on scintilla, scite Install scite is probably worth checking out. Scite is based on scintilla as well, though as fred.bear points out, it might be less feature-rich than you need.

Here are a couple more:


jedit - A plugin-based editor for programmers

jEdit is a powerful open source editor [...] unlimited undos/redos, syntax highlighting for more than 130 file formats, markers for fast and easy navigation, online help, bracket matching for programming languages as well as auto-indent. Plugins can be downloaded and installed from within jEdit using the "plugin manager" feature.

jedit thumbnail

vim / gvim / cream

gvim or cream - VI IMproved, with optional VIM macros that make the VIM easier to use for beginners

cream thumbnail

  • Yeah, gedit is awesome.
    – Pedram
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 17:30
  • Scite/Scintilla is basically a no-features editor... Massive work has been done by the Npp crew to supercharge it... (but it still only has a nominally useful single-line-only reg-ex) .. forget Scite/Scintilla ..
    – Peter.O
    Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 12:25
  • @fred I defer to you on scite versus Npp, but since I'm not clear on our OP's actual requirements, I'm leaving scite in my answer for now. Having used strictly vi without extensions to do important work, I have a pretty expansive view of what can be useful. (*important work such as writing crappy perl code)
    – belacqua
    Commented Feb 22, 2011 at 7:44
  • Also, I was going to link larger images from the thumbnail images, but I haven't found a way to do that.
    – belacqua
    Commented Feb 22, 2011 at 7:48
  • 1
    I had forgotten about Cream... I had tried and it was very tempting.. but I decided to not use it.. basically because it kept me from learning vim's native keyboard style (which is where vim shines.. once you've re-trained your habits) .. but, yes it certainly has that stanard windows feel (which an Npp user is used to), and lots of power... a good candidate..
    – Peter.O
    Commented Feb 22, 2011 at 10:58

Without GUI or with a simplified GUI (still needs to be run in terminal):

  • vi

  • vim

  • nano

  • ed

  • pico

  • emacs

  • xemacs

With GUI:

  • geany

  • mousepad (default under Xfce)

  • kate

Please note that some of these programs may not be available from Ubuntu's official repositories.

  • 5
    ed? Ha! Real programmers use cat.
    – mathepic
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 13:21
  • cat isn't really a text editor - it just reads a file and outputs its content.
    – papukaija
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 15:32
  • Another example of a editor with GUI could be gVim, or vim-gnome, as I think the package is called
    – Ragnar123
    Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 4:05
  • That's the joke.. A REAL programmer is so good, he gets it right the first time ;)
    – Peter.O
    Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 12:21
  • 1
    @papukaija: how dare you say such heresy??? Of course cat is an editor. Actually, it's the only editor real men need: cat > myfile.c. Type in your code, CTRL+D to save. Who needs more?
    – MestreLion
    Commented Apr 2, 2013 at 11:49

Try Bluefish, Geany, or even installing Notepad++ trough Wine if you want.
More on installing Wine on Ubuntu and one example of installing some application using Wine.


I'm an ex Notepad++ devotee!!!! It was hard making the shift to "nowhere land" after knowing exactly how to do things in Npp, but I've gradually discovered that with the right plugins and a few personal scripts which you can easily add via the External Tools plugin, that gedit is the easiest and best transitional editor for hard-core ex- Npp users. I feel your pain ;)

After 4 months of Linux, I'm starting to get a good feel for things, and I'm branching out to GNU emacs because it leaves Npp standing still (really Npp's regex sucks!) I've tried gvim and it seems very good too, but a few things about emacs gel better with me...

gedit with plugins is quite a good choice once you get to realize that this Ubuntu thing is a whole new world... so you need a matching editor... I've got Npp installed in wine for a sense of security, but I virtually never use it anymore, because gedit is basically just as good... and GNU emacs and Gvim are better (but they have a big learning curve) go for gedit.

You may be interested in running Notepad++ in wine (I was)... so here are some notes I've put together about the bugs I've found using Notepad++ in wine...


I love gEdit. Is not nearly as powerful as NotePad++, but its ultra-lightweight, and the default text editor in Ubuntu (or any other Gnome distro). It has a huge list of templates for syntax coloring. And be sure to download its gedit-plugins companion, it shines even more.

Also, you might consider geany. It's meant to be a more than just a text editor, it's actually a multi-language IDE. But since it's so simple, easy-to-use one, and lightweight, it could be considered a good editor alternative. And its in the official repos.

I would say that NotePad++ (I used it for years in my former job) would stand between geany and gedit, in terms of features. So I gave you a "little less than" and "a little more than". Pick any ;)


I love geany for its simplicity and plugins

sudo apt-get install geany geany-plugins

I've been using the Sublime Text 2 alpha on Ubuntu and enjoy it a lot. It's nice to have the same editor across multiple OS's


I prefer Komodo.


I didn't see gui or cli specified, so I'll throw out a few.

There is a rather steep learning curve, but learning the basics of emacs/vim is useful. Chances are you will have to use them at some point.

I like Netbeans for java, but it will do php/python/c/c++/etc. Eclipse will do as well.


You can use KDE's Kate, it is very powerful (search for it in ubuntu software manager). Also if you want to pay for powerful text/html/programming editor, you can use UltraEdit LX. It has more features than Kate.


Notepad++ is arguably the best editor for Windows. Now you can install it in Ubuntu via Wine:
Install Notepad++ in Ubuntu 12.04


No one mentioned the leafpad. The more I use it, The more I like it. Though, It has not that many features, but it is extremely resource-saver.

Installation from terminal: sudo apt-get install leafpad.

Installation from Ubuntu software center: Clicking this will do the job


I use Kate, because I like these features of it:

  • Very handy quick search (exactly like Firefox)
  • Code completion (using exciting code in current document)
  • Snippets
  • Integrate easily with terminal and file manager
  • Installable on Mac and Windows
  • Code highlighting

I'd like to add two less known but very powerful and feature-rich text editors to this list of recommendations:




  • The usual source view options, split-view, line wrap, line numbers etc.
  • Full source code highlighted printing.
  • Standard text search OR regex search in current or all open files.
  • Jump to function declaration, Find Function declaration.
  • Find API declarations in installed Gtk-Doc's.
  • Find and open include file.
  • Multiple bookmarks.
  • Run external tools.
  • Save/Restore session.
  • Run external tool synchronously or asynchronously.
  • Pass selected text to external tools.
  • Spell checking via ASpell, check selected word or check document via tab menu.

enter image description here

medit Install medit

Official site

  • Configurable syntax highlighting.

  • Configurable keyboard accelerators.

  • Multiplatform - works on unix and windows.

  • Plugins: can be written in C, Python, or Lua.

  • Configurable tools available from the main and context menus. They can be written in - Python or Lua, or it can be a shell script.

  • Regular expression search/replace, grep frontend, builtin file selector, etc.

    medit screenshot


gedit will be the best for you as it is lightweight yet powerful. If sometime in the near future you wish to upgrade to ide level capabilities, then consider emacs or vim.

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