micro

by zyedidia

zyedidia /micro

A modern and intuitive terminal-based text editor

15.0K Stars 730 Forks Last release: 24 days ago (v2.0.7) Other 2.6K Commits 31 Releases

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micro is a terminal-based text editor that aims to be easy to use and intuitive, while also taking advantage of the capabilities of modern terminals. It comes as a single, batteries-included, static binary with no dependencies; you can download and use it right now!

As its name indicates, micro aims to be somewhat of a successor to the nano editor by being easy to install and use. It strives to be enjoyable as a full-time editor for people who prefer to work in a terminal, or those who regularly edit files over SSH.

Here is a picture of micro editing its source code.

Screenshot

To see more screenshots of micro, showcasing some of the default color schemes, see here.

You can also check out the website for Micro at https://micro-editor.github.io.

Table of Contents


Features

  • Easy to use and install.
  • No dependencies or external files are needed — just the binary you can download further down the page.
  • Multiple cursors.
  • Common keybindings (Ctrl-s, Ctrl-c, Ctrl-v, Ctrl-z, …).
    • Keybindings can be rebound to your liking.
  • Sane defaults.
    • You shouldn't have to configure much out of the box (and it is extremely easy to configure).
  • Splits and tabs.
  • nano-like menu to help you remember the keybindings.
  • Extremely good mouse support.
    • This means mouse dragging to create a selection, double click to select by word, and triple click to select by line.
  • Cross-platform (it should work on all the platforms Go runs on).
    • Note that while Windows is supported Mingw/Cygwin is not (see below).
  • Plugin system (plugins are written in Lua).
    • micro has a built-in plugin manager to automatically install, remove, and update plugins.
  • Built-in diff gutter.
  • Simple autocompletion.
  • Persistent undo.
  • Automatic linting and error notifications.
  • Syntax highlighting for over 130 languages.
  • Color scheme support.
    • By default, micro comes with 16, 256, and true color themes.
  • True color support (set the
    MICRO_TRUECOLOR
    environment variable to 1 to enable it).
  • Copy and paste with the system clipboard.
  • Small and simple.
  • Easily configurable.
  • Macros.
  • Common editor features such as undo/redo, line numbers, Unicode support, soft wrapping, …

Installation

To install micro, you can download a prebuilt binary, or you can build it from source.

If you want more information about ways to install micro, see this wiki page.

Use

micro -version
to get the version information after installing. It is only guaranteed that you are installing the most recent stable version if you install from the prebuilt binaries, Homebrew, or Snap.

A desktop entry file and man page can be found in the assets/packaging directory.

Prebuilt binaries

All you need to install micro is one file, the binary itself. It's as simple as that!

Download the binary from the releases page.

Installation script

There is a script which can install micro for you by downloading the latest prebuilt binary. You can find it at https://getmic.ro.

You can easily install micro by running

curl https://getmic.ro | bash

The script will place the micro binary in the current directory. From there, you can move it to a directory on your path of your choosing (e.g.

sudo mv micro /usr/bin
). See its GitHub repository for more information.

To uninstall micro, simply remove the binary, and the configuration directory at

~/.config/micro
.

Package managers

You can install micro using Homebrew on Mac:

brew install micro

Note for Mac: All micro keybindings use the control or alt (option) key, not the command key. By default, macOS terminals do not forward alt key events. To fix this, please see the section on macOS terminals further below.

On Linux, you can install micro through snap

snap install micro --classic

Note for Linux: for interfacing with the local system clipboard,

xclip
or
xsel
must be installed. Please see the section on Linux clipboard support further below.

Micro is also available through other package managers on Linux such as apt, dnf, AUR, Nix, and package managers for other operating systems. These packages are not guaranteed to be up-to-date.

  • Linux: Available in distro-specific package managers.
    • apt install micro
      (Ubuntu 20.04
      focal
      , and Debian
      unstable | testing | buster-backports
      ). At the moment, this package (2.0.1-1) is outdated and has a known bug where debug mode is enabled.
    • dnf install micro
      (Fedora).
    • yay -S micro
      (Arch Linux).
    • eopkg install micro
      (Solus).
    • See wiki for details about CRUX, Termux.
  • Windows: Chocolatey and Scoop.
    • choco install micro
      .
    • scoop install micro
      .
  • OpenBSD: Available in the ports tree and also available as a binary package.
    • pkd_add -v micro
      .
  • NetBSD, macOS, Linux, Illumos, etc. with pkgsrc-current:
    • pkg_add micro

Building from source

If your operating system does not have a binary release, but does run Go, you can build from source.

Make sure that you have Go version 1.11 or greater and Go modules are enabled.

git clone https://github.com/zyedidia/micro
cd micro
make build
sudo mv micro /usr/local/bin # optional

The binary will be placed in the current directory and can be moved to anywhere you like (for example

/usr/local/bin
).

The command

make install
will install the binary to
$GOPATH/bin
or
$GOBIN
.

You can install directly with

go get
(
go get github.com/zyedidia/micro/cmd/micro
) but this isn't recommended because it doesn't build micro with version information (necessary for the plugin manager), and doesn't disable debug mode.

Fully static binary

By default, the micro binary will dynamically link with core system libraries (this is generally recommended for security and portability). However, there is a fully static prebuilt binary that is provided for amd64 as

linux-static.tar.gz
, and to build a fully static binary from source, run
CGO_ENABLED=0 make build

macOS terminal

If you are using macOS, you should consider using iTerm2 instead of the default terminal (Terminal.app). The iTerm2 terminal has much better mouse support as well as better handling of key events. For best keybinding behavior, choose

xterm defaults
under
Preferences->Profiles->Keys->Presets...
, and select
Esc+
for
Left Option Key
in the same menu. The newest versions also support true color.

If you still insist on using the default Mac terminal, be sure to set

Use Option key as Meta key
under
Preferences->Profiles->Keyboard
to use option as alt.

Linux clipboard support

On Linux, clipboard support requires:

  • On X11, the
    xclip
    or
    xsel
    commands (for Ubuntu:
    sudo apt install xclip
    )
  • On Wayland, the
    wl-clipboard
    command

If you don't have these commands, micro will use an internal clipboard for copy and paste, but it won't work with external applications.

Colors and syntax highlighting

If you open micro and it doesn't seem like syntax highlighting is working, this is probably because you are using a terminal which does not support 256 color mode. Try changing the color scheme to

simple
by pressing Ctrl-e in micro and typing
set colorscheme simple
.

If you are using the default Ubuntu terminal, to enable 256 make sure your

TERM
variable is set to
xterm-256color
.

Many of the Windows terminals don't support more than 16 colors, which means that micro's default color scheme won't look very good. You can either set the color scheme to

simple
, or download and configure a better terminal emulator than the Windows default.

Cygwin, Mingw, Plan9

Cygwin, Mingw, and Plan9 are unfortunately not officially supported. In Cygwin and Mingw, micro will often work when run using the

winpty
utility:
winpty micro.exe ...

Micro uses the amazing tcell library, but this means that micro is restricted to the platforms tcell supports. As a result, micro does not support Plan9, and Cygwin (although this may change in the future). Micro also doesn't support NaCl (which is deprecated anyway).

Usage

Once you have built the editor, start it by running

micro path/to/file.txt
or
micro
to open an empty buffer.

micro also supports creating buffers from

stdin
:
ifconfig | micro

You can move the cursor around with the arrow keys and mouse.

You can also use the mouse to manipulate the text. Simply clicking and dragging will select text. You can also double click to enable word selection, and triple click to enable line selection.

Documentation and Help

micro has a built-in help system which you can access by pressing Ctrl-e and typing

help
. Additionally, you can view the help files here:

I also recommend reading the tutorial for a brief introduction to the more powerful configuration features micro offers.

Contributing

If you find any bugs, please report them! I am also happy to accept pull requests from anyone.

You can use the GitHub issue tracker to report bugs, ask questions, or suggest new features.

For a more informal setting to discuss the editor, you can join the Gitter chat.

Sometimes I am unresponsive, and I apologize! If that happens, please ping me.

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