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GNU nano 5.0 Open-Source Text Editor Released, This is What’s New

GNU nano 5.0


GNU nano 5.0 open-source text editor has been released today and it looks like is a major release that brings many enhancements and other exciting changes for Linux users.

GNU nano is probably one of the most popular text editors for the command line. It’s probably included in almost all GNU/Linux distribution is it usually comes in handy whenever there’s some configuration files you need to edit.

Dubbed “Among the fields of barley,” GNU nano 5.0 introduces a new --indicator parameter that displays some sort of scrollbar to show you where the viewport is located in the buffer and how much it covers, along with the --bookstyle parameter that makes nano consider any line that begins with a whitespace the start of a paragraph.

It’s now possible to tag any line with an anchor using the <Alt+Insert> shortcut. You can then jump to the nearest anchor using <Alt+PageUp> and <Alt+PageDown>. GNU nano 5.0 also lest you access the Execute Command prompt directly from the main menu with ^T, as well as to toggle the help lines in all menus (except for the linter and help viewer) with M-X and list the possibilities at a filename prompt with <Tab>.

This release also introduces nine new color names for terminals that support at least 256 colors. These include lagoon, latte, lime, mauve, mint, peach, pink, purple, orange. Moreover, a brighter color is now available for the black, blue, cyan, green, magenta, red, yellow, and white color names using the light prefix and all color names can be preceded with “bold,” and/or “italic” to get a bold and/or italic typeface.

Among other changes, GNU nano 5.0 renames the long option --tempfile to --saveonexit, renames the bindable function “curpos” to “location,” makes the short option -S a synonym of --softwrap, makes it possible for backup files to retain their group ownership, always syncs data to disk before the “… lines written” is being displayed, and allows refreshing the screen in every menu with ^L, which also centers the line with the cursor.

It also makes the New Buffer toggle (M-F) non-persistent, moves the distro-specific syntaxes, as well as syntaxes of less common languages to the syntax/extra/ subdirectory, introduces syntaxes for Ada, Haskell and Markdown, and no longer supports the raw escape sequences for F13 to F16.

You can download the GNU nano 5.0 sources right now from the official website if you’re a Linux OS maintainer or you like compiling your own software. Otherwise, keep an eye on the stable software repositories of your favorite GNU/Linux distribution (hint: it’s already in Arch Linux) for the new GNU nano version and update it as soon as possible.

Last updated 4 months ago

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