If you are looking to develop a website or software, you will need an app to write and preview your code. This is where code editors and integrated development environments, or IDEs for short, come in.
Fortunately, Linux has a lot of options for you in these categories. We have compiled two separate lists of apps so you can choose the one you like.
Difference between a code editor and an IDE
A code editor provides a text editing interface for writing and editing code. It offers basic editing and formatting features to improve the readability and manageability of your code. These apps generally lack advanced features and configurations.
A notable advantage of using a code editor is that it is much lighter than an IDE. Many code editors also provide features such as compilation, debugging, and support for most programming languages.
An IDE is a software development environment that provides tools for developing complex software. It offers various tools like an editor, a debugger and a compiler necessary for the development cycle.
Different IDEs offer different features and configurations suitable for specific projects. IDEs are much more advanced than editors and offer features that you won’t find in a code editor.
The best code editors for Linux
Let’s take a look at six of the best code editors available for Linux.
1. Visual Studio code
Visual Studio Code is a code text editor for programmers. This app is an advanced code editor because it also offers IDE-like functionality. Its developer support and lightweight configuration have gained popularity among programmers.
The app provides tons of extensions which add more features and support programming languages. A handy feature of VS Code is its good integration with Git.
Visual Studio Code is open source and free to everyone. It is a cross-platform application available for all major Linux, Windows, and macOS distributions. However, you might need to install Git with VS Code to use its version control features. Refer to this tutorial to get an idea of how to install Visual Studio Code on Linux.
To download: Visual Studio Code (Free)
2. Sublime text
Sublime Text is a well-known old code editor available for various platforms including Linux. It offers improved performance thanks to GPU rendering.
This app was originally released as a code editor, but over time it introduced IDE-like functionality. It offers various features such as minimap, multiple selection, custom snippets, code indentation, and automatic file type recognition through structures.
Sublime Text is free to download and use. It is available for all platforms and also supports plugins which add to editor functionality.
To download: Sublime Text (Free)
Atom is a text editor for programmers developed by the GitHub community. It is highly customizable and allows you to add your configurations to it. You can also add various plugins to Atom, and the app supports many programming languages.
You can also customize this code editor with different themes. Atom is light and easy on RAM. Atom is completely free and open source and is available for all major Linux distributions, including Ubuntu and Arch Linux.
To download: Atom (Free)
Brackets is a code editor with some basic IDE-like functionality. If you are a web developer, Brackets is a great choice for you. It is quite light but sturdy.
The app allows you to design and see real-time app previews for web apps. It has an online editor that can open a window in the required code.
Brackets is open-source and free for everyone. It also enjoys good community support, so rest assured you will get quick fixes to any problems you have.
To download: Supports (Free)
5. Komodo Edit
Komodo Edit is a multilingual code editor for programmers and web developers. It provides basic debugging and testing functionality that is typically found in IDEs.
The app has good AI-powered code intelligence that helps remove syntax errors. It also supports version control systems such as Git. Various extensions are available to overload the application. Some of them are however remunerated.
Komodo Edit offers its basic functionality free of charge for individuals. However, Team and Enterprise versions with advanced features require a subscription. You can also download its IDE version for free if you are an independent developer.
To download: Komodo Edit (Free and Premium version available)
Geany is another Linux code editor for programmers. It focuses on performance with its light and clean user interface.
You can also use it as an entry-level IDE, but it was originally developed as a code editor. The app offers good features like syntax highlighting, plugins and extensions, code navigation, project management and many more.
Geany is a free app. You can install it either from the official site, by cloning the GitHub repository, or by using third-party websites. It also allows you to download several themes to customize the interface.
To download: Geany (Free)
The best IDEs for Linux
Here are four of the best IDEs that you can download on your Linux machine.
1. IDEA IntelliJ
IntelliJ IDEA is a popular IDE for Java and Android developers with tons of powerful features for software development. It has been an industry standard for years.
The app has a smart code intelligence algorithm that reduces your code writing efforts. It also effectively detects syntax and construction errors.
IntelliJ IDEA has two versions: Ultimate and Community. All Android and Java features are available for free in the Community version. However, web development and some advanced features require the Ultimate version, which is not free.
To download: IntelliJ IDEA (free and Premium version available)
Eclipse is a powerful Java development IDE. It has great developer support and offers stable performance out of the box. The app is one of the most advanced IDEs offering front-end development functionality.
Eclipse is a free and open source IDE. It also has some advanced versions which offer business functionality.
To download: Eclipse (Free)
3. Apache NetBeans
Apache NetBeans is a fast and powerful IDE for software development. It has good community support and you can use it to write code in different languages.
The application provides software and web development tools. It has several plugins to improve adaptability to new features. Moreover, it also offers GUI-based design tools for front-end development.
Apache NetBeans is an open source project and it is free to use. You may need JDK configured on your machine before installing NetBeans.
To download: Apache NetBeans (Free)
4. Blue fish
Bluefish started out as a code editor, but now it has some solid IDE functionality. It is best suited for web developers and designers.
The app offers automatic tag completion, indentation, powerful search, and integration with external programs. It also supports most languages like HTML, CSS, Java, Python, C ++, C and many more.
Bluefish is free and open source. It is a cross-platform application available for all platforms.
To download: Bluefish (Free)
Develop your next great masterpiece using these apps
Working on a great code editor and IDE is the key to web and software development. Those mentioned above are IDEs and standard editors.
You can select an appropriate application based on your preferences, such as appearance, performance, memory consumption, or disk space usage. Each app has unique features, so it would be best to test a few before deciding which one to choose.
Linux provides a thriving environment for coders and developers. Here are the best Linux operating systems for programmers.
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