TitleScreen GNU nanoeditor

GNU nano-Editor

The nano-Editor is an easy-to-use editor for editing data via terminal or console.

Personally, I prefer this editor because it is very easy to understand the control over other console editors, even if you haven’t worked with it for a while.


The nano-editor is pre-installed on the Ubuntu and its distributions. If this is not the case, the installation works with “apt-get”. All it takes is this command:

sudo apt-get install nano

A short manual

Here are the most common commands in brief:

Key combinationDescription
Ctrl + G (F2)Displays the help text
Ctrl + X (F2)Close document opened in nano editor
Ctrl + O (F3)Write opened document to drive (save equals)
Ctrl + R (F5)Inserting the contents of another document into the opened document
Ctrl + W (F6)Search for a string
Alt + Wcontinue searching (repeat previous search)
Ctrl + K (F9)Cut line
Alt + 6Copy line
Ctrl + U (F10)Copy/Cut insert

If you miss commands in this table which you think should be included, please write me a comment.;)

Open, create and save files:

To create a document with the nano-Editor, open the editor with the command “nano” and the file name of the document to be created:

nano NewFile.txt

Alternatively, you can open the empty nano editor without an attached document name. Enter the name of the document when saving.

To open an existing document, simply use the command “nano” and append the name of the document to be opened to it.

nano ExistingFile.txt

The nano-Editor works in the directory where you are at the time of starting the program. So if you want to open or create a document in another directory, you have to either change the directory first with the command “cd”, or specify the directory path relative or absolute.

nano /home/linuxer/great.sh      # absolute
nano ../../etc/ntp.config        # relative

To save a modified document, use the key combination “Ctrl + O”, change the file name if necessary and confirm with “Enter”. Close the editor with “Ctrl + X”.
You can also use “Ctrl + X” as an abbreviation. The nano editor will ask you if you want to save the changes or not.

And now I wish you a lot of fun with the editing!

Visit https://www.nano-editor.org/ for more commands and information.

2 Replies to “GNU nano-Editor”

  1. Finally somebody who loves Nano! Nano might not be the best and most productive text editor, but I just love how straight forward it is. And there is my semiannual try to use Vim, but I’m never even completing the Vimtutor. Nano is great!

    1. Hehehe, thank’s for your comment! My various attempts to learn VIM have also failed until today. Nano really is a lot more practical and efficient.

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