nano command is a text editor for the Linux terminal. It is a user-friendly and intuitive command-line tool that allows users to create, edit, and modify text files in a terminal environment. It is designed to be simple and easy to use, making it an ideal choice for beginners.
To open a file in
nano, simply type
nano followed by the file name. If the file does not exist,
nano will create a new file with the specified name. Once the file is open, you can begin editing the text.
Basic Editing Commands
- Ctrl + G: Display the help menu
- Ctrl + O: Save the file
- Ctrl + X: Exit the editor
- Ctrl + K: Cut the current line
- Ctrl + U: Paste the cut line
- Ctrl + W: Search for a word or phrase
- Ctrl + C: Display the current line number and column position
- Ctrl + J: Justify the current paragraph
- Ctrl + T: Check the spelling of the current file
Specific Use Cases
- Creating a new file: To create a new file, type
nanofollowed by the desired file name. For example,
- Editing an existing file: To edit an existing file, type
nanofollowed by the file name. For example,
- Editing a file as root: To edit a file as root, use the
sudocommand followed by
nanoand the file name. For example,
sudo nano /etc/fstab.
- Using syntax highlighting: To enable syntax highlighting, use the
-Yflag followed by the language. For example,
nano -Y sh script.shwill enable syntax highlighting for a shell script.
The following table lists all available options for the
||Make a backup of the file before saving|
||Constantly display the cursor position|
||Disable conversion of tabs to spaces|
||Enable smart home key|
||Automatically indent new lines|
||Enable cut to end-of-line|
||Enable mouse support|
||Disable automatic line numbering|
||Enable line numbering|
||Use the original file’s owner and group|
||Disable the use of the cursor keys for scrolling|
||Enable soft wrapping of long lines|
||Convert tabs to spaces|
||Disable backup files|
||View mode (read-only)|
||Write the file to a specific location|
||Enable syntax highlighting|
- If you’re having trouble saving a file, make sure that you have write permissions for the directory in which the file is located.
- If you accidentally cut a line and want to undo it, use the
Ctrl + Ucommand to paste the cut line back into the file.
- If you’re having trouble finding a specific word or phrase, use the
Ctrl + Wcommand to search for it.
nanois a great text editor for beginners, but it may not be suitable for more advanced users who require more powerful features.
nanois included in most Linux distributions by default, so it is readily available for use without any additional installation steps.