The Beginner’s Guide to Nano, the Linux Command-Line Text Editor

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When getting used to the command-line, Linux novices are often put off by other, more advanced text editors such as vim and emacs. While they are excellent programs, they do have a bit of a learning curve. Enter Nano, an easy-to-use text editor that proves itself versatile and simple. Nano is installed by default in Ubuntu and many other Linux distros and works well in conjunction with sudo, which is why we love it so much.

Running Nano

You can run nano in two ways. To open nano with an empty buffer, just type in “nano” at the command prompt.

You can also use the following syntax:

nano /path/to/filename

Nano will follow the path and open that file if it exists. If it does not exist, it’ll start a new buffer with that filename in that directory.

Let’s take a look at the default nano screen.

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