TextMate is one of the most popular text editor, available only for Macintosh Computers(Mac OS X). If you have ever used the TextMate on Mac OS, then surely you always want to stick with it, probably due to its simplicity, productivity and features.

But the problem is that “TextMate is a Mac Application, the default a proprietary text editor for MAC OS X and it is not available for any other operating system”. Well! then how will we use it on Ubuntu 10.04/10.10/11.04 or Linux Mint or Open Suse or any other Linux based OS ?  The simple solution is – To mimic the look,layout and features of TextMate, so in the end of this post we will get a TextMate like text editor. Programming is complete Fun!, when you have TextMate like a powerful code editor (Emacs, Vim, gedit, TextMate etc), rather than a bloated and painfully slow IDE.

Why TextMate is So Popular among the Programmers ?

  • it is simple to use
  • Syntax Color Scheme is great
  • Auto completion of code(e.g brackets, snippets)
  • looks great
  • it is light weight and fast
  • it increases productivity
  • File Browser, it’s easy to find the source files easily

gedit - textmate

Linux based Distributions (in short ‘distros’) have the default(GNOME based distros) text editor named – gedit, a free and open source text editor with a lot of powerful features and flexibility to extend the functionality by means of plugins. Therefore we are going to transform the gedit to textmate in few simple steps, so that gedit text editor will finally look (and almost behave) like TextMate. Actually you can customize gedit not only on Ubuntu but also on other Linux based distro, that uses gnome desktop or having gedit packages installed on the system.

Transforming gedit to TextMate in 4 simple steps

#1 :  Install gedit plugins

To install extra plugins, type the command at the terminal/command line/shell, followed by login password(If required) –

sudo apt-get install gedit-plugins

#2 : Install TextMate Fonts

Download the font – Monaco,which is the default font used in TextMate. Then copy it to home->username ->.fonts (hit CTRL+H to see hidden files).

#3 : Install Syntax color Scheme

download the DarkMate theme coloring scheme and install it from gedit. To install open gedit and click on Edit -> Preferences -> Font & Colors. Then click on Add button and locate the download file(darkmate.xml).

#4 : Install File Browser plugin

Download the class browser plugin ; Extract it to FileSystem-> usr-> share->gedit2->plugins. Then activate it by select the check box from gedit(Edit->Preferences->Plugins). Here is one snapshot ..if you have any doubt(or reply through comment,in case of any problem).


#5. Auto Completion (with Esc) and Tab Completion (expand code snippets using tab triggers)

With the gedit-plugin package, you will also get the snippets plugins, just enable that plugin – to enjoy tab completion.

Auto completion is another cool feature – that looks up the source code for auto completion of a variable_name (using Esc key) – so that you don’t have to type the full lengthy name.

Download textmate style autocompletion for gedit

To install the plugin, first extract the package and run install.sh. Finally, you just need to enable it from gedit -> preferences ->plugins.
Update! Try GMate plugin it’s great! See gedit plugins for Rails Developers for more details, #5 added.

Join the Conversation


  1. I agree 100% with you, after test many code editors in ubuntu i prefer gedit, it ‘s modular and fast, i use it to code in Drupal and is perfect for the job.

  2. Any way for plugins and modules to support textmate bundles? This is the main thing i am after – gedit is fine to use, bu there are so many good premade textmate bundles for different CMS systems or frameworks that it would be great to be able to use them

    1. I don’t see any reason why it won’t work on Linux Mint (I have a little experience too, with Linux Mint 10). It should work, Try again buddy!

  3. This is great — except you missed one important feature from TextMate: auto bracket completion!

    Fortunately, there’s already a plugin for that and it just has to be enabled in the Plugins tab under Preferences 🙂

    1. Thanks WyattWalter for pointing out the missing stuff, besides that I also forgot mentioning ‘snippets’ plugin.. fortunately it’s already installed, just enable it to use.

  4. At point #2
    Then copy it to home->username ->.fonts (hit CTRL+H to see hidden files).Event after diplaying hidden files, I can’t find the above file/folder: .fonts, – it seems it doesn’t exist on Ubuntu 10.04. Any idea

    1. Solved. No need to copy the mentioned font, – just click on it and choose in right bottom corner ‘Install’, – Ubuntu will do that for you 🙂

  5. Great.. you have saved my time!! I was looking for a light weight text editor for ROR, this is a  great help…

  6. TextMate is not the default OS X text editor. TextEdit is. TextMate is 3rd party software and does NOT come bundled with any version of OS X.

  7. When I use Mac OS, I can’t live with TextMate… so this guide is wellcome.
    I’ve problems installing the class browser plugin. When I move the dir
    the plugin is not loaded into gedit (also after restart).
    Regards, Giacomo

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