I'm looking for a linux text editor to run in a terminal on a remote computer over SSH, for coding (mainly in Ruby), but I'm familiar with graphical text editors (like Kate, Geany, GEdit, etc.), and I would like to work on it using similar keybindings.

In particular, I want to select blocks with SHIFT+ARROWS and indent/unindent them with TAB/SHIFT+TAB, and undo with CTRL+Z, etc, like EDIT for DOS.

I've tried vi, vim, jed, joe, nano and mcedit.

Mcedit is the nearest choice, since we can use SHIFT+ARROWS to highlight a block, but it doesn't indent blocks with TAB, and the SHIFT+ARROWS didn't work over SSH (maybe a local misconfiguration?).

What do you suggest?

(I prefer terminal text editors in this question, since I could use them everywhere, but if you are going to suggest a local editor with SSH/SFTP feature, keep in mind that I'm intending to use it on an Android device.)

  • Can't resist: I'm using 'vim' in the terminal, and have the totally same keybindings in the my graphical one, called gvim. ;)
    – clt60
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 18:42
  • There is 'slap' too , resembling with sublime text I guess , but you'll have to install nodejs first. Commented Feb 8, 2015 at 8:16
  • These days I'm playing with ruco, but I got stuck with utf-8 issues. If I resolve that, I'll post it as an answer. Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 15:00
  • nefte, (the console version of efte, which is an improved revision of fte, which is a menu-driven 90s era Borland editor work-alike), doesn't quite fit the OP specs: it has shift arrow select and Ctrl+z undo, but indent is 'Alt-i'.
    – agc
    Commented May 21, 2016 at 11:01
  • I think vim-gnome is something you should check out. If I were you I would also check out emacs the gui version. Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 15:09

2 Answers 2


This is posted long time ago but, just in case someone need it, there is Micro

Keybings are very similar to ones found in in most GUI like Kate, Sublime Text etc...

Example, you can use Ctrl+Z to undo, Ctrl+C to copy, Ctrl+X to cut etc...


Textadept is my text editor of choice. I've used it happily on Linux, OSX, and Windows for years. From the homepage for OP's interests:

  • Textadept runs on Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, and BSD. It also has a terminal version, which is ideal for work on remote machines.
  • It comes with built-in light, dark, and terminal themes.
  • Textadept is entirely keyboard driven. The editor defines key bindings for nearly every action. You can easily reassign existing bindings or create new ones.

A couple tiny screen shots:

ncurses version

terminal theme

In addition, it is actively developed and the developer is very responsive. Highly recommended.

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