There are two methods to solve this situation, one which uses a system command, and another more manual method.
Use the command:
Which will give you another attempt at using the number-based system to select the default text editor.
If it does not already exist, create the
.selected_editor file for the user. This should be located in the user's home directory.
The contents should depend on which editor you prefer, for simplicity I'd recommend
nano. To use
nano the file should contain the line:
To use the slightly more complicated/feature-rich editor
Once you've specified your preferred editor, reload the
cron service with:
service cron reload
At which point your user's
crontab -e command should work as expected, with the chosen editor.
NOTE:This is the upstart method for restarting a service, which still works on 14.04, though using the systemd method
systemctl is recommended for 16.04