I'd like to replace gedit, and use Sublime Text 3 as my default text editor for all text files on my Ubuntu system. Can you let me know how do I go about making this change?

  • I don't believe this should be a duplicate. One is asking about GUI text editors while the other is asking about CLI text editors. – Matt Feb 5 '18 at 18:53

These instructions assume that you have installed Sublime Text 3 using the .deb file provided for Ubuntu. If you downloaded the tarball and installed it manually, you will need to change the paths below to your install location.

First, make sure that /usr/share/applications/sublime_text.desktop exists (sublime-text.desktop on some systems):

ls /usr/share/applications/sublime_text.desktop

Then, open /usr/share/applications/defaults.list with Sublime:

subl /usr/share/applications/defaults.list

Search for all instances of gedit and replace them with sublime_text. Save the file, log out and back in, and you should be all set.

If for some reason /usr/share/applications/sublime_text.desktop (or sublime-text.desktop) doesn't exist, create it:

sudo touch /usr/share/applications/sublime_text.desktop

Open it in Sublime:

subl /usr/share/applications/sublime_text.desktop

and paste the following into it:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Sublime Text
GenericName=Text Editor
Comment=Sophisticated text editor for code, markup and prose
Exec=/opt/sublime_text/sublime_text %F

[Desktop Action Window]
Name=New Window
Exec=/opt/sublime_text/sublime_text -n

[Desktop Action Document]
Name=New File
Exec=/opt/sublime_text/sublime_text --command new_file

However, if you installed Sublime Text using the .deb file downloaded from sublimetext.com, the file should already exist.

  • This desktop file works great on my system except that the "New Window" or "New File" right click actions cause the mouse cursor to go into a busy-spin mode. Everything seems to work normally though... – Digikata Feb 18 '14 at 23:44
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    I can not get this to work in Ubuntu 13.10 with Sublime Text 2, I did make sure that sublime_text.desktop was changed to reflect sublime-text-2.desktop, any suggestions? – user3165887 Mar 5 '14 at 22:41
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    btw, its sublime-text not sublime_text, installed from official repo; 14.04 – Gundars Mēness Apr 25 '14 at 10:23
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    I can not get this to work in Ubuntu 13.10 with Sublime Text 3, not with sublime_text nor sublime-text. – matanster Jul 20 '14 at 15:27
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    Works in Ubuntu 14.10 & Sublime Text 3. Thanks! – Oliboy50 Nov 3 '14 at 12:24

Once you have Sublime installed, right-click on a text file. Go to the "Open With" tab. Select "Show other applications." Then, select Sublime Text 3.

Hope this helps!

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    I've been doing that, I was hoping to find out if there were a system wide change I could make for all text files. – mjwittering Dec 29 '13 at 12:58
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    I thought that that would change it for all of the txt's... maybe I'm wrong, but I was pretty sure... – masulzen Dec 29 '13 at 16:47
  • If it's missing from the list, apply the changes mentioned here: askubuntu.com/a/755041/80283 – Muhammad Gelbana Jul 18 '18 at 11:46

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