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Updated: Thursday, June 13, 2019
 
 

nano (1)

Name

nano - Nano's ANOther editor, an enhanced free Pico clone

Synopsis

nano [options] [[+line[,column]] file]...

Description

NANO(1)                     General Commands Manual                    NANO(1)



NAME
       nano - Nano's ANOther editor, an enhanced free Pico clone


SYNOPSIS
       nano [options] [[+line[,column]] file]...


DESCRIPTION
       nano  is  a  small and friendly editor.  It copies the look and feel of
       Pico, but is free software, and implements several features  that  Pico
       lacks,  such as: opening multiple files, scrolling per line, undo/redo,
       syntax coloring, line numbering, and soft-wrapping overlong lines.

       When giving a filename on the command line, the cursor can be put on  a
       specific line by adding the line number with a plus sign (+) before the
       filename, and even in a specific column by adding it with a comma.

       As a special case: if instead of a filename a dash (-) is  given,  nano
       will read data from standard input.


EDITING
       Entering  text  and  moving around in a file is straightforward: typing
       the letters and using the normal cursor movement  keys.   Commands  are
       entered by using the Control (^) and the Alt or Meta (M-) keys.  Typing
       ^K deletes the current line and puts it in the cutbuffer.   Consecutive
       ^Ks  will  put all deleted lines together in the cutbuffer.  Any cursor
       movement or executing any other command will cause the next ^K to over-
       write  the cutbuffer.  A ^U will paste the current contents of the cut-
       buffer at the current cursor position.

       When a more precise piece of text needs to be cut or  copied,  one  can
       mark  its  start  with  ^6, move the cursor to its end (the marked text
       will be highlighted), and then use ^K to cut it, or M-6 to copy  it  to
       the cutbuffer.  One can also save the marked text to a file with ^O, or
       spell check it with ^T.

       Since nano-2.7.0, text can also be selected by holding Shift and moving
       the  cursor  with  the  arrow  keys.  Holding down the Alt key too will
       increase the stride.

       The two lines at the bottom of the screen show some important commands;
       the  built-in  help (^G) lists all the available ones.  The default key
       bindings can be changed via a nanorc file -- see nanorc(5).


OPTIONS
       -A, --smarthome
              Make the Home key smarter.  When Home is pressed anywhere but at
              the  very  beginning of non-whitespace characters on a line, the
              cursor will jump to that beginning  (either  forwards  or  back-
              wards).  If the cursor is already at that position, it will jump
              to the true beginning of the line.

       -B, --backup
              When saving a file, back up the previous version  of  it,  using
              the current filename suffixed with a tilde (~).

       -C directory, --backupdir=directory
              Make  and  keep  not  just  one backup file, but make and keep a
              uniquely numbered one every time a file is saved -- when backups
              are enabled (-B).  The uniquely numbered files are stored in the
              specified directory.

       -D, --boldtext
              Use bold text instead of reverse video text.

       -E, --tabstospaces
              Convert typed tabs to spaces.

       -F, --multibuffer
              Read a file into a new buffer by default.

       -G, --locking
              Use vim-style file locking when editing files.

       -H, --historylog
              Save the last hundred search strings and replacement strings and
              executed  commands,  so  they can be easily reused in later ses-
              sions.

       -I, --ignorercfiles
              Don't look at the system's nanorc nor at the user's nanorc.

       -K, --rebindkeypad
              Interpret the numeric keypad keys so that they  all  work  prop-
              erly.  You should only need to use this option if they don't, as
              mouse support won't work properly with this option enabled.

       -L, --nonewlines
              Don't add newlines to the ends of files.

       -M, --trimblanks
              Snip trailing whitespace from the wrapped  line  when  automatic
              hard-wrapping occurs or when text is justified.

       -N, --noconvert
              Disable automatic conversion of files from DOS/Mac format.

       -O, --morespace
              Use the blank line below the title bar as extra editing space.

       -P, --positionlog
              For the 200 most recent files, log the last position of the cur-
              sor, and place it at that position again upon reopening  such  a
              file.  (The old form of this option, --poslog, is deprecated.)

       -Q "characters", --quotestr="characters"
              Set   the   quoting  string  for  justifying.   The  default  is
              "^([ \t]*[#:>\|}])+" if extended regular expression  support  is
              available, or "> " otherwise.  Note that \t stands for a Tab.

       -R, --restricted
              Restricted  mode:  don't read or write to any file not specified
              on the command line; don't read any  nanorc  files  nor  history
              files;  don't allow suspending nor spell checking; don't allow a
              file to be appended to, prepended to, or saved under a different
              name  if  it  already has one; and don't use backup files.  This
              restricted mode is also accessible by  invoking  nano  with  any
              name beginning with 'r' (e.g. "rnano").

       -S, --smooth
              Use  smooth scrolling: text will scroll line-by-line, instead of
              the usual chunk-by-chunk behavior.

       -T number, --tabsize=number
              Set the size (width) of a tab to number columns.  The  value  of
              number must be greater than 0.  The default value is 8.

       -U, --quickblank
              Do quick status-bar blanking: status-bar messages will disappear
              after 1 keystroke instead of 25.  Note that  option  -c  (--con-
              stantshow) overrides this.

       -V, --version
              Show the current version number and exit.

       -W, --wordbounds
              Detect word boundaries differently by treating punctuation char-
              acters as part of a word.

       -X "characters", --wordchars="characters"
              Specify which other characters (besides the normal  alphanumeric
              ones)  should  be  considered as part of a word.  This overrides
              option -W (--wordbounds).

       -Y name, --syntax=name
              Specify the name of the syntax highlighting to  use  from  among
              the ones defined in the nanorc files.

       -a, --atblanks
              When  doing soft line wrapping, wrap lines at whitespace instead
              of always at the edge of the screen.

       -c, --constantshow
              Constantly show the cursor position on  the  status  bar.   Note
              that this overrides option -U (--quickblank).

       -d, --rebinddelete
              Interpret  the Delete key differently so that both Backspace and
              Delete work properly.  You should only need to use  this  option
              if Backspace acts like Delete on your system.

       -g, --showcursor
              Make  the  cursor visible in the file browser, putting it on the
              highlighted item.  Useful for braille users.

       -h, --help
              Show a summary of the available command-line options and exit.

       -i, --autoindent
              Indent new lines to the  previous  line's  indentation.   Useful
              when editing source code.

       -k, --cutfromcursor
              Make  the  'Cut Text' command (normally ^K) cut from the current
              cursor position to the end of the line, instead of  cutting  the
              entire line.

       -l, --linenumbers
              Display line numbers to the left of the text area.

       -m, --mouse
              Enable  mouse  support,  if  available  for  your  system.  When
              enabled, mouse clicks can be used to place the cursor,  set  the
              mark  (with  a  double click), and execute shortcuts.  The mouse
              will work in the X Window System, and on the console when gpm is
              running.  Text can still be selected through dragging by holding
              down the Shift key.

       -n, --noread
              Treat any name given on the command line as a  new  file.   This
              allows  nano to write to named pipes: it will start with a blank
              buffer, and will write to the  pipe  when  the  user  saves  the
              "file".   This  way nano can be used as an editor in combination
              with for instance gpg without having to write sensitive data  to
              disk first.

       -o directory, --operatingdir=directory
              Set  the  operating directory.  This makes nano set up something
              similar to a chroot.

       -p, --preserve
              Preserve the XON and XOFF sequences (^Q and ^S) so they will  be
              caught by the terminal.

       -q, --quiet
              Obsolete option.  Recognized but ignored.

       -r number, --fill=number
              Hard-wrap  lines  at column number.  If this value is 0 or less,
              wrapping will occur at the width of the screen less number  col-
              umns,  allowing  the  wrap point to vary along with the width of
              the screen if the screen is resized.  The default value  is  -8.
              This  option  conflicts with -w (--nowrap) -- the last one given
              takes effect.

       -s program, --speller=program
              Use this alternative spell checker command.

       -t, --tempfile
              Save a changed buffer without prompting (when exiting with ^X).

       -u, --unix
              Save a file by default in Unix format.   This  overrides  nano's
              default  behavior  of  saving  a file in the format that it had.
              (This option has no effect when you also use --noconvert.)

       -v, --view
              Just view the file and disallow editing: read-only mode.

       -w, --nowrap
              Disable the hard-wrapping of long lines.  This option  conflicts
              with -r (--fill) -- the last one given takes effect.

       -x, --nohelp
              Don't show the two help lines at the bottom of the screen.

       -z, --suspend
              Enable the suspend ability.

       -$, --softwrap
              Enable  'soft wrapping'.  This will make nano attempt to display
              the entire contents of any line, even if it is longer  than  the
              screen  width,  by  continuing  it  over  multiple screen lines.
              Since '$' normally refers to a variable in the Unix  shell,  you
              should  specify  this option last when using other options (e.g.
              'nano -wS$') or pass it separately (e.g. 'nano -wS -$').

       -b, -e, -f, -j
              Ignored, for compatibility with Pico.


TOGGLES
       Several of the above options can be switched on and off also while nano
       is  running.  For example, M-L toggles the hard-wrapping of long lines,
       M-$ toggles soft-wrapping, M-# toggles line numbers,  M-M  toggles  the
       mouse, M-I auto-indentation, and M-X the help lines.  See at the end of
       the ^G help text for a complete list.


INITIALIZATION FILE
       nano will read two configuration files: first the system's  nanorc  (if
       it exists), and then the user's nanorc (if it exists), either ~/.nanorc
       or $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/nano/nanorc or ~/.config/nano/nanorc, whichever  is
       encountered  first.  See nanorc(5) for more information on the possible
       contents of those files.



ATTRIBUTES
       See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:


       +---------------+------------------+
       |ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE  |
       +---------------+------------------+
       |Availability   | editor/nano      |
       +---------------+------------------+
       |Stability      | Uncommitted      |
       +---------------+------------------+
NOTES
       If no alternative spell checker command is  specified  on  the  command
       line nor in one of the nanorc files, nano will check the SPELL environ-
       ment variable for one.

       In some cases nano will try to dump the buffer into an emergency  file.
       This  will  happen  mainly if nano receives a SIGHUP or SIGTERM or runs
       out of memory.  It will write the buffer into a file named nano.save if
       the  buffer didn't have a name already, or will add a ".save" suffix to
       the current filename.  If an emergency  file  with  that  name  already
       exists  in  the  current  directory,  it will add ".save" plus a number
       (e.g. ".save.1") to the current filename in order to  make  it  unique.
       In  multibuffer  mode,  nano  will  write all the open buffers to their
       respective emergency files.


BUGS
       Justifications (^J) are not yet covered by the general undo system.  So
       after  a  justification  that  is not immediately undone, earlier edits
       cannot be undone any more.  The workaround is, of course, to exit with-
       out saving.

       The recording and playback of keyboard macros works correctly only on a
       terminal emulator, not on a Linux console (VT), because the latter is a
       deficient terminal.

       Please report any other bugs that you encounter via:
       https://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?group=nano.


HOMEPAGE
       https://nano-editor.org/


SEE ALSO
       nanorc(5)

       /usr/share/doc/nano/ (or equivalent on your system)


AUTHOR
       Chris  Allegretta  and  others  (see  the  files AUTHORS and THANKS for
       details).  This manual page was originally written by Jordi Mallach for
       the Debian system (but may be used by others).


       This     software     was    built    from    source    available    at
       https://github.com/oracle/solaris-userland.   The  original   community
       source       was       downloaded      from       https://www.nano-edi-
       tor.org/dist/v2.9/nano-2.9.3.tar.gz

       Further information about this software can be found on the open source
       community website at https://www.nano-editor.org/.



January 2018                     version 2.9.3                         NANO(1)