I'm looking for a simple and light weight text editor that is capable to open and edit text files from >=2GB quickly and is also capable to process find and replace operations in such files quickly.


  • Must run on Linux
  • Must have GUI, no command line only
  • Should neither be Emacs nor VI/M (can't handle their UI's)

Already tried, but not appropriate

  • Atom
  • SublimeText 2/3
  • gedit
  • Geany

Any ideas? Thanks. Bunjip.

  • 1
    Command line "vi" is actually a very good tool for this. It starts quickly, unless you have files of several hundred MB, and the search functionality is quick. I have viewed and edited 1.5+ GB files in "vi" with reasonable performance. – Samuel Åslund Mar 9 '17 at 13:56
  • Are you sure Gedit is slow when working with files of a mere 5 MB or so? Could your hardware be the problem rather than the software? – Kodiologist Mar 10 '17 at 22:53
  • Yes, I'm pretty sure that gedit becomes slow on large files. Have experienced dozens of gedit crashes with files larger than 2 MB. I can also verify, that hardware should be by no means an issue: 32GB RAM, Intel Core i7-6820HQ and SSD – Bunjip Mar 14 '17 at 13:00
  • You obviously mean 2GB instead of 2MB. – hroptatyr May 24 '17 at 4:21
  • Absolutely, thanks for the hint! – Bunjip May 29 '17 at 15:40

CudaText editor can open/edit big files, up to avail memory size (better use x64 version).

Default max size is 1Gb. To allow max file size of 2Gb, call "Options / Settings-user" and write such option to "user.json":

"ui_max_size_open": 2048,
  • Have never heard of CudaText before, so thanks for that. – Bunjip Jan 15 '18 at 7:41
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    Dam son... I have to say... this worked instantly! – Jamie Hutber Mar 8 '19 at 11:55

Thunderpad (formerly TEXTPAD), is really fast, regarding file size limit It can handle big files easily.

The only downside I see is that it is not clear how big of a file it can handle, it just says "It can handle file sizes up to the largest contiguous chunk of 32-bit virtual memory", I haven't had a problem with >2gb log file, but it will depend on your hardware/memory/disk structure.

  • Didn't know this. I'll give this a trial! – Bunjip Mar 10 '17 at 11:11
  • 1
    Please do let us know how it worked for you. – arana Mar 14 '17 at 14:41
  • 1
    Do you have information on where to get it? I don't see it in the Ubuntu repositories. (I don't really need to know as I could look it up, but it could improve the answer.) – Brōtsyorfuzthrāx Jul 30 '17 at 2:54

The problem with editing large files is that if you delete or insert anything, then the file will have to move data around; for example, when you insert a line of text, the editor has to move the lines after it to make room for the new line.

However, if you know what you are doing, you can use a hex editor; it doesn't move anything, but it lets you overwrite parts of the file, byte by byte. I have used it to edit in the middle of a huge text file (600GB) created by mysqldump.

WARNING Hex editors are very powerful, and you can easily cause irreparable damage, so consider everything you do very carefully, and make sure you understand the structure of the file in sufficient detail.

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