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Micro (have I found my new favourite text editor?)

For a Linux user, choosing a text editor is something very personal and serious. Ironically, often it is a kind of real marriage, destined to last forever or at least for decades.

And yes, when you start working with Linux, you still have to learn how to use vi, because you never know: you will always find a server where you will have no choice and you will have to use it. But, it is useless to deny it, I never thought vi was the best ever ... so I also tried alternatives such as nano, which is more limited in features, but more user-friendly and, over the years, for the more advanced features I abandoned the black terminal and used graphic programs, such as Geany or VSCodium.

Well, all this wandering has recently come to a happy ending: I discovered micro! Trust me, give it a chance, try it! It is easy to learn and is very feature rich.

It's very intuitive: ctrl-s, ctrl-c, ctrl-v, ctrl-x, ctrl-z, ctrl-q... they just work! The clipboard is fully integrated with the OS, the mouse support is excellent, colors are easily customizable, it supports screen split and tabs, simple macros, plugins, integrated and easy-to-read help.

And everything is packaged in a single static executable file: the installation simply consists of putting it in the path (or put it wherever you want and create a symbolic link in a directory included in the path). No external libraries are required, so it's easy to install even on older servers.

Some useful keybindings

ctrl-u start/stop macro recording
ctrl-j play macro
ctrl-w cycle focus between horizontal/vertical splits in the current tab
ctrl-t create a new tab
alt-,   alt-. change tab
ctrl-/ comment/uncomment code
ctrl-q close current buffer
ctrl-[mouse button] spawn a new cursor
alt-c remove multiple cursors
find next
find previous

The internal help will show you many more commands.


You can find a small list of available plugins here:

I suggest you the following two plugins: press ctr-e to enter in micro command mode and type

  plugin install filemanager
  plugin install manipulator

filemanager adds the "tree" command to explore/open directories and files and manipulator adds "upper" e "lower".

micro editor  
Posted on 2022-09-29  
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