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The nano text editor is a clone and free software alternative to the Pico editor and is covered under the GNU GPL. (Pico is distributed under a very restrictive licence). Besides basic emulation, nano also has the following other features:

  • GNU autoconf support.
  • Goto line and replace functions (without needing command-line flags).
  • Interactive replace function and spell checker.
  • Auto-indent support.
  • Slang curses-wrapper support.
  • Variable displayed tab width.
  • Regular expression search and replace.
  • Toggles for command-line flags from within the editor.

By default nano has something called hard word wrap. This means that when a line doesn't fit in the window, nano will insert a hard break. When editing configuration files this can be very harmful since breaking a line in to two lines can break the whole configuration. To disable this feature start nano with the -w switch:

  nano -w [yourfile]

(using [ ] means that what is inside can optionally be omitted)


First you must install nano by doing this in a terminal

# rpm –i nano-2.0.1-1.i386.rpm

Nano is then installed.

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