As the question states, gedit has a few annoying bugs (cursor disappears, etc). I just need tabs, syntax highlighting, and line numbers. I will use it mostly for programming. I am using Lubuntu.

edit: Thanks for the many suggestions, I am trying sublime now but it doesn't natively support Fortran code, I forgot to mention that in my question, but however Sublime seems really nice. Which of these support fortran?

  • 1
    Well, there's a package for FORTRAN syntax highlighthing, which you can install with Package Control, but it's a bit limited.
    – Kroltan
    Feb 6, 2015 at 18:06

7 Answers 7


Geany Install geany

Geany is a small and lightweight integrated development environment. It was developed to provide a small and fast IDE, which has only a few dependencies from other packages. It is using only the GTK2 toolkit and therefore you need only the GTK2 runtime libraries to run Geany.

enter image description here

As a long time Gedit user, I shifted to Geany last year as my main text editor, I found it the closest alternative.
I found Geany supports the features you require and comes with many more features and plugins available in Ubuntu than gedit.
I find the code completion, symbol browser, code folding and tree browser useful, as well as having a more power find and replace tool as well as the ability to configure launching of command line tools from the menu.


I'm going to suggest my favorite editor, vim. Plugin support means it can help with your Fortran code with a few additional plugins. Of course, vim has a steep learning curve, so if you prefer something simpler to learn to use, it's not a good option.

Another suggestion is to look at the Fortran community's ideas on suitable editors:

  • +1 for vim. I got frustrated a while back with the editors I had been using for writing Python. A long, meandering, path eventually led me to finally give vim a chance and I've never looked back. There IS a learning curve, but I don't think it's nearly as bad as it is sometimes made out to be.
    – sbell
    Feb 7, 2015 at 14:52
  • @roadmr I have seen vim recommended in many places but I think it's just unintuitive and unpractical switching between the different modes, that's what keyboard shortcuts are for, I don't see the advantage to have an edit mode and a command mode. Feb 9, 2015 at 13:58
  • Emacs us heavy on keyboard shortcuts; I was previously an Emacs user and I got used to vim just fine. That said, there's plenty of other options if you don't feel you'll get used to vim. It's just another suggestion :)
    – roadmr
    Feb 9, 2015 at 14:28

Somehow no one's mentioned it yet. Try emacs.

It's the perfect programmers editor. It does come built in with Fortran mode, which supports indentation, highlighting, etc. The editing shortcuts can take some getting used to if you are coming from most other editors (although this is not nearly as true as it is with vim). CUA mode can help here. I suggest running through the tutorial (when you first start it up, it will tell you how). In the long run, you'll find emacs to be far more powerful than any other editor. Nothing, except for vim, even comes close.


GitHub's Atom (in a Lubuntu 14.04 VM):

Atom's fortran-language plugin example

Like Sublime Text, currently not as polished, but open source. Developed in CoffeeScript and the like - ie, simply extensible, but a bit slower than Sublime.

You can install it from WebUpd8's ppa:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/atom
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install atom

It supports Fortran via language-fortran package, converted from Textmate's bundle. You can install it from the Settings menu (Ctrl + ,, Install, search for Fortran and click Install):

Installing fortran language on Atom for Mac

(gif made on Mac, but exactly the same applies to Linux version)


Kate is quite nice. I've never used it for Fortran personally, but have seen it recommended.

sudo apt-get install kate

An example can be seen here:

enter image description here


Use Sublime Text. You can download an ubuntu installer from that link or, at least on my machine (Ubuntu 14.10), you can install it through apt:

sudo apt-get install sublime-text
  • 6
    You are probably using a PPA. Sublime Text is not in the official repositories.
    – muru
    Feb 6, 2015 at 13:35
  • 3
    @Pokey I installed sublime but it seems to be only a trial version. Feb 6, 2015 at 16:02
  • 1
    Sure, you need to buy it. Although its still possible to use the software without a full licence. "Sublime Text 2 may be downloaded and evaluated for free, however a license must be purchased for continued use. There is currently no enforced time limit for the evaluation.". Feb 6, 2015 at 16:42

Maybe Geany would work for you.


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