Nano 8.0 Command-Line Text Editor Released

Beloved by countless Linux users, the Nano text editor rolls out v8.0 'Grus grus' with modernized bindings.

The latest version, 8.0 of the popular terminal text editor Nano, codenamed “Grus grus”, has been released, introducing a suite of modernized keyboard shortcuts and improved functionalities. Here’s more on that.

In this update, Nano developers have redefined several default key bindings to streamline common tasks and make navigation more intuitive. Notably, ^F now initiates a forward search, with ^B triggering a backward search. Users looking to repeat searches can use M-F and M-B to search in the corresponding direction.

The developers assure those accustomed to the previous bindings that they can easily revert to the old settings by consulting the updated documentation.

A significant addition is the --modernbindings (-/) command-line option, which modifies several key bindings to align with more commonly used shortcuts in other software. This includes “^Q” for quit, “^X” for cut, “^C” for copy, and “^V” for paste. Other tasks like undo “^Z,” redo “^Y,” and opening files “^O” are also covered under this new setup.

Further enhancing its usability, Nano 8.0 now supports opening files directly at a specified line number through the syntax nano filename:number, in addition to the existing method.

Additional improvements include new shortcuts for easier text marking and navigation within the text. The “Alt+Home” and “Alt+End” keys have been programmed to jump to the file’s first and last visible row, respectively, while preserving the horizontal cursor position. But the novelties don’t stop here.

Nano 8.0 also brings a unique feature for users working with color codes. When using RGB notation, where all three digits are identical, the code now maps directly to the Xterm grey scale. This update provides access to fourteen levels of grey, enhancing the options for developers who utilize color coding in their work.

For those using macros or bind strings, a new safety feature clears the keystroke buffer if an error is detected, preventing unintended actions during macro execution. Additionally, the mouse wheel has been updated to scroll through the viewport rather than moving the cursor, further smoothing the navigation experience.

For more information about all changes in Nano 8.0, refer to the release announcement. The full changelog can be found here, and downloads are available here. In the coming days, users of the rolling release distributions are expected to be among the first to receive the new version as an update.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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