Training/Linux - Nano editor

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Nano is a text editor for Viper and is invoked using the command line interface. It emulates the Pico text editor, part of the Pine email client, and also provides additional functionality. Nano is easier to use and learn than Vi. However, Vi has the advantage of being installed almost universally on every Unix/Linux system by default and is quicker to edit files with.

Below is how nano appears on the screen of a terminal connected to Viper:


Starting Nano

For opening and creating files type:

[username@viper ~]$ nano filename

Nano is a mode-less editor so you can start typing immediately to insert text. If you are editing a configuration file like /etc/fstab use the -w switch to disable wrapping on long lines as it might render the configuration file un parseable by whatever tools depend on it.

For example:

[username@viper ~]$ nano -w /etc/fstab


Commands in nano are usually prefixed by the <Ctrl> key with another key to indicate the command required. (Some require <Alt> also).

File operations

Key Stroke Description
<Ctrl> + O Write file back to disk
<Ctrl> + R Read a file from disk into the editor
<Ctrl> + X Exit nano with a prompt to save the file

Cutting and Pasting

Key Stroke Description
<Ctrl> + K Remove the current line and copy it
<Ctrl> + U Paste the copied line to the current line

Searching for text

Key Stroke Description
<Ctrl> + W Search for text within the editor
<Alt> + W Search again for the previous search item

Further Information