8 Best IDEs Or Code Editors For Linux

8 best ides for linux

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 includes 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 a poll in the last of this article. In the 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 & replaces, support of integration of external programs such as make, lint, weblint, etc.

Bluefish editor for linux

Bluefish supports more than HTML & CSS. It has support for the following languages as well.

  • Ada
  • ASP .NET and VBS
  • C/C++
  • CSS
  • CFML
  • Clojure
  • D
  • gettext PO
  • Google Go
  • Java and JSP
  • JavaScript and jQuery
  • Lua

And More…

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/bluefishsudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install bluefish

Geany is a lightweight IDE and it supports all major languages. Geany aims to provide a 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 clean and provides a 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 a 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 –

  • Classbuilder – Creates source files for new class types
  • Export – Exports the current file into different formats
  • Filebrowser – Adds a file browser tab to the sidebar
  • HTML Characters – Inserts HTML character entities like ‘&’
  • Save Actions – Provides different actions related to saving files (autosave, instantsave, backupcopy)
  • Split Window – Splits the editor view into two windows

There is a 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.

7. Geany

Geany IDE for linux
sudo apt-get install geany

Geany is already available in the default repository of most Linux distributions. So you can use the 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 the latest version then go and download .tar file and compile the package yourself.

6. Gedit

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 a 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.

Gedit for linux

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 a simple yet powerful IDE. It supports a great number of languages and auto-detect the language sets the indentation for a 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 doesn’t get lost. You can look at the complete list of features in KATE on the default page here.

KATE IDE for Linux KDE

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

4. Eclipse

Now from here, the IDEs are even more advanced and robust. Let me start with a very popular one, Eclipse. Eclipse is mostly written in JAVA and it is primarily used for developing JAVA applications. But, language support can be extended by installing plugins. So with plugins support Eclipse becomes one of the best IDEs to develop programs in C, C++, COBOL, Fortran, Haskell, JavaScript, PHP, Perl, Python, R, Ruby, and Ruby on Rails, Scheme and many more.

Eclipse SDK(Software Development Kit) is a free and open source and it includes Java Development tools for Java developers.

How To Install Eclipse In Linux?

Eclipse ide for java developers

Download Eclipse for your Linux distribution from their official website. It’s a compressed file, uncompress it and run ‘eclipse-inst’ to run the installer.   Download Eclipse

3. Brackets

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 support plugins to extend functionalities and installing plugins is really easy. Just click the third ICON from the 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.

Brackets IDE for Linux developers
Install Plugins in brackets IDE

Inline Editing

Besides 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.

Brackets inline editing feature

Live Preview

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.

Add Plugins

Brackets has tons of plugins available that provide additional functionalities to Brackets. If you’re working with JS for example then you can install a plugin that helps you with JS code. Sometimes you also require to create PDF of the code then you install a 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.
Beautify              Format JavaScript, HTML, and CSS files.
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.

Brackets plugins and theme installer

How To Install Brackets In Linux?

You can download Brackets latest version from the official website and install it.   Download Brackets

2. Atom

Atom is the IDE developed by Github and it is completely hackable which means you can customize it as you want. It supports a large number of programming languages by default like PHP, javascript, HTML, CSS, Sass, Less, Python, C, C++, Coffeescript, etc. and if you working with a language that is not supported by default in Atom then don’t worry you can install plugin. 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 the guide and go through each and every one. Install Packages i.e. plugins, install themes and customize Styling.

Atom IDE for linux developers
Atom IDE inspect element feature

Atom is from Github so it takes care of most of the things that every developer 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 the browser. It also comes with Markdown syntax that supports live preview in browser.

Atom IDE tools

Atom Configuration

Atom IDE configuration window

Atom devs slogans it a complete hackable IDE of the 21st century. So you can explore Atom’s easy to use configuration to customize it deeply.

1. Sublime

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 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.


Sublime minimap

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 saves a huge amount of time if you depend only on keyboard when you’re programming and Sublime helps you do so by providing a cluster of customizable keyboard shortcuts. The shortcuts I like the most is Ctrl + P. It allows me to search for files within 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’.

Sublime keyboard shortcuts

Powerful Multi-Select Feature

Sublime IDE multi-select feature

If you use this feature once then you’ll be a 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 the 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 word and finally use CTRL + D to select them all.

Create Your Own Snippets

sublime create new snippet

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 the 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 log in.

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-3For 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.

Take Poll


Joshua R Lokken July 8, 2019 at 8:04 pm

Most of these aren’t IDEs. A text editor is not an IDE. Informative read on text editors, though. Thank you.

Hans v B July 14, 2019 at 12:55 am

There is no mention if any of these have the capability to build a GUI

Wojciech July 17, 2019 at 12:42 am

So currently I use two IDEs that are not at the list above

I write python scripts in PyCharm and php in KDevelop.

Stas October 25, 2019 at 8:39 pm

My best editor for Linux is Codelobster –

Marcus February 4, 2020 at 7:54 pm

Why no mention of NetBeans? In my opinion it is on par with Eclipse.

Leon May 8, 2020 at 12:48 am

VS Code is the best. Yawn!


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