I think the title explains it already...

8 Answers 8


As @aperson said, Geany is a very good text editor - It is lightweight with lots of features. It also supports vala (you need to install valac first though for full vala features). A lot of its features are IDE like eg. you can build/run with 1 click.

geany vala

To install, run sudo apt-get install valac geany or search for 'valac' and 'geany' in Ubuntu Software Centre.

  • You apparently have the better answer. I guess I need to be more informative to appease the community.
    – aperson
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 21:18
  • How in the world can one compile all the files in the project with Vala? I know there are build/compile options, but I haven't a clue how to get them linked so I can use one file in another.
    – weberc2
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 15:32
  • Geany claims to be an IDE: "Geany - The Flyweight IDE", not just a text editor
    – Felix Xu
    Commented May 19, 2021 at 8:49

There is new project called Valama, you can check:


It uses gtksourceview, so editor experience is similar to gedit, but it's still in early development phase.

UPDATE: It is getting better every day, there is active development on going.

  • As of April 2020 this project hasn't seen activity in master branch for 5 years. It's dead. I'd suggest trying GNOME Builder (wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Builder) as mentioned below.
    – Scott P.
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 4:29

There are two plugins for Gedit that provide Vala support. Valencia and VTG both add autocompletion, symbol browsing and basic project management through makefiles

Valencia is the easier of the two to setup because VTG depends on gtksourcecompletion, but VTG has made several recent releases.

http://yorba.org/valencia/ http://code.google.com/p/vtg/

  • Someone unrelated but I think your Vala blog is about to disappear unfortunately. It's been useful for me and probably others as well so it's a shame to see it go.
    – pre-kidney
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 22:43
  • The GNOME developers now have GNOME Builder (wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Builder). NOTE: GNOME also develops Gedit.
    – Scott P.
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 4:30

Anjuta supports vala since ver. 2.31.3 and there's a nice plugin for gedit. http://redmine.yorba.org/projects/valencia/wiki


I can't recommend an IDE specifically, but I can recommend Geany as a great text editor.

  • 4
    Sorry I cant answer your question so here is an answer to a question I do know the answer to.
    – trampster
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 5:32
  • I don't see the need for IDEs because text editors like geany sort of negate any of my reasons for one. I'm sorry you couldn't find my comment helpful; I feel my answer is still relevant to the question asked.
    – aperson
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 6:29
  • 2
    IDE's are merely over-glorified text editors. Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 14:03
  • 1
    +1 You can't be voted down for saying Geany when the top answer so far is .. Geany. Geany rocks and I would argue that with the terminal plugin, you can use ssh / scp / ftp / svn / bzr / diff / meld etc from the command line. It has all the features you get in a "real" IDE. BTW I don't program in Vala so perhaps I should get voted down too. Commented Aug 31, 2010 at 14:55
  • I don't care about the downvotes, what puzzles me is that my answer was the first. In any case, I love geany and it's my editor of choice. It has a great feature set and is immensely useful.
    – aperson
    Commented Aug 31, 2010 at 15:16

Val(a)IDE seems to be the only IDE with Vala support, so if you want an IDE that is properly the way to go. Personally I use Vim for my coding needs, I think it makes good sense to use a powerfull editor instead of a single purpose IDE.
Instead of knowing 20% of the commands (keyboard shortcuts) in five IDE's I can get to know 99% of the commands in one editor.

  • Except manually editing CMake/Make/Automake projects is a pain and that alone merits an IDE. I'm a big VIM fan, but if I need project management, I'd have to go with an IDE. And that's not even taking into account the convenience of auto complete, symbol tables, real-time syntax checking, etc.
    – weberc2
    Commented Jan 7, 2013 at 21:37

Surprised no one has mentioned Gnome Builder.

Upon opening the IDE, you can see the kinds of projects it supports (which also includes ones written in Vala):

enter image description here


You could use Val(a)IDE, you can find the source/binary at launchpad

The link to Val(a)IDE given by SourceLab seems to be broken.


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