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Debian Wiki Text Editor portal - This portal covers all aspects of viewing, editing and creating text content on Debian.


Search for tag:use::editing AND tag:works-with::software:source with Debtags.


Text editors that can be used in a command line interface environment.


Text editors that can be used in a graphical environment.

How to set a default text editor

See also: DesktopDefaultSettings

For administrator

You can set a text editor as default with the update-alternatives command:

update-alternatives --set editor /path/to/the/chosen/editor


update-alternatives --config editor

and to see the list of possible paths:

update-alternatives --list editor

Then, just use the editor command instead of vim, emacs or nano for example.

For users

You have to set the environment variable "$EDITOR".
E.g.: to use Emacs as default text editor, just add in your ~/.profile file:

export EDITOR=emacs