I'm using nano editor to edit my server's config files. Now I've discovered that pasting in a few lines removes all line breaks of the pasted lines as well as the following lines! It then says I can UnJustify that again. What?! Is this Microsoft Word auto formatting?

How can I prevent this from happening ever again?

UnJustify doesn't work, it only restores part of the broken text, not all.

This is Ubuntu Server 16.04.

  • I mainly use servers and only use nano and have never seen your issue. I can only assume that, somehow, your nano sessions are defaulting to justify mode. Check /etc/nanorc and the files it might include, such as /usr/share/nano/*.nanorc. Apr 18, 2017 at 22:13
  • @DougSmythies What would I be looking for in these files? I couldn't identify anything interesting.
    – ygoe
    Apr 22, 2017 at 13:46
  • I don't know, I can not find such a setting either. I did find (this)[bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=715288], but it has not been my experience. Apr 22, 2017 at 14:37
  • 1
    That bug is exactly the issue! CR, LF corresponds to ^J, ^M. And ^J is a hotkey. Very unfortunately placed. For a unix system. Interestingly, the combination of ^J and ^M won't trigger justify. Heading over to nano now.
    – ygoe
    Apr 22, 2017 at 18:38
  • I'm seeing this issue on Raspbian stretch. Very annoying to paste ssh keys.
    – Jaakko
    Jan 20, 2018 at 11:46

1 Answer 1


Adding below to ~/.nanorc did the trick for me:

unbind ^J main

I think it breaks the justify, but I'm more than glad to give it for clean paste.

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