I want to edit some formatted text, with hyperlinks and lists etc. - so that the result is a markdown file, and the editing can either of the source, or of the formatted content (with accompanying source view), or both. But it has to be by a small(ish) editor, not some behemoth like a browser, a JVM or an office suite.

Required features:

  • Gratis
  • Actively maintained
  • Runs on Linux with X
  • Runs on AMD64 machines
  • Small memory and CPU use footprint
  • Source view and/or source editing
  • Does not need a network connection

Desired features:

  • Libre
  • Supports multiple markdown flavors, by user selection
  • Can save to other formats (like ODT or HTML)
  • Can import other formats (like ODT or HTML)
  • Both source view and source editing
  • Quite a "frequent question" :) Have you seen similar answered questions? 50 of them already, wow…
    – Izzy
    Feb 25, 2019 at 7:40
  • @Izzy: See edit. But it's true that I should have looked through the similar questions first.
    – einpoklum
    Feb 25, 2019 at 8:13
  • I didn't mean it were a duplicate. It was just a suggestion to check while waiting for good recommendations. We have quite a few requests for Markdown editors which aren't marked duplicate. That speaks for the fact quite a variety must exist meeting quite a variety of requirements :) Adding the term "lightweight", only your question and one for an Android app remain. But I'd say ReText should come quite close, see these answers. Only item I'm not sure about is support for multiple Markdown flavors.
    – Izzy
    Feb 25, 2019 at 23:00

2 Answers 2


ReText is a simple editor for Markdown and reStructuredText markup languages. ReText is open source and cross platform, and it is in the default repositories of many popular Linux distributions. ReText supports tabs, live text preview and syntax highlighting. Supported additional export formats are HTML, ODT and PDF.

ReText markdown editor

I used ReText for years. It is lightweight and there is nothing wrong with it, but now I use Typora instead because it can do something that ReText cannot do, which is it works very fast. Typora can capture rich content directly from word processors and webpages, convert it directly into markdown text via copy/paste, and it preserves the original formatting too. Typora can capture in this way formatted lists, headings, formatted text, hyperlinks, and images. Typora is not a lightweight app however. If you use a Linux distribution that supports snap packages, it is possible to install the Typora snap package.

  • The latest version of Typora is currently a beta version and it's free software, but Typora may cost something in the future.
    – karel
    Dec 6, 2019 at 7:55

CudaText editor fits. It is gratis and lite. Markdown lexer is built-in.

To convert Markdown document to HTML form, you need plugin Markdown Preview (install in Plugins / Addon Manager). Also exists add-on Linter for Markdown which works together with CudaLint plugin.

CudaText editor

  • Cuda? A weird choice of name... I write CUDA code for a living actually :-)
    – einpoklum
    Feb 25, 2019 at 8:14

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