Text EditorsΒΆ

In unix-based operating systems, like Fedora Linux, everything is a file. Directories are files. The kernel is a file calling on several files. Your keyboard, mouse and other USB devices all register as files, not to mention your solid state, hard and optical drives. Every application writes its configuration to file.

While this may to some degree also be the case in proprietary systems, like Windows, the fact that Linux is open-source means that the entire stack is user accessible, provided they know where to look and learn the basic literacy necessary to decipher what they mean.

There are utilities that let you read what these files contain: cat, more and less, for instance. There are also utilities that let you search their contents: grep. When you want to edit these files, from the terminal there are a number of basic editors available, such as nano and pico. In graphical environments, most desktop environments feature a default text editor, like GEdit on Gnome, Kate on KDE, Pluma on Mate. And of course, there are the larger programming suites, the interactive development environments, like Eclipse and Atom.

But, what if you need something with more horsepower than the terminal editors, but with more extensibility than the graphical editors. Eventually, that path leads you to the major contenders in the text editor wars: vim and Emacs.

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