Go to the first, previous, next, last section, table of contents.


GNU nano is a small and friendly text editor. Besides basic text editing, nano offers many extra features like an interactive search and replace, goto line number, auto-indentation, feature toggles, internationalization support, and filename tab completion.


nano [GNU long option] [option] +LINE [ file ... ]

The original goal for nano was a complete bug-for-bug compatible emulation of Pico, but consistency is now a slightly higher priority. There is a flag to implement (nearly) complete Pico emulation, (option -p or GNU long option --pico). This can also be toggled from within nano by typing Meta-P. See section Pico Compatibility, for more info.

Email bug reports to [email protected].

Command Line Options

nano takes the following options from the command line:

-T [num, --tabsize=[num]
Set the displayed tab length to [num] columns.
-R, --regexp
Turns on regular expression search and search/replace.
-V, --version
Print the version number and copyright and quit.
-c, --const
Constantly display the cursor posititon and line number on the statusbar.
-h, --help
Print the usage and exit.
-i, --autoindent
Automatically indent new lines to the same number of spaces and tabs as the previous line.
-k, --cut
Makes ^K cut from the current cursor position to the end of the current line.
-l, --nofollow
When writing files, if the given file is a symbolic link it is removed and a new file is created.
-m, --mouse
Enables the use of the mouse to select text (currently only useful for running under the X window system).
-p, --pico
Emulate Pico as closely as possible, sacrificing consistency for correct emulation. See section Pico Compatibility, for more info.
-r [#cols], --fill=[#cols].
Wrap lines at column #cols. By default this is the width of the screen, less eight.
-s [prog], --speller=[prog]
Invoke [prog] as the spell checker. By default, nano uses its own interactive spell checker that requires the spell program be installed on your system.
-t, --tempfile
Do not ask whether or not to save the current contents of the file when exiting, assume yes. This is most useful when using nano as the composer of a mailer program. @anchor{Expert Mode}
-x, --nohelp
In Expert Mode, the Shortcut Lists will not appear at the bottom of the screen. This affects the location of the statusbar as well, as in Expert Mode it is located at the very bottom of the editor. Note: When accesing the help system, Expert Mode is temporarily disabled to display the help system navigation keys.
-v, --view
Do not allow the contents of the file to be altered. Note that this flag should NOT be used in place of correct file permissions to implement a read-only file.
-w, --nowrap
Do not wrap long lines at any length. This option overrides any value for -r.
-z, --suspend
Enable suspend ability of nano using the system's suspend keystroke (usually ^Z).
Start at line number LINE instead of the default of line 1.

Go to the first, previous, next, last section, table of contents.