6 Great Notepad++ Alternatives for Linux

Kev Quirk 25-10-2016

Notepad++ is one of the best text editors that no money can buy. It has many cool features out of the box, such as adding mark up for known file formats — like HTML and CSS. You can also add functionality to Notepad++ via its massive library of plugins Soup Up The Notepad++ Text Editor With Plugins From The Notepad Plus Repository [Windows] Notepad++ is a worthy replacement for Windows’ in-built and much loved text editor, and comes highly recommended if you’re a programmer, web designer or simply someone who finds themselves in need of a powerful plain... Read More .


It’s one of the first applications I install on a fresh build of Windows. Problem is, it isn’t available for Linux. But fear not, there are a number of worthy alternatives that you can download and install for free.

1. Notepadqq

Notepadqq is an obvious choice for this list, as it’s a direct copy of Notepad++ for Linux. Both the UI and functionality are very similar to that of Notepad++.

Notepadqq doesn’t boast a rich library of plugins, but it does include most of the features that people use on Notepad++. These include text markup, files in tabs and find/replace.

Notepad QQ HTML File

You can install Notepadqq in Ubuntu via a terminal window, using the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:notepadqq-team/notepadqq
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install notepadqq

2. Sublime Text

This is an extremely powerful cross-platform editor 11 Sublime Text Tips for Productivity and a Faster Workflow Sublime Text is a versatile text editor and a gold standard for many programmers. Our tips focus on efficient coding, but general users will appreciate the keyboard shortcuts. Read More that not only looks great, but works great too. Sublime Text is the only editor in this list that is neither Open Source or free, costing $70 for a full license.

Sublime Text has a number of useful features, such as:

  • Go To Anything — Opens files with only a few keystrokes, and allows you instantly jump to symbols, lines or words.
  • Command Pallet — Allows you to utilize functionality, like sorting, changing the syntax and changing the indentation settings.
  • Distraction free mode — Full screen, chrome free editing, with nothing but your text in the center of the screen.
  • Split editing — Makes the most of wide screen monitors by allowing you to compare and edit multiple files side-by-side.

Sublime Text

You can download and try Sublime Text for free from their website, but you will need to purchase a license if you wish to continue using it.


There are both 32-bit and 64-bit DEB packages available from their website.

3. Lime Text

If you haven’t guessed already, Lime Text is an Open Source alternative to Sublime Text that’s based on QML. It’s very similar to Sublime Text in terms of both form, and function.

Lime Text Editor

Installing Lime Text is pretty convoluted as there are no packages available, so you will need to install Lime Text from source.


To install Lime Text from source via Git What Is Git & Why You Should Use Version Control If You’re a Developer As web developers, a lot of the time we tend to work on local development sites then just upload everything when we’re done. This is fine when it’s just you and the changes are small,... Read More , you will need to run the following commands in terminal.

Install dependencies & set the path to Golang:

sudo apt-get install python3.4 libonig2 libonig-dev git golang python3-dev libqt5qml-graphicaleffects libqt5opengl5-dev qtbase5-private-dev qtdeclarative5-dev qtdeclarative5-controls-plugin qtdeclarative5-quicklayouts-plugin
export GOPATH=~/golang

Download and run Termbox:

go get -u
cd $GOPATH/src/
git submodule update --init
cd $GOPATH/src/
go build
./termbox main.go

Install Lime Text with QML:

go get -u
cd $GOPATH/src/
git submodule update --init
cd $GOPATH/src/
go run main.go

4. Atom

Atom is a modern, beautiful and powerful text editor. Like NotePad++, Atom allows you to install plugins to add functionality, known as packages.

Atom takes the best of Notepad++ plugins, adds a dash of Sublime Text usability and rolls it all up in to a great looking app.

Atom Welcome Screen

Atom’s features include:

  • Cross-platform — Works on Mac, Windows and Linux.
  • Smart auto-complete — Helps you to write code by auto-completing common syntax as you type.
  • File system browser — Open additional files from a single window.
  • Multiple panes — Allows you to split Atom in to multiple panes and tabs, so you can manage more than one project at a time.
  • Packages — Search, install and create packages to add features to Atom.

You can install Atom by downloading the DEB or RPM packages from their website.

5. Geany

Geany is so much more than a text editor. It’s so feature rich that it’s practically an integrated development environment Text Editors vs. IDEs: Which One Is Better For Programmers? Choosing between an advanced IDE and a simpler text editor can be hard. We offer some insight to help you make that decision. Read More . Geany is also cross-platform, open source, and feature rich.

Some of the features on offer with Geany are:

  • Syntax highlighting.
  • Code folding.
  • Auto-complete of XML and HTML tags.
  • Various supported file types including C, Java, PHP, HTML, Python, Perl etc.
  • Compile and execute code.
  • Install plugins.

Geany Text Editor

You can install Geany in Ubuntu by running sudo apt-get install geany scite from the terminal. If you want to install Geany on a different distribution or OS, you can find alternatives on their website.

6. Gedit

Last on our list of text editors is the humble Gedit gedit: One Of The Most Feature-Filled Plain Text Editors [Linux & Windows] When you think of plain text editors, the first thing that may pop into your head is Windows' Notepad application. It does exactly what its job description states - plain features for a plain text... Read More . If you don’t know, Gedit is the default text editor in Ubuntu and many other Linux distributions.

The beauty of Gedit is that it’s not only simple to use, but also really powerful. Right out of the box it boasts features such as syntax markup, spell checking and multiple files in tabs.

Gedit also has a raft of plugins 13 Gedit Plugins to Make It a More Useful Text Editor [Linux] Read More available for it if you want to expand its functionality further.

Gedit HTML File

As previously mentioned, Gedit is the default text editor in Ubuntu, and many other Linux distributions. If you’re running a version of Linux that doesn’t include Gedit, you can install it with one of the following commands.

Debian/Ubuntu (DEB):

sudo apt-get install gedit

Fedora, OpenSUSE (RPM):

yum install gedit

Which Do You Prefer?

There are so many amazing text editors available for Linux. So it doesn’t really matter that we don’t have Notepad++ available!

Is there a text editor that you prefer? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Related topics: Linux, Notepad.

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  1. Bob
    May 13, 2020 at 2:19 am

    Notepadqq is no longer a functional program in Ubuntu, as of 18.04, unless you only want to edit files in your home directory. Both the snap and the deb packages from the ppa are total failures. I wasted a whole day trying to get them to work. Loads of message board posts with multiple issues and multiple "solutions" that don't work. It used to be -- by far -- my favorite editor. Sad day.

  2. Kasun Thennakoon
    November 2, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Why not VIM ?

    • Kev Quirk
      November 2, 2016 at 11:46 am

      Take a look at my reply to Jim below. ?

  3. DrMP
    October 30, 2016 at 6:35 am

    Add kate, with a nice tabed interface.

    • Kev Quirk
      November 2, 2016 at 11:46 am

      I wasn't sure whether to put in Kate or Gedit. They're both great tools, completely agree.

  4. Valdemar Lemche
    October 26, 2016 at 7:46 am

    Why not Scite, which NPP is basef on afterall?

    • Kev Quirk
      November 2, 2016 at 11:45 am

      Never heard of Scite, but I'll check it out. Thanks.

  5. Andreas
    October 26, 2016 at 6:01 am

    Terminal use: nano.
    For editing files: gedit
    For building websites: Netbeans, even though it's built on Java.

    • Kev Quirk
      November 2, 2016 at 11:44 am

      Nano for the win! Much more user friendly than Vi. ?

      I've never used Netbeans, mainly because it is built on Java and we all know Java is a black hole of doom. ?

  6. Jim
    October 26, 2016 at 1:40 am

    look no further than vim.

    • Kev Quirk
      November 2, 2016 at 11:43 am

      Vim is awesome, I completely agree. But I didn't want the list to get too long, and I wanted to include a "premium" offering (paid for with regular updates), so Vim had to go in favour of Sublime.

  7. David Morse
    October 25, 2016 at 11:01 pm


    • Kev Quirk
      November 2, 2016 at 11:41 am

      Never used it, but I'll check it out.

  8. m-{3}
    October 25, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    I'm surprised Visual Studio Code wasn't in the list!

    • Kev Quirk
      November 2, 2016 at 11:41 am

      I've not used VS Code personally, but I'll check it out. Thanks for the tip.

  9. Mister Klikacz
    October 25, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    I prefer NetBeans IDE, but earlier I have mainly used Aptana Studio 3. Both are great, but NetBeans is, in my opinion, a little better

    • Kev Quirk
      November 2, 2016 at 11:39 am

      I've never used either of those, but I'll take a look at them. Thanks for the tip.