Micro: A user-friendly terminal Text Editor for Linux

Micro: A user-friendly terminal Text Editor for Linux

Most Linux distributions today come with a few in-built text editors. If you are familiar with the Linux terminal you surely must have used text editors like nano and vim. If you have used these editors you would also realize they not only lack basic features that most GUI editors would have but also multi-mode editors like Vim may seem very complex to use for such a simple task especially for beginners.

What is Micro?

Let me introduce to you Micro: a terminal-based text editor that aims to be intuitive and beginner friendly, while also taking advantage of the full capabilities of modern terminals. Micro is open-source and it comes as one single, batteries-included, static binary with no dependencies, and you can download and use it right now.

Installing Micro

To install Micro you would need terminal root access to a computer system running linux, and an internet connection. KernelVPS using vitalization can provide root-access and other benefits of a physical system at very cheap rates. Register at KernelVPS to place an order today, and instantly deploy your servers.

Once you have access to the terminal you can download micro from https://github.com/zyedidia/micro/releases.

At the time of writing this article Micro v1.3.3 was the latest build available. Depending on the architecture of your operating system you will have to run either of the two commands to download the required files.


wget https://github.com/zyedidia/micro/releases/download/v1.3.3/micro-1.3.3-linux64.tar.gz


wget https://github.com/zyedidia/micro/releases/download/v1.3.3/micro-1.3.3-linux32.tar.gz

After the file is downloaded you can extract it using the following command. Make sure you use the correct file name.

tar -zxvf micro-1.3.3-linux64.tar.gz

After the extraction is complete move the file to the linux /bin directory so that it is globally accessible.

mv micro-1.3.3/micro /usr/bin/micro

Now you can use Micro like any other text editor. You can either open the file by using the command micro followed by the filename like in the example below or you could pipe the output of other commands to it.

micro test-file.txt


Micro comes with a whole plethora of features, some of which include:

  • Easy to use and to install
  • Multiple cursors
  • Shortcuts have universal keybindings (ctrl-s, ctrl-c, ctrl-v, ctrl-z…)
  • Splits and tabs
  • Persistent undo
  • Automatic linting and error notifications
  • Syntax highlighting (for over 90 languages!)
  • Colorscheme support
    • By default, micro comes with 16, 256, and true color themes.
  • Extremely good mouse support
    • This means mouse dragging to create a selection, double click to select by word, and triple click to select by line
  • Sane defaults
    • You shouldn’t have to configure much out of the box (and it is extremely easy to configure)
  • Cross platform (It should work on all the platforms Go runs on)
    • Note that while Windows is supported, there are still some bugs that need to be worked out
  • Snippets
    • The snippet plugin can be installed with > plugin install snippets
  • Copy and paste with the system clipboard
  • Small and simple
  • Plugin system (plugins are written in Lua)
    • Micro has a built-in plugin manager to automatically install, remove, and update all your plugins
  • Easily configurable
  • Macros
  • Common editor things such as undo/redo, line numbers, Unicode support, and softwrap.

GitHub: https://github.com/zyedidia/micro

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