Ubuntu – What editor can I use as a simple vi/vim alternative

command linesoftware-recommendationtext-editorviwindows-subsystem-for-linux

I'm a Windows user coming to Ubuntu's Bash thanks to WSL. Now I need to edit some files and I really hate Vi. Do I just have to deal with it, or is there a simpler alternative?

The features I am looking for are:

  • CLI based
  • easy to use (typing and editing should be similar to Notepad)
  • simple editing capabilities are enough

I will try to master Vim, but I need to make a quick edit right now!

Best Answer

If you are looking for an alternative editor, you are not alone. Basically life is too short to learn vi and I say this being a software developer for a living. However you should learn how to exit it because it's a problem for one out of 20k programmers. Also performing some basic append/insert operation might be worth learning, because on some stubborn servers you won't find any other editor.

Now, the answer to your question is probably nano.

If you are running some automated build script, using git or running other commands, they might open vim without you wanting it. You can prevent this by running the following before proceeding:

export EDITOR=nano