It's fun to code and if you do it well then you can be a good developer. Nowadays people are turning toward programming and they are successfully building great applications. In this post I am going to give Linux users a list of 8 Best IDEs(Integrated Development Environment) or text editors that help developers in programming great applications in Linux quickly and easily.
IDEs are very important when developing any application. It can ease the work by providing tons of handy features. The following list of 8 Best IDEs or text editors include great text editors for developers that provide features like, plugins to have additional functionalities, auto-complete that complete tags, classes and even the snippets of code without having to type it.
Arguably, there are several other IDEs available for Linux but I am mentioning only 8 to make this article short. If you use any other IDE or text editor for your regular development then please let me know in the comment section below. Also don't forget to take poll in the last of this article. In poll you can tell us which one you like the most out of the following 8 IDEs.
8. Bluefish Editor
Let me start with the #10 in my list. It's Bluefish Editor. If you are a web developer then Bluefish editor can be a good choice. It supports many advanced features such as auto-completion of tags, auto-indentation, powerful search & replace, support of integration of external programs such as make, lint, weblint etc.
Bluefish supports more than HTML & CSS. It has support for the following languages as well.
You can see the full list of features and supported languages on the official website here.
The things that I wish I had in Bluefish were the ability to edit multiple lines simultaneously. I also want the ability to work with multiple languages within a document which is not supported by Bluefish editor. So when I select Ruby, it disables the support for HTML & CSS which are necessary to build any web application using frameworks such as Ruby on Rails.
How To Install Bluefish Editor In Linux?
Add the following PPA in Ubuntu or other Ubuntu based distros to install Bluefish editor.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:klaus-vormweg/bluefish
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install bluefish
Geany is a lightweight IDE and it supports all major languages. Geany aims to provide simple and fast development environment. It has all basic features such as, auto-indent, syntax highlighting and auto-complete code or snippets etc. Geany is a clean and provides larger space to work in. So if you want a lightweight and pretty basic IDE for your development then go with Geany.
Since Geany 0.12, it has basic plugin system. Yes it's basic. Unlike other IDEs that I am going to mention in this list, Geany plugin is a basic system. It comes with some plugins installed that are -
There is list of plugins for Geany that you can get here. You can know there how you can get new plugins.
You can see the complete list of features on their official page.
sudo apt-get install geany
Geany is already available in the default repostiory of most Linux distributions. So you can use package manager to install Geany. The current Geany version is v1.26 but in Ubuntu v1.25 is available. So you can install Geany v1.25 using apt. If you want to install latest version then go and download .tar file and compile the package yourself.
Gedit is an IDE that comes pre-installed with the most popular Linux distribution, Ubuntu. So if you're using Ubuntu then you would have also opened documents with Gedit. It is a very simple and small IDE but it can be customized to fit your working environment by installing plugins and configuring existing settings.
Gedit does not provide the easiest way to install plugins (like search engine for searching plugins) but you can download the plugins and then install them manually. It's not a review so I can not mention how tos here. You can search for Gedit plugins in Google and that will give you instructions to install it too.
How To Install Gedit In Linux?
Gedit is already installed in Ubuntu and it is available in all major distributions' default repositories. So use your distribution's package manager to install Gedit.
If you use Kubuntu then you would have used KATE. It's the text editors that comes pre-installed with Kubuntu, popular Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. KATE is a lightweight and fast text editors and it can open multiple files simultaneously. KATE is simple yet powerful IDE. It supports great number of languages and auto-detect the language sets the indentation for document automatically.
Programmer can split window to work with multiple documents simultaneously. KATE has embedded terminal, SQL plugin, Find & replace, session support, syntax highlighting, smart comment and uncomment handling, bracket matching, KATE takes backup automatically so in case of crash or unexpected shutdown your work don't get lost. You can look at the complete list of features in KATE on the default page here.
KATE is already in the default repository of most Linux distributions. So you can use your distribution package manager to install KATE. Here is how you can install KATE in Ubuntu or Ubuntu based Linux distributions.
sudo apt-get install kate
Now from here the IDEs are even more advanced and robust. Let me start with very popular one, Eclipse. Eclipse is mostly written in JAVA and it is primarily used for developing JAVA applications. But, the language support can be extended by installing plugins.
Eclipse SDK(Software Development Kit) is free and open source and it includes Java Development tools for Java developers.
How To Install Eclipse In Linux?
Download Eclipse for your Linux distribution from their official website. It's a compressed file, uncompress it and run 'eclipse-inst' to run installer.
Brackets is the IDE developed by Adobe developers. It is the IDE for you if you're a web designer. There are several awesome features in Brackets that make it stand out. Brackets supports plugins to extend functionalities and installing plugins is really easy. Just click the third ICON from top right sidebar and it will popup a window showing you popular plugins. You can simply click install to install any plugin and you can also search any specific plugin.
Beside all the basic features such as auto-indentation, auto-completion and code highlighting, Brackets has advanced features that really help you while you're editing web pages and working with CSS, and some of which features are Inline editing, Editor splitting, plugins and many more.
The inline editing allows you to edit CSS without moving to CSS file. To edit CSS of any id or class, simply select that line and press CTRL + E. It opens up the window with the CSS associated with that ID.
If you're using Brackets then you will no more require your browser's inspect tools to inspect the code, instead you can use Brackets Live Preview feature and it will show your changes live in the window. To use this feature simply go to menu << File and click Live Preview.
Brackets has tons of plugins available that provide additional functionalities to Brackets. If you're working with JS for example then you can install plugin that helps you with JS code. Sometime you also require to create PDF of the code then you install plugin that does so. You can add hundreds of other features by adding plugins. Brackets is always adding new plugins to their database. Here are some of the popular Brackets Plugins -
Emmet High-speed HTML and CSS workflow.
File Icons File icons in Brackets’ file tree.
Indent Guides Show indent guides in the code editor.
Git Git integration for Brackets.
Autoprefixer Parse CSS and add vendor prefixes automatically.
W3C Validation Simple W3C Validator.
How To Install Brackets In Linux?
You can download Brackets latest version from the official website and install it.
When you first install and open Atom then it gives you Welcome Guide. The guide gives you the way to explore Atom and getting familiar with it very quickly. Start with opening a project in guide and go through each and everyone. Install Packages i.e. plugins, install themes and customize Styling.
Atom is from Github so it takes care of most of things that every developers wish to have by default in an IDE. Developers tools is one of them. You can have browsers' inspect element tool within Atom, no more need to open web browser.
Atom is developed by Github so it comes with full Github support and integration. You can directly open a project/file on Github in browser. It also comes with Markdown syntax that supports live preview in browser.
Atom devs slogans it a complete hackable IDE of 21st century. So you can explore Atom's easy to use configration to customize it deeply.
1. Sublime Text
The one that wins the list is obviously, Sublime Text. The lightest of all and feature rich IDE used by professional programmers. Besides all the basic features, Sublime has the most powerful features that let programmers do coding really fast.
Sublime has so many powerful features that require another article to be mentioned in. In this small intro I can only mention some of the its features that will surely drag you toward it. Well, don't worry about code highlighting, auto-indent, auto-completion and all basic features, Sublime has all of them packed.
Starting with a simple but very helpful feature of Sublime and it's called Minimap. Minimap is the zoomed view of entire file that you're working in that works as a visual scrollbar in Sublime. You can see entire code and guess where you want to move in the code and click that area and sublime will take you to that space in the editor.
Wide Range Of Keyboard Shortcuts
Programming means typing, typing and typing then why touch mouse. It save huge amount of time if you depend only on keyboard when you're programming and Sublime helps you doing so by providing cluster of customizable keyboard shortcuts.
The shortcuts I like the most is ctrl + P. It allows me to search files withing the working directory right from my editor, while I'm coding. It also allows me to search code in the current file just by prefixing my search term with @. For example, I want to search 'article' variable in the current file then I can use CTRL + P and search '@article'.
Powerful Multi-Select Feature
If you use this feature once then you'll be fan of Sublime. Sublime allows you to edit multiple lines all at once. Don't believe it? But that's true. Put your cursor in one line and then hold CTRL and with mouse put cursor in another line and one more cursor will appear, now typing anything will be written in both the lines. In the same way you can choose as many lines as you want and you can edit them all at once.
There are many ways that you can multi-edit code in sublime and one of which is CTRL + D. Put your cursor on a word and press CTRL + D and see it will select the word for you. If you want to edit multiple words then first put cursors in each words and finally use CTRL + D to select them all.
Create Your Own Snippets
Approx in every program written in any language, you have to repeat some lines of code multiple times. To deal with it Sublime has a nice and handy feature called Snippet. You can create new snippet from Menu >> Tools >> New Snippet. In between <snippet> tags put your code and save the file in user directory of Sublime.
Now whenever you need to code that snippet, simply type the name of that snippet you saved and remember the name is the filename. In my case, my login form snippet name is login.
Sublime has much more...
There is much more advanced in Sublime. You can start using it right away to explore more advanced features of Sublime. Once you get familiar with it, coding will be fun, easy and fast.
How To Install Sublime In Linux?
Currently the latest stable is Sublime text 2 but Sublime text 3 is also available which is in Beta state.
For Sublime text 3 Beta
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/sublime-text-3
For Sublime Text 2
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/sublime-text-2
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sublime-text-installer
So... finally what is your favorite IDE for Linux? All above IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) are for both, new and professional programmers. Tell me what you like the most as a new & pro programmer in your favorite IDE and if you're using any other IDE then please let us know in the comments below.