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GNU nano

gnu nano commands, gnu nano
GNU nano is a text editor for Unix-like computing systems or operating environments using a command line interface It emulates the Pico text editor, part of the Pine email client, and also provides additional functionality2 Unlike Pico, nano is licensed under the GNU General Public License GPL Released as free software by Chris Allegretta in 1999, nano became part of the GNU Project in 20013


  • 1 History
  • 2 Control keys
  • 3 See also
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links


GNU nano was first created in 1999 with the name TIP TIP Isn't Pico, by Chris Allegretta His motivation was to create a free software replacement for Pico, which was not distributed under a free software license The name was changed to nano on January 10, 2000 to avoid a naming conflict with the existing Unix utility tip The name comes from the system of SI prefixes, in which nano is 1000 times larger than pico In February 2001, nano became a part of the GNU Project

GNU nano implements some features that Pico lacks, including colored text, regular expression search and replace, smooth scrolling, multiple buffers, rebindable key support,4 and undoing and redoing of edit changes5

On August 11, 2003, Chris Allegretta officially handed the source code maintenance of nano to David Lawrence Ramsey6 On December 20, 2007, Ramsey stepped down as nano's maintainer7

On version 260 in June 2016, the current principal developer and the other active members of the nano project decided in consensus to leave the GNU project, because of their objections over the Free Software Foundation's copyright assignment policy, and their belief that centralized copyright ownership does not impede the ability to enforce the GNU General Public License891011 The step was acknowledged by Debian and Arch Linux,1213 while the GNU project resisted the move and called it a "fork"14 On August 19, 2016, Chris Allegretta announced the return of the project to the GNU family,15 which happened when version 270 was released in September 201616

Control keysedit

GNU nano, like Pico, is keyboard-oriented, controlled with control keys For example, Ctrl+O saves the current file; Ctrl+W goes to the search menu GNU nano puts a two-line "shortcut bar" at the bottom of the screen, listing many of the commands available in the current context For a complete list, Ctrl+G gets the help screen

Unlike Pico, nano uses meta keys to toggle its behavior For example, Meta+S toggles smooth scrolling mode on and off Almost all features that can be selected from the command line can be dynamically toggled On keyboards without the meta key it is often mapped to the escape key, Esc, such that in order to simulate, say, Meta+S one has to press the Esc key, then release it, and then press the S key

GNU nano can also use pointer devices, such as a mouse, to activate functions that are on the shortcut bar, as well as position the cursor

See alsoedit

  • Free software portal
  • Comparison of text editors
  • List of text editors
  • List of Unix programs
  • Pico


  1. ^ "nano Revision 1" 
  2. ^ The nano FAQ: http://wwwnano-editororg/dist/v22/faqhtml#13
  3. ^ Official website FAQ accessed Feb 17, 2016
  4. ^ Allegretta, Chris 2008-03-18 "GNU nano 210" Nano-devel mailing list gnuorg Retrieved 2008-03-18 
  5. ^ Allegretta, Chris 2015-03-23 "GNU nano 240" Nano-devel mailing list gnuorg Retrieved 2015-04-18 
  6. ^ Allegretta, Chris 2003-08-11 "GNU nano 13 branch opened in CVS" Nano-devel mailing list gnuorg Retrieved 2007-01-25 
  7. ^ Ramsey, David Lawrence 2007-12-20 "Stepping down as the nano maintainer" Nano-devel mailing list gnuorg Retrieved 2007-12-20 
  8. ^ nano news on nano-editororg "And, with this release, we take leave of the herd Bye! And thanks for all the grass!" June 22, 2016
  9. ^ remove the GNU marker from nano's name on savannahorg by Benno Schulenberg 2016-06-13
  10. ^ Re: Nano-devel Should nano stay a GNU program Was: time for a 254-p on listsgnuorg 2016-05
  11. ^ sr #109076: Request to move nano from gnu to nongnu on savannahgnuorg by Benno Schulenberg 22 Jun 2016
  12. ^ "Accepted nano 260-1 source amd64 into unstable" 
  13. ^ "svntogit/packagesgit - Git clone of the 'packages' repository" 
  14. ^ I'm on the GNU maintainers team; I want to clarify a couple things about this: First, Nano has _not_ left the GNU project on newsycombinatorcom by Mike Gerwitz June 2016
  15. ^ Chris, Allegretta 19 August 2016 "Nano-devel nano to remain in GNU" listsgnuorg Retrieved 2016-09-02 
  16. ^ nano news on nano-editororg "With this release we return to GNU For just a little while we dreamt we were tigers But we are back in the herd, back to a healthy diet of fresh green free grass" September 1, 2016

External linksedit

  • Official website

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