Destination Linux 183: It Is Okay To Use Nano

Originally published at: It Is Okay To Use Nano - Destination Linux 183 - [ Tech Podcast ]


I was going to say “Emacs is the best!” but I remembered we were talking about text editors, not operating systems. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


I had a professor in college that called Emacs “a wonderful OS with a sub-par text editor.”


this was informative even for a non IT Linux newbie. the show rocks and I enjoy watching it and learning.

Peace, Lexie


It’s an old grudge about Apple that I always found strange, specially seeing how quick some android phones were out of updates. Those companies should be blamed first. Same goes for the computers and the fact you can still use comfortably the last OS on some old ones.

But on another hand Apple has a habit of pushing users to the new OS with new features and launch regularly new devices which tends to tease and make feel the users like they “have” to change. :man_shrugging:

I think Apple is targeted on that subject because it’s a more popular target (more clicks…)

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Still longer term support than anything any Android companies have ever offered. iOS 14 is going to release on the iPhone 6S, a phone from 2015.

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He was right. Emacs is great once you install Vim on top, though!

Thanks everyone - very informative and fun, as usual :slight_smile:

I’m sure many guilty nano users who were in hiding have found their hearts eased by your validation this episode :wink: I agree with Noah that vi/vim, being the bottom line for sys-admin, especially in emergencies, means all professionals do need to know it. Once it’s been learned (to any degree) it’s handy in all sorts of situations. I’d say though the editor I use depends on what I’m doing. If it’s heavy coding, maybe an IDE, not for the editor so-much as for ease of including breakpoints, watching variables, quick invoction of compilation, automatic generation of makefiles or their equivalent… For basic config-file editing when an application needs controlling, I don’t mind gedit or any of the light gui-based editors. If it’s low-level sys-admin, I’d go with vim. I have used nano and yes, it’s easier than vim, but I still find it a bit confusing compared to everyday editors, even with the reminders at the bottom of the screen because of how it does cut/copy/paste, for example.

Interesting discussion on convergence. I’m with Michael on that, and agree that the Pine approach is stepwise, and their providing good, very economical hardware to the community is a huge contribution.

I’m a nano user. Quite happy with it, never considered it taboo.

When I write guides I do them with nano but I worry about pointing new users to it because it’s an educational dead end. Unlike other editors it doesn’t teach you things that work with other tools, it only teaches you nano.

What could work is if mainstream distros shipped VIM configured with basic Sublime/Atom/Notepad++ style keybinds in addition to VIM keybinds.

It’s surprisingly easy to configure VIM to use Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, Ctrl+S, Ctrl+Q and “normal” text selection which’d put it miles above nano for a new user. When using these commands it could put a prompt at the bottom for how to use them the VIM way which they can just ignore if/when they’re not up for exploring. It could be called the “VIM learning config”.

I also made a helpful guide for getting out of VIM :slight_smile:

I love nano, and always will… but I heard some discussion about micro and it’s got me curious.

Any thoughts? I dont typically use the mouse much in a text editor, but I could see how it could be handy.

It’s the first I’ve heard of it. I havent had a chance to even see if it’s in my repos yet.

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I have a strong anti-nano bias. I saw that project before but skipped over it the moment I saw “successor to the nano editor”.

Now i’ve checked it out… boy was that mistake lol

micro is pretty legit.