Change the default editor in Linux

The Mythical Engineer


You can change the default command-line text editor on a ubuntu server used by various programs, such as crontab. For example, many servers are configured to use nano as the default text editor. However, if you like vim more than nano, you may want to use it as the default editor instead.

There are multiple ways to do it.

Method #1 : Use the select-editor command

select-editor command lists the available editors on a system and interactively prompts the user to select one.

$ select-editor

Select an editor.  To change later, run 'select-editor'.
  1. /bin/nano        <---- easiest
  2. /usr/bin/vim.basic
  3. /usr/bin/vim.tiny
  4. /bin/ed

Choose 1-4 [1]:

Type 3 and press Enter. Now your default editor is vim.

Method #2: Set default editor in .bashrc file.

Find the path to your preferred editor.

$ which vim

Add this line to your .bashrc

export EDITOR="/usr/bin/vim"

and run

source ~/.bashrc

Your default editor will be set to vim. This method should work for most of the linux distributions available.

#development  #linux  #ubuntu  #server 

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