from Matthias Dillier

"Notepad++" for Linux

Linux

Do you use Notepad++ under Windows? Do you appreciate Notepad++ as a small, fast editor with a graphical user interface that offers many goodies and supports many languages, file formats and extensions? Then you don't have to do without it under Linux either.

Notepad++ for Windows

Notepad++ is written in C++ and the editor runs under Windows. The Notepad++ website is: https://notepad-plus-plus.org/. Notepad++ is licensed under the GPL V3 licence and can also be used freely in a commercial environment. The repository with the source code is in GitHub: https://github.com/notepad-plus-plus/notepad-plus-plus/tree/master.

Notepad++ for Linux

Notepad++ is only available for Windows, but can also be installed under Linux with Snap. Snap or Snappy is a software distribution system and package manager that comes from Ubuntu and is now available for most Linux distributions and also for Rocky Linux. There is a Snap package for Notepad++ that brings Notepad++ to Linux. Under the bonnet, Wine is used so that Notepad++ runs as a Windows application on Linux.

Installation of Snap as a prerequisite

$ sudo dnf install snapd
$ sudo systemctl enable --now snapd.socket

Installation of Notepad++ with Snap

$ sudo snap install notepad-plus-plus

Notepad++ can then, if everything has worked, be restarted with the command notepad-plus-plus can be started.

Remarks

The installation of Notepad++ with Snap under Linux brings the original to Linux. But with Wine as a substructure, Notepad++ eats up performance and uses a lot of resources. Unfortunately, this means that many of the advantages that characterise Notepad++ under Windows are lost.

For some Linux distributions and currently for Rocky Linux 9.x, the installation with Snap does not work straight away, as Wine errors occur. In this case you can try to install Wine first and then Notepad++ within Wine. This is described on the following website: https://www.makeuseof.com/how-to-install-notepad-on-linux.

Further instructions on the net, see for example:

Notepadqq

Notepadqq is a project that is independent of Notepad++, but inspired by Notepad++. Like Notepad++, Notepadqq is subject to the GPL V3 licence and can be used freely. The website of Notepadqq is: https://notepadqq.com/wp/

Installation

There are packages for Notepadqq for various Linux variants, which can be installed with the corresponding package manager. Otherwise Snap can be used, but this must first be installed as described above:

$ sudo snap install notepadqq

Under Gnome, it may still be necessary to switch off Qt session management and Wayland so that notepadqq can be started without errors. The easiest way to do this is to set an alias:

alias npqq='unset SESSION_MANAGER; DISABLE_WAYLAND=1 notepadqq &'

Notepadqq can now be started as a background process with npqq in a terminal window.

Remarks

Notepadqq runs well and stably and is easy to install. Unfortunately, the project is no longer being actively developed unless a new project manager is found.

NotepadNext

NotepadNext is a fairly young project with its first prerelease in 2019, so it may not always be stable. Caution is therefore advised when using it in critical areas.

NotepadNext is explicitly a replica of Notepad++ that runs on multiple platforms and the licence is also GPL V3. The current version 0.7 still lacks some features of Notepad++, but NotepadNext can already be used well. The documentation is somewhat sparse and still needs to be expanded.

Installation

The 'installation' is simple.

Download the AppImage file (for the current version 0.7) from: https://github.com/dail8859/NotepadNext/releases/download/v0.7/NotepadNext-v0.7-x86_64.AppImage

The file must then be given execution rights (chmod a+x NotepadNext-v0.7-x86_64.AppImage) and NotepadNext can be started with a double-click or from the command line.

Remarks

NotepadNext is being actively developed. The editor runs on Linux, Windows and MacOS. Further information can be found on the following websites, for example.

My favourites among the features of Notepad++/qq/New

  • Macros: Recording and playback of interactive inputs.
  • Select/Copy/Cut/Paste for rectangular areas: NotepadNext with + mouse or arrow keys
  • Find/Replace: in all open files, with regular expressions, with special characters
  • Hexviewer
  • Converting line endings
  • Need a folder as a workspace

Conclusion

In addition to the variants mentioned above, there are many other editors with a graphical user interface that run under Linux (Geany, VSCode, Kate, Gnome Text Editor, ...). Which one you choose usually depends on your experience and personal taste.

The Linux alternatives for Notepad++ presented above are not quite as good as the original. However, they are very useful and can make everyday work easier. My favourite is NotepadNextwhich is being actively developed and if someone is still missing something in NotepadNew ... simply programme it yourself and make a PullRequest.

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Matthias Dillier

mathematician, computer scientist and saxophonist with many years of experience in in various areas of computer science. He is currently particularly involved in monitoring, problem analyses, log evaluations, graphics and the automation and the automation of operating processes.

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