gedit in this thread pretty much raised my interest as a light weight editor / IDE for R. I was happy to see that there is a .dmg for Mac OS X, but I still wonder where / how to install plugins, in particular this one.

Is it even possible?

  • 3
    Gedit on OSX, seriously?! Have you checked out TextMate or SubEthaEdit?
    – Nils
    Aug 3, 2010 at 12:44
  • I have TextWrangler for the light weight stuff and Eclipse for everything else. Also like Aptana Studio. The reason why I looked at gedit for Mac OS was that it was recommended by some SOers for use with R.
    – ran2
    Aug 3, 2010 at 12:50
  • Ditto on TextMate, which has good integration with R. But you may also consider emacs/ess (or Vim with Vim-r-plugin2), which can follow you to every platform and have a huge support base.
    – richardh
    Aug 3, 2010 at 13:08
  • 2
    @Nils Some people don't think you should have to pay for a text editor.
    – Jeff
    Sep 25, 2011 at 22:12
  • @Jeff Some people don't think a programmer should be paid for his work.
    – Tobia
    Dec 22, 2013 at 16:08

6 Answers 6


You can also install gedit using macports (which builds everything from source), or using fink (with pre-built binaries). I don't use gedit much, but I suppose that if the add-on you want comes as a source-code tarball, then one of these options may be more easily extendable/configurable than if gedit is installed with a .dmg.

  • So.. it doesn't work with the .dmg? Probably will stay with Komodo / Sciviews-K then. I was looking for easy to configure light weight stuff as an Eclipse / StatET alternative.
    – ran2
    Aug 3, 2010 at 12:52
  • Note that the macports version is VERY old. You can get Gedit3 as a .dmg that doesn't have this plugin issue amymore... just install like you would on Linux. Apr 18, 2013 at 17:24

I'm trying to do this too without much luck. I have got a bit further though. The error message when trying to load the R integration is as follows

  Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/Applications/gedit.app/Contents/Resources/lib/gedit-2/plugins/RCtrl.py", line 49, in <module>
    import vte
ImportError: No module named vte

** (gedit-bin:11508): WARNING **: Error loading plugin 'R integration'

So it looks like you need to install the python vte library on OS X somehow but I couldn't work that out.


To install Gedit plugins, you need to go into the gedit.app package:

  1. Right click your Gedit app icon and select 'Show Package Contents'
  2. Navigate to Contents/Resources/lib/gedit-2/plugins
  3. Drop your plugins into that directory
  4. Restart gedit and activate them normally (Preferences > Plugins)

FWIW, Gedit has some advantages (and few drawbacks) over TextMate. I'm switching over today for split panes (available through a plugin).

  • This doesn't seem to work with any plugins I have tried. They all crash with a different error.
    – Imran
    Jul 4, 2011 at 8:21

Just like on Linux, you can put it into ~/.gnome2/gedit/plugins (where ~ is your home directory).

Here are the commands that installed the AutoTab plugin which immediately after appeared in the Plugins section of Preferences:

mkdir -p ~/.gnome2/gedit/plugins
cp autotab.gedit-plugin  autotab.py ~/.gnome2/gedit/plugins
  • Does it run? Can you check the box next to AutoTab in Preferences without it crashing?
    – Imran
    Jul 4, 2011 at 8:50

MacPorts seems to support it:

$ port search gedit
gedit @2.26.3 (gnome, editors)
    GNOME editor.

gedit-plugins @2.26.3 (gnome, editors)
    Plug-ins for GEdit

Note that this is no longer an issue for Gedit 3 on Mountain Lion. Just install them exactly as you ordinarily would on a Linux distro.

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