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Revision as of 12:51, 24 June 2020 by Aday (talk | contribs) (fix link)

Make nano the default editor


Let's make Fedora more approachable, by having a default editor that doesn't require specialist knowledge to use.


Current status

  • Targeted release: Fedora 33
  • Last updated: 2020-06-24
  • FESCo issue: <will be assigned by the Wrangler>
  • Tracker bug: <will be assigned by the Wrangler>
  • Release notes tracker: <will be assigned by the Wrangler>

Detailed Description

Users are exposed to the default editor when they use commands that call it. The main example here is something like git commit.

Vim is the current default. You need to spend time learning how to use it, for even basic editing tasks. This increases the barrier to entry for those who are switching to Fedora and don't know how to use Vim. It also makes things hard for those who don't particularly want to learn how to use Vim.

Nano is similar to the graphical text editing that people are used to, and therefore doesn't require specialist knowledge to use it. It is already installed across most Fedora Editions and Spins.

This proposal will make Nano the default editor, while continuing to install vim-minimal. People will still be able to call vi if they want to edit a file.


Pending ...

Benefit to Fedora

  • Makes the default editor across all of Fedora more approachable.
  • Nano is also mostly self-documenting, by displaying common keyboard shortcuts on-screen.
  • More in line with the default editor of other distributions.


  • Proposal owners:
    • Modify comps to include nano Fedora wide
    • Create a package that provides /usr/bin/editor ... sprinkle on some magic and voila. Also include this package in comps.

INFO: Eighth_Doctor | I think this is the thing that actually manages /usr/bin/editor on debian:

  • Other developers: N/A
  • Release engineering: #9522
  • Policies and guidelines: N/A
  • Trademark approval: N/A

Upgrade/compatibility impact

Will not apply to upgrades.

How To Test

Run export EDITOR="/usr/bin/nano".

User Experience

Users running git commit will be able to just type their commit message, rather than having to learn about insert mode, and they'll be able to cut and paste without having to learn special shortcuts.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet ...

Contingency Plan

The contingency plan is to revert to vi if there are significant issues with the change.

  • Contingency deadline: this is a simple change, so a deadline isn't necessary.
  • Blocks release? if the change breaks the redirection to an editor, it should block the release. However, this is unlikely.
  • Blocks product? Potentially all.


As part of this change, it would be good to add instructions for changing the default editor to the quick docs.

Release Notes