5 Lightweight Code Editors for Ubuntu/Linux

A Code editor is simply a tool that helps program developers edit their code. Code editors do this by making it possible for users to create and modify a programming language’s source code.

Not too long ago, code editors weren’t a thing and developers relied on text editors like TextEdit and Windows. Fast forward to today, many code editors are available in the market leaving coders spoilt for choice. 

There are two main types of code editors available: lightweight code editors and Integrated Development Environment (IDEs). Lightweight code editors are simple, fast, and work best for single files while IDEs are more powerful and work best for multiple files.

In this article, we focus on 5 lightweight code editors for Ubuntu that are definitely worth checking out.

  1. Visual Studio Code.

Visual Studio Code is a perfect day-to-day code editor that’s modern and offers an extensible architecture to its users. It’s open source and was first developed by Microsoft in 2015. Visual studio code provides tons of features like syntax highlighting, embedded Git control, intelliSense code completion, and debugging.

The intelliSense feature is a content assist feature that offers built-in support to developers by quickly evaluating code and giving hints while typing. 

Some other key features of Visual Studio Code include:

  • It’s very lightweight.
  • Has snippet support.
  • Compatible across platforms.
  • Can support many programming languages.
  • It’s extensible.
  • It’s fast.
  1. Brackets

Brackets is a more modern and robust editor that’s super lightweight. It’s open source and free for all which means developers can download and customize it to fit their programming needs. 

If you’re looking for a great code editor that works well, especially when dealing with web-based applications, then brackets is a good choice. It was initially released in 2014 by Adobe and is currently maintained by open source developers on GitHub. In case of any issues with the editor, it has an interactive community that will help resolve any concerns. 

Some top features of Brackets include:

  • Offers language support for Java, Python, and HTML. etc.
  • Has syntax highlighting features.
  • Offers cross-platform support.
  • Great security.
  • Can extend to include additional features
  • Auto-completion which saves time when typing frequently used terms.
  1. Light Table.

Light table is a great open source editor that gives immediate feedback for debugging when programming. It was initially developed in 2012 by Robert Attori and Chris Granger. Over the years, developers have been able to customize light table to better suit their coding needs. 

This code editor also has a very strong community which means in case of any issues, action is taken immediately.

Some key features of Light table code editor include:

  • Can be easily adjusted.
  • Debugging.
  • Has an elegant layout.
  • You can embed everything from games to graphs.
  • Shows live previews of your work.
  • Keep track of important values in your code.
  • It is lightweight.
  1. Kate.

Kate is an open source code editor that’s feature-rich and free for coders to use. It was initially released in 2001 by KDE developers. It’s a close competitor to Visual Studio Code with some developers arguing it is the better choice.

Kate code editor lets you view and edit multiple files at the same time which is a feature made possible by the split window option.

Some features of the Kate code editor include:

  • Support various plugins available on default.
  • Offers cross-platform support.
  • Has multi-view features for documents.
  • Has an autocomplete feature.
  • Offers syntax highlighting.
  • Supports many programming languages.
  • Has integrated Git support.
  1. Sublime Text.

Sublime text is a highly responsive and lightweight code editor with a ton of features that places it among the best code editors for Ubuntu. It was originally created by John Skinner and released in 2008. It has a unique user interface and built-in commands that make code navigation easy.

Sublime text offers a trial version that’s free to download and is also available on a variety of platforms. The newest version of this editor offers a refreshed user interface that features new themes and color support.

Other key features of sublime text include:

  • Supports many programming languages.
  • It is community-built.
  • Supports plugins.
  • Code indentation.
  • Syntax highlight.
  • Offers customizable templates.


Each code editor comes with a list of unique features that help developers make writing code less stressful and time consuming. This article has highlighted some of the best lightweight code editors in the market for developers who use Ubuntu; although most of them can be supported on other operating systems as well.

We do hope this information has helped you narrow down the most suitable code editor for your next coding project.

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