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I've recently switched over to Ubuntu from Windows and love it. One thing I miss is my Programmer's Notepad. I haven't found anything similar yet for Linux. Eclipse is way too big and involved for what I need.


Specifically I'm looking for -

  • a diff tool (I know about Meld, but am looking for built-in or plug-in rather than a separate tool);

  • ftp;

  • html/xml tag-matching;

  • and the big one - find in files - search for a term or regex in a user-specific group of files, or recursively through directories, and return a highlighted, clickable list of results.

Edited again (04/05/2011) I did end up trying most of the suggestions below, but what I ended up with is Komodo Edit. It does everything I wanted, and it's available on all three platforms, so now that I'm on a Mac at work, I don't have to learn another new IDE. It's build on Mozilla, so there are add-ons (and you can create your own) which can be updated the same way Firefox add-ons are.

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I'll just leave this as a comment since you've already picked your answer, but Notepad++ is supposed to run very well under WINE. – Michael Dec 14 '10 at 14:44
up vote 16 down vote accepted

A lot of Linux users eventually migrate to Vim or Emacs. They have steep learning curves, but near-infinite customizability. For a more notepad++ like editor, I hear good things about geany, but am a vim user myself.

In my opinion the choice of an editor is a very personal matter. If I were you, I would look at this list and try them one by one until I found one that worked for me. If all else fails, I noticed on that list that notepad++ is reported to work well with wine.

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Thanks for that list. I think I'm going to try geany and jEdit - vim looks to be a bit hard-core for me (I'm a wuss!). Unfortunately neither of them has ALL of the features I want, but they're closer than anything I've seen so far. – EmmyS Oct 15 '10 at 20:53
vim is awesome. The best programmer's text editor. For me, it is better than any IDE ever made. – Wuffers Oct 15 '10 at 21:06
@EmmyS - emacs has ALL of those features and more. The functionality you're asking for is but a cup in the large kitchen sink of what emacs can do. chuckle But, emacs definitely has a learning curve. In my opinion, it's simpler to do the simple things in emacs than vi, but that's just my opinion. – Omnifarious Oct 15 '10 at 23:43
@EmmyS: vim has (as well as emacs) all of what you want .. under more OS than notepad* or whatever comes along. if you do not like vim in its configuration install which makes it a pretty good "idiot-proof" editor... – akira Nov 17 '10 at 13:04

Vim sounds like what you're looking for

Instructions to install it are on that page too :)

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Vim isn't anything like N++ or Programmers Notepad. – Billy ONeal Oct 15 '10 at 19:50
yeah, the crazy Vim is like "copy con" in DOS, or "cat >" in nix :)) – jondinham Nov 10 '13 at 5:46

There are tons of editors, many with features you'll love. My suggestion is definitely to migrate to something that works on multiple platforms and use it on all your machines.

That said, here is a link for many Ubuntu options:

GNU Emacs, Vim and jEdit are good options (thought I don't use jEdit):

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I like gvim. It has all of the power of vim, but with some friendly GUI features added. It has syntax highlighting, regex related find and replace, and you can do diffs, as well as a host of other things. It's cross-platform, as well.

I use gedit, as well.

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Based on your specification , like regex/ftp use, Vim is the best editor you would want to use. It'll look impossible in the beginning,so take some tutorials ,i would suggest you to go through the book, A Byte of Vim by swaroop hegde ,It's free for download

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Gedit isn't bad and you may have it by default anyway. Based on feedback, have a look at Bluefish as well.

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I do have gedit, but it doesn't have much in the way of plugins or features. I've edited my original post to add more info on what I'm looking for. – EmmyS Oct 15 '10 at 19:42
Edit: OK, based of feedback, have a look at Bluefish – Linker3000 Oct 15 '10 at 19:58

I guess this is an old post but you can look at wine to use Notepad++ on ubuntu. I have done that and I find it much better than simple text editors available for linux....

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Since no one has mentioned Editra i feel that I have to. Check it out if you whant to. I personally prefer gedit with add-ons but Editra comes close. And, It is cross platform!

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Note that Unix (in which almost any Linux distributions count) does have a completely different philosophy than Microsoft and Windows in general.

The Unix philosophy in short; Do one thing, and do it well.

Therefore, you'll see very few do-it-all IDE's. Instead, many tasks is performed by small by very competent tools, like MELD is only focused on diff/merge (kdiff3 is another great tool by the way).

As of this, my suggestion to you is to take your time and really learn how to do your work the Unix way. Learn about things like GNU core utils, grep, find and tools like Git. It will pay, and you will never want to go back.

Happy Unixing!

(ps: doesn't allow me to more than two links, but I'm sure Google will help you)

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