I've used Windows for many years, using Dreamweaver as my editor as it had a file tree which is based on a project (via Local, FTP or SFTP).

I need a web development IDE with the following functionality:

  • syntax highlighting for PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript

  • file tree - Local, FTP, SFTP, Project-Based (e.g. via the methods of Local/FTP/SFTP) in other words, like Dreamweaver

  • can open multiple files (tabbed)

Additionally, I wouldn't mind features like debugging, class listings, etc, as long as I can hide them away.

  • 2
    Have you considered running Dreamweaver itself under Wine ?
    – suhridk
    Oct 15, 2010 at 11:03
  • I can run some of the Adobe CS2 suite under Wine but I don't have the current version of Dreamweaver. I was just thinking of a solution on Linux and that was either free or low cost.
    – Rob
    Oct 16, 2010 at 4:05
  • To run under Wine: Is it possible to run Adobe Dreamweaver on Ubuntu 13.04?
    – kiri
    Feb 17, 2014 at 11:17

20 Answers 20


Even when I added the accepted answer at the question mentioned by @fossfreedom, more precisely at Dreamweaver alternative in ubuntu?, in the comments of your question. I must accept that I didn't notice before the existence of Aptana Studio.

I include here a few screenshots for you, covering some of the points of your interest.

enter image description here

Syntax Highlight for PHP:

enter image description here

Syntax Highlight for HTML:

enter image description here

Syntax Highlight for CSS:

enter image description here

Syntax Highlight for Javascript

enter image description here

File tree illustrated in these screenshots and this examples:

Project Explorer:

enter image description here

Application Explorer:

enter image description here

Multi-Tabbed files

illustrated in the above screenshots.

I have noticed that there is support for FTP/SFTP file browsing/management but these are features that I don't use so I can't provide further details but I am sure you will find it in the Aptana Studio site.

In my experience, I stopped using all these tools that I formerly used in order to start enjoying this excellent application, that tops all the other similar alternatives.

I suggest you to try it. Is as easy as download and run, or follow the instructions of the producers in order to have this application installed and running in your system. For me is good to have it inside of my home folder, from where I start it by double clicking the program's icon. The application will find its updates and download to the appropriate folder when necessary.

There are several alternatives, like those mentioned in the previous questions, including those that features WYSIWYG editors. But this is also a great alternative.

Good luck!

  • 12
    While Aptana Studio is a great program in its own right, it is in no way a replacement to Dreamweaver as it has no interface to use for "WYSISG" for designers. I know that the OP did not ask for this feature, but they did ask for a program like Dreamweaver, so I just thought I would mention this for anyone that might happen across this question looking for a designer interface.
    – TheXed
    Sep 2, 2011 at 1:02
  • I can't see your suggestion about it @TheX, but I am sure all we are waiting for it. Thank you for the clarification and please include your suggestion as an answer, which -of course- I will upvote, my friend. Sep 2, 2011 at 1:23
  • I guess I don't really have a suggestion because in my experience web development software for Linux has been fairly lacking and those that are around are unsupported or barely supported. I wasn't trying to downgrade your response or anything, was just trying to provide some clarification for anyone else that might happen upon the question. In fact I even up-voted your answer, as it is a great suggestion for what the OP is asking for. Cheers.
    – TheXed
    Sep 2, 2011 at 1:29
  • Sorry if my comment sound rude @TheX. I am sure that me and others would love to have such a visual editor for this question and I started thinking somebody already has a solution but they don't wish to share with us. LOL! However, in my experience, visual editors make inefficient programmers, and if I can have a separate browser to be used as "preview" for my project that's much better than having a kind of a browser embedded inside of the application itself. You can -in example- get lost in dreamweaver visual tools, which won't happen if you know how to work with and fix the code. Thank you! Sep 2, 2011 at 15:22
  • I can agree that a visual editor does make lazy coders, and code give the upmost control of a design. But we have to remember that not every web developer is a coder. In fact I would venture to say that most web developers are not coders, or only code what they can not control from the visual editor. I agree it is very easy to get lost in Dreamweaver. But... it is still there and some people prefer to work with it.
    – TheXed
    Sep 2, 2011 at 16:29

For a DW replacement software, there's probably nothing closer than Quanta, which unfortunately drags in a lot of KDE dependencies on the standard GNOME desktop.

While Kompozer/Nvu let you toggle between code view and and WYSIWYG, they both lack some of the features of DW, though there's definitely a good range of features to love about each.

My favorite development platform is Bluefish, for its excellent syntax highlighting.

For a more full-featured development environment, there's Aptana, Komodo, and Eclipse.

Some others that are very popular, but i can't personally recommend as not having worked with them much, are Geany and Screem

A buddy of mine has a great article about web development on linux on his blog

  • Thanks for the tips and the blog link is very helpful as well. I really like Komodo and Kompozer, I am also doing some text editing so they will both work out.
    – Rob
    Oct 15, 2010 at 7:57
  • The link to Quanta seems to be broken
    – Mateo
    Aug 14, 2012 at 0:56

If you're looking for a simple editor I would go for gedit + gedit-ftp-browser. Gedit has a lot of extension and you can add a class browser etc...

You can use of course Eclipse + plugins but it's really like using a bomb to kill an ant.


Well, there is a younger cousin of Adobe Dreamweaver. Its called Brackets. It has almost the same features as adobe Dreamweaver, and on top of that, new and amazing features like the ability to extract code hints from a .psd file, and better yet, its free... :)

Adobe Brackets Interface

Also, Brackets has a tasty feature, called live preview, whereby each and every change you make in either your css or html file in the active project is previewed instantly in a browser running alongside :

Live preview in Brackets


I would probably have to recommend KompoZer, which is an unofficial bug-fix release of the popular application, Nvu.

KompoZer Screenshot

To quote the KompoZer features page:

Finally, a top-notch WYSIWYG web page program for the rest of us! Now there's no need to >pay a little fortune for a program to create and edit great-looking web pages, including >powerful and easy to use CSS capabilities.

KompoZer is a complete Web Authoring System that combines web file management and easy-to-use WYSIWYG web page editing capabilities found in Microsoft FrontPage, Adobe DreamWeaver and other high end programs.

KompoZer is designed to be extremely easy to use, making it ideal for non-technical >computer users who want to create an attractive professional-looking web site without >needing to know HTML or web coding.

KompoZer version 1:0.8~b3.dfsg.1-0.1 is currently available in the maverick and natty universe repositories.

  • 3
    KompoZer is OK, but never like Dreamweaver. I stopped using Dreamweaver and now I only use KompoZer, only because I like to use Free Software, so I'll go on using KompoZer. But I know that this software is not the best.
    – DrKenobi
    Oct 15, 2010 at 4:49
  • 1
    The garbage KompoZer entered into the document I was working on is what finally pushed me over the edge to decide that WYSIWYG editors should never be trusted. Now I use vim, and am so glad I made the switch. So in a weird way, I have KompoZer to thank for inspiring me to starting doing things the right way.
    – frabjous
    Nov 10, 2010 at 16:58
  • 1
    KompoZer's last release was in 2010, Wikipedia quotes a developer that project development has stalled. Packages have been removed from the repositories.
    – LiveWireBT
    Jan 27, 2014 at 9:00

Your question seems to be a little bit ambiguous.

First of all and related to the alternative to Dreamweaver, I found all the suggestions of all the other answers excellent, but when looking for an alternative to Dreamweaver, the closest application -for me- it was the Amaya Project. Which seems to be richest than other alternatives and a little bit more sophisticated than the Kompozer.

A screenshot from the official web is here for you to see it in action:

enter image description here

Additional screenshots can be reached by clicking the next link: http://www.w3.org/Amaya/screenshots/Overview.html

You may find it a little bit unstable, or at least it was for me but it may also fit your needs.

After playing with WYSIWYG editors, I prefered direct encoding with BlueFish but it is not a WYSIWYG editor.

And about the suggestions for your issue with the firebug I can't say anything, sorry.

Please let us know how did you do if you give Amaya a chance.

Good luck!


After installing Amaya, I find it yet far from stable but somehow it seems to have a better features than other applications, if you consider that other software are simple Text Editors and Amaya is like a WYSIWYG editor.

I tested what you said in your comment and I found that Amaya don't even get noticed that something changed in the files/folders structure/name. Which won't fit your needs related to this.

In the next screenshot you can see I renamed the "resources" folder to "resources1" and Amaya is yet showing it as "resources" and there is no way to force it refresh. Even after restarting the software and loading the project again, Amaya won't notice it.

enter image description here

I am going to follow your question closely hoping somebody come and drop a good alternative.

Good luck!

  • If I rename a site in dreamweaver it updates other pages which involve link to that site. Is it available in amya? Jun 15, 2011 at 9:22
  • I am not sure about it, I am going to test it today and will let you know if I succeeded on that. Please be patience, I don't have Amaya installed right now. :) Jun 15, 2011 at 15:27
  • Okay. I am giving Blue Griffon a try Jun 15, 2011 at 19:44
  • 1
    I dropped an edit for you @RAHUL PRASAD, Good luck! Jun 15, 2011 at 20:20
  • funny enough, as someone who prefers featurability, PyCharm seems to do more than most of the stuff (I havn't tried everything) recommended here, you should check it out and see what you think. :)
    – Tcll
    Jan 5, 2017 at 8:17

Kompozer is a decent feature full html/css editor http://kompozer.net/features.php, u can give it a try.


Sublime Text 3

Sublime Text has been around for a while. In a nutshell it is a pure text editor that has comparable features to TextMate, but it has a much more fluid modern GUI and is incredibly extensible which can enhance it past just a text editor.

As standard

Out of the box, you get an excellent productivity tool for editing text files, with helpful functionality to make text editing a dream. Syntax highlighting is supported for all popular languages, and the less-so-popular-but-still-awesome languages are available via...


Sublime has an ever-growing package ecosystem, that uses Python to script the editor, making it possible to transform Sublime into a full-featured IDE rather than just a standard text editor.

The beauty behind the way Sublime does this is that you start off with a simple text editor and only add what you need, rather than the approach of other IDEs where you start off with everything and it is really slow and confusing to learn.

You've also got the package control package to download and install packages automatically from within Sublime Text itself.

Goto anything

Making it really simple to get at ANY feature or file with lazy searches. If you want to open a file in the project with a path of PageView/RT/Login/_Common.php you can just type pvlcom into the goto anything window.

Changing the syntax highlighting or interacting with a package is also possible through the command palette.

IDE features

I use Sublime Text 3 for web development, and the package community has something for every need... I'm sure there are packages for other environments too. Here's just a breakdown of what ST3 offers me, a web developer.

  • Syntax highlighting for SASS/SCSS.
  • Syntax highlighting for Behat / Mink.
  • PHPUnit package to allow class's tests to be run from the class itself.
  • PHP XDebug to step through your code and inspect variables at execution time.
  • PHP parsing. Displays errors inline in your code when there is a syntax error.

There are also many MySQL capabilities of ST3, but I have other dedicated software for that so haven't looked into it.

  • doesn't properly do code folding of minified HTML inside indented HTML, PyCharm does
    – Tcll
    Jan 5, 2017 at 8:13
  • should you be editing minified HTML?
    – Greg
    Jan 5, 2017 at 10:53
  • for my particular use case (not explaining the details), yes, and I'm sure there's other perfectly valid reasons for needing to modify minified or generated HTML.
    – Tcll
    Jan 5, 2017 at 10:59

Other relevant software:

  • Great links! I'm downloading them as I type.
    – Rob
    Oct 15, 2010 at 7:57

Blue Griffon is standalone editor similar to Kompozer (both come from Nvu), but it's under active development - it supports HTML5 and CSS3.

Web Developer addon for Firefox offers some support for live editing of CSS and HTML with saving, however it's not very robust (no syntax highlighting etc.).

For your Firebug question, see Stack Overflow.

Note that some versions of Dreamweaver can be run using Wine, check out Dremweaver entry at WineHQ.


Here are the alternatives:

  • Quanta Plus
  • Aptana Studio
  • Bluefish Editor

But you can use any other text editors to edit files like Gedit, vim, etc.

  • bluefish seems to freeze with large generated HTML files...
    – Tcll
    Jan 5, 2017 at 8:19

I use BlueFish for my HTML and CSS editing, but it doesn't have a full WYSIWYG editor. Unfortunately, there is no drop in replacement for Dreamweaver on Linux. If you have a license, Dreamweaver is rated Silver on WineHQ, so you may have luck installing it with Wine, though I cannot guarantee it, and you might experience issues with the installation. You can look at the issues listed for Dreamweaver CS5 at WineHQ.

As far as FireBug, I usually just copy and paste the edited code into a gedit and put it where I need it from there.

Other software includes:

I'm sure their's others as well. I've tried a few of the WYSIWIG ones, but I've yet to find one that comes close to Dreamweaver's abilities, although I've run those to their limits at times as well.


I think gedit is the best editor. Because it:

  • Light.
  • Has syntax higlightning.
  • Supports a lot of different programming languges and HTML.
  • pre-installed in Ubuntu.

I never use anything more than just Gedit, which does it all fine (I program mostly directly; never WYSIWYG, gives you cleaner code). But as said before, there is also Bluefish Editor which is very good too. After having tried it myself, I only find very minor faults with it.

Bluefish Editort

But Kompozer is a very good alternative, if you prefer WYSIWYG editors, although for more advanced programming I do not recommend it.


  • I agree, rich text editors are generally bad, however stuff that helps you code (like tag suggestion and completion) is really helpful.
    – Tcll
    Jan 5, 2017 at 8:29

Gedit with plugins is all i need for most of my html needs.

Seamonkey-compozer which is very similar to kompozer is a cool WYSIWYG editor. It has no kde dependencies and is actively developed.

For PHP and the likes I love bluefish because it has got Code and syntax highlighting.


You don't indicate whether you prefer a free product, so may I suggest PhpStorm or WebStorm, both from JetBrains. They are payware, but are not terribly expensive. The site says they are cross-platform; I haven't tried them on Linux, but they work quite nicely on Windows. They are complete standalone IDEs: the former specializes in PHP development, while the latter is a bit broader for general web development. There are free trials available, so why not given them a go?

** No affiliation, just a satisfied customer!


Out ther are much competition ! Sorry for what i must tell , i'm a linux enthousiast but linux software won't get you far. Kompozer and bluegriffon are nice but they will make your life harder and you won't get a professional result so you will not go far ! Sorry ! i dont like what i'm gonna say but windows is the only solution if you are professional. I'm not a fan of dualbooting so i formatted my pc with windows no matter how i hate them.

Operating system's purpose is to have available software to make your job done and not countless distributions.

If you want a simple webpage you can download for free bluegriffon and buy the templates addon you will find it very usefull !! Also there are countless free templates online that you could use on kompozer to build your webpage faster.

PS1: i may change my mind when ubuntu 12.04 will come cause i'm really a fan of ubuntu.

  • I beg to differ with your opinion, I ditched Windows and am glad I did, but funny enough, a tool designed for python seems to do better than most HTML editors for linux, but still, you can get pretty far on linux. ;)
    – Tcll
    Jan 5, 2017 at 8:23

I have personally used KompoZer for web development since few years. I also designed the new official website for KompoZer using KompoZer itself.

However, KompoZer has not been updated since some years. So I have been trying BlueGriffon for a while. It does take some time to get used to BlueGriffon but it is the closest thing you can get to Dreamweaver. Also, for scripting purposes I use Aptana Studio or Eclipse.


I spend many time to find replacement, but true is Quanta, KompoZer and others great horror against Dreamweaver.

So ur can did it my way, use Wine for DW and +Firebug+GoogleDeveloperTools.


I'd suggest Aptana Studio 3 or Titanium Studio. Both are from Appcelator. More over, with Titanium Studio, you are able to create native applications for windows, linux, mac, android and ios.

  • code folding? tag suggestion/completion? advanced featurability?
    – Tcll
    Jan 5, 2017 at 8:31

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