A modern and intuitive terminal-based text editor


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micro is a terminal-based text editor that aims to be easy to use and intuitive, while also taking advantage of the capabilities of modern terminals. It comes as a single, batteries-included, static binary with no dependencies; you can download and use it right now!

As its name indicates, micro aims to be somewhat of a successor to the nano editor by being easy to install and use. It strives to be enjoyable as a full-time editor for people who prefer to work in a terminal, or those who regularly edit files over SSH.

Here is a picture of micro editing its source code.


To see more screenshots of micro, showcasing some of the default color schemes, see here.

You can also check out the website for Micro at https://micro-editor.github.io.

Table of Contents


  • Easy to use and install.
  • No dependencies or external files are needed — just the binary you can download further down the page.
  • Multiple cursors.
  • Common keybindings (Ctrl-s, Ctrl-c, Ctrl-v, Ctrl-z, …).
    • Keybindings can be rebound to your liking.
  • Sane defaults.
    • You shouldn't have to configure much out of the box (and it is extremely easy to configure).
  • Splits and tabs.
  • nano-like menu to help you remember the keybindings.
  • Extremely good mouse support.
    • This means mouse dragging to create a selection, double click to select by word, and triple click to select by line.
  • Cross-platform (it should work on all the platforms Go runs on).
    • Note that while Windows is supported Mingw/Cygwin is not (see below).
  • Plugin system (plugins are written in Lua).
    • micro has a built-in plugin manager to automatically install, remove, and update plugins.
  • Built-in diff gutter.
  • Simple autocompletion.
  • Persistent undo.
  • Automatic linting and error notifications.
  • Syntax highlighting for over 130 languages.
  • Color scheme support.
    • By default, micro comes with 16, 256, and true color themes.
  • True color support (set the MICRO_TRUECOLOR environment variable to 1 to enable it).
  • Copy and paste with the system clipboard.
  • Small and simple.
  • Easily configurable.
  • Macros.
  • Common editor features such as undo/redo, line numbers, Unicode support, soft wrapping, …


To install micro, you can download a prebuilt binary, or you can build it from source.

If you want more information about ways to install micro, see this wiki page.

Use micro -version to get the version information after installing. It is only guaranteed that you are installing the most recent stable version if you install from the prebuilt binaries, Homebrew, or Snap.

A desktop entry file and man page can be found in the assets/packaging directory.

Prebuilt binaries

All you need to install micro is one file, the binary itself. It's as simple as that!

Download the binary from the releases page.

Installation script

There is a script which can install micro for you by downloading the latest prebuilt binary. You can find it at https://getmic.ro.

You can easily install micro by running

curl https://getmic.ro | bash

The script will place the micro binary in the current directory. From there, you can move it to a directory on your path of your choosing (e.g. sudo mv micro /usr/bin). See its GitHub repository for more information.

To uninstall micro, simply remove the binary, and the configuration directory at ~/.config/micro.

Package managers

You can install micro using Homebrew on Mac:

brew install micro

Note for Mac: All micro keybindings use the control or alt (option) key, not the command key. By default, macOS terminals do not forward alt key events. To fix this, please see the section on macOS terminals further below.

On Linux, you can install micro through snap

snap install micro --classic

Note for Linux: for interfacing with the local system clipboard, xclip or xsel must be installed. Please see the section on Linux clipboard support further below.

Micro is also available through other package managers on Linux such as apt, dnf, AUR, Nix, and package managers for other operating systems. These packages are not guaranteed to be up-to-date.

  • Linux: Available in distro-specific package managers.
    • apt install micro (Ubuntu 20.04 focal, and Debian unstable | testing | buster-backports). At the moment, this package (2.0.1-1) is outdated and has a known bug where debug mode is enabled.
    • dnf install micro (Fedora).
    • yay -S micro (Arch Linux).
    • eopkg install micro (Solus).
    • See wiki for details about CRUX, Termux.
  • Windows: Chocolatey and Scoop.
    • choco install micro.
    • scoop install micro.
  • OpenBSD: Available in the ports tree and also available as a binary package.
    • pkd_add -v micro.
  • NetBSD, macOS, Linux, Illumos, etc. with pkgsrc-current:
    • pkg_add micro

Building from source

If your operating system does not have a binary release, but does run Go, you can build from source.

Make sure that you have Go version 1.11 or greater and Go modules are enabled.

git clone https://github.com/zyedidia/micro
cd micro
make build
sudo mv micro /usr/local/bin # optional

The binary will be placed in the current directory and can be moved to anywhere you like (for example /usr/local/bin).

The command make install will install the binary to $GOPATH/bin or $GOBIN.

You can install directly with go get (go get github.com/zyedidia/micro/cmd/micro) but this isn't recommended because it doesn't build micro with version information (necessary for the plugin manager), and doesn't disable debug mode.

Fully static binary

By default, the micro binary will dynamically link with core system libraries (this is generally recommended for security and portability). However, there is a fully static prebuilt binary that is provided for amd64 as linux-static.tar.gz, and to build a fully static binary from source, run

CGO_ENABLED=0 make build

macOS terminal

If you are using macOS, you should consider using iTerm2 instead of the default terminal (Terminal.app). The iTerm2 terminal has much better mouse support as well as better handling of key events. For best keybinding behavior, choose xterm defaults under Preferences->Profiles->Keys->Presets..., and select Esc+ for Left Option Key in the same menu. The newest versions also support true color.

If you still insist on using the default Mac terminal, be sure to set Use Option key as Meta key under Preferences->Profiles->Keyboard to use option as alt.

Linux clipboard support

On Linux, clipboard support requires:

  • On X11, the xclip or xsel commands (for Ubuntu: sudo apt install xclip)
  • On Wayland, the wl-clipboard command

If you don't have these commands, micro will use an internal clipboard for copy and paste, but it won't work with external applications.

Colors and syntax highlighting

If you open micro and it doesn't seem like syntax highlighting is working, this is probably because you are using a terminal which does not support 256 color mode. Try changing the color scheme to simple by pressing Ctrl-e in micro and typing set colorscheme simple.

If you are using the default Ubuntu terminal, to enable 256 make sure your TERM variable is set to xterm-256color.

Many of the Windows terminals don't support more than 16 colors, which means that micro's default color scheme won't look very good. You can either set the color scheme to simple, or download and configure a better terminal emulator than the Windows default.

Cygwin, Mingw, Plan9

Cygwin, Mingw, and Plan9 are unfortunately not officially supported. In Cygwin and Mingw, micro will often work when run using the winpty utility:

winpty micro.exe ...

Micro uses the amazing tcell library, but this means that micro is restricted to the platforms tcell supports. As a result, micro does not support Plan9, and Cygwin (although this may change in the future). Micro also doesn't support NaCl (which is deprecated anyway).


Once you have built the editor, start it by running micro path/to/file.txt or micro to open an empty buffer.

micro also supports creating buffers from stdin:

ifconfig | micro

You can move the cursor around with the arrow keys and mouse.

You can also use the mouse to manipulate the text. Simply clicking and dragging will select text. You can also double click to enable word selection, and triple click to enable line selection.

Documentation and Help

micro has a built-in help system which you can access by pressing Ctrl-e and typing help. Additionally, you can view the help files here:

I also recommend reading the tutorial for a brief introduction to the more powerful configuration features micro offers.


If you find any bugs, please report them! I am also happy to accept pull requests from anyone.

You can use the GitHub issue tracker to report bugs, ask questions, or suggest new features.

For a more informal setting to discuss the editor, you can join the Gitter chat.

Sometimes I am unresponsive, and I apologize! If that happens, please ping me.

  • Escape sequences written on mouse movement

    Escape sequences written on mouse movement

    When I ssh into an AWS EC2 instance and use micro, mouse movement inserts nonsense text. Here is a sample: [email protected]@N"][[email protected]"][MCH"MC2!&!MC3!<"[MC+MCC+9)MC=#MCe&[MCo'[MCo" Usually, that terminal will freeze after a little of this - sometimes as little as 20 characters, sometimes over 100. I can kill micro from a separate process, but then that frozen terminal keeps inserting mangled control codes for all mouse movement and ignores any keyboard input - even after the ssh session is killed. Normally, I'd say this has to be a terminal emulator bug, but the same happens in both Terminator and Xfce Terminal. I couldn't reproduce it with joe, another console editor with mouse support.

    I've reproduced this with ssh -X, -x, and -Y. It happens on both the EC2 instance itself and a docker container (see Dockerfile below) running on that instance. It does NOT happen on localhost, even when ssh'ing into a docker container running on localhost.

    Commit hash: dd5afc0 (v1.3.1 release) OS: Ubuntu 16.04 Terminal: Terminator, Xfce Terminal

    $ cat Dockerfile FROM ubuntu:16.04

    RUN useradd ted RUN echo 'ted:<appropriate stuff from /etc/shadow>' | chpasswd -e RUN usermod -a -G sudo ted RUN mkdir /var/run/sshd RUN mkdir /home/ted RUN chown -R ted /home/ted RUN apt-get update

    RUN apt-get install -y openssh-server EXPOSE 22 CMD ["/usr/sbin/sshd", "-D"]

    Once inside the container, download and unpack micro, invoke it with no arguments, then move the mouse.

    opened by TedSinger 78
  • copy paste doesn't work well

    copy paste doesn't work well

    Hello, I like where micro is going. It's truly the commandline text editor I've been looking forward to.

    Any, so far copy and paste doesn't work. I copy text, but it won't paste elsewhere even though I already installed xclip on my Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Also I noticed its a lot slower than say vim.

    opened by oquidave 57
  • Added autocomplete for Go, based on gocode, fixes #174

    Added autocomplete for Go, based on gocode, fixes #174

    Adds autocompletion for Go as a feature (disabled by default, but can be enabled in settings).

    To enable

    press CtrlE to go to command mode, and enter setlocal autocomplete true. This will enable autocomplete for the file until closed (the setting will not persist).


    Must have gocode installed and available on the path.


    • Triggered by . or ( characters.
    • Allows use of arrow keys to select item.
    • Press enter or tab to accept a selection.
    • Press escape to hide the list.

    Other language support

    Support for other languages can be added by accessing the properties and methods from plugins (see plugins.md) or by adding support within micro by:

    • Creating a function which has the OptionProvider signature (the function accepts the contents of the file and the byte offset within that file).
    type OptionProvider func(buffer []byte, offset int) (options []optionprovider.Option, err error)
    • Updating the NewCompleterForView function to choose the correct completion function based on the filename or other aspects of the file, e.g. the Go implementation simply checks for a .go file extension.
    // Load the provider based on filename.
    fileName := v.Buf.GetName()
    if strings.HasSuffix(fileName, ".go") {
    	provider = optionprovider.GoCode
    opened by a-h 44
  • Multiple cursor support

    Multiple cursor support

    After using sublime and atom I can't go back to not having multiple cursor support. Any plans to introduce this into micro? Even just select all and select next would be amazing as that covers 90% of my usage.

    opened by montanaflynn 33
  • Keybindings mostly not working

    Keybindings mostly not working

    Description of the problem or steps to reproduce

    • [x] alt+left/right does not select
    • [x] binding "Shift-Backspace": "DeleteWordLeft", does not work
    • [x] one can not rebind ctrl+e ?
    • [x] is there any Keybinding possible to swap the current line one up/ down (also works with selections in sublime using ctrl up+down)?
    • [x] creating keybidnings for plugins is confusing, I wanted to create one for snippets but snippets.snippetinsert and variants do not work, instead one has to look into the source and use snippet.Insert which is not documented or intuitive based on the ctrl+e command


    Version: 1.3.4 Commit hash: 5fc8f84 Compiled on November 25, 2017

    Commit hash: OS: macOS 10.13.2 Terminal: Terminal

    the editor is generally really a nice improvement upon nano


    opened by ghost 32
  • Ctrl-v to paste not working

    Ctrl-v to paste not working

    @jsyedidia ctrl-v to paste is not working in latest version..however cutting a line (ctrl-k) then undoing that cut, make its work again, this is a bug, it is repeatable/reproducable.

    After a lot more testing, seems ctrl-x and ctrl-k work just fine and I can still paste with ctrl-v, but ctrl-c is dead.

    I should mention that whan pasting (ctrl-v) micro still displays the message at the bottom " Pasted clipboard" but does NOT actually paste anything.

    its really quite strange even after doing a ctrl-c, ctrl-v only pastes what was previously cut with ctrl-x or ctrl-k and not what I copied with ctrl-c

    Commit hash: b9763856 OS: MacOS Catalina Terminal: iTerm2 latest beta Micro Version: 2.0.10

    opened by drewauff 30
  • terminal entry not found

    terminal entry not found

    When I run micro regardless of input, I get terminal entry not found and the process exits. I'm using zsh inside tmux in iterm without the tmux/iterm integration stuff, which may be confusing isatty?

    bug tcell issue 
    opened by hughrawlinson 30
  • Create parent folders (if none) when saving

    Create parent folders (if none) when saving

    Fixes #995

    Sorry if this doesn't work. I was trying to figure out how to build locally but running into issues with it not finding semver. Feel free to close 😆

    opened by sum01 24
  • [Enhancement] Loading in-directory settings.json for portable configuration

    [Enhancement] Loading in-directory settings.json for portable configuration

    Would it be possible to load settings.json (maybe bindings.json, ...) from current directory, so you can create a sort of portable configuration? I use micro mainly on Windows, so it would be really useful to have a copy of my settings in the same folder I keep on my flashdrive.

    opened by pavelvr 24
  • PuTTY Selection Issues

    PuTTY Selection Issues

    Description of the problem or steps to reproduce

    Use micro over ssh with PuTTY. Selection doesn't work.


    Version: nightly Commit hash: 49ec611 Compiled on September 08, 2016

    bug tcell issue 
    opened by nalanj 23
  • clipboard: only supports

    clipboard: only supports "clipboard" clipboard, however, X also has a "primary" (middle mouse click/selection) clipboard

    Posting this issue here, since there doesn't seem to be an issue tracker on your clipboard repo.

    lines in question:

        xselPasteArgs = []string{xsel, "--output", "--clipboard"}
        xselCopyArgs  = []string{xsel, "--input", "--clipboard"}
        xclipPasteArgs = []string{xclip, "-out", "-selection", "clipboard"}
        xclipCopyArgs  = []string{xclip, "-in", "-selection", "clipboard"}

    xsel related man page section:

    -p, --primary
        operate on the PRIMARY selection (default). 
    -s, --secondary
        operate on the SECONDARY selection. 
    -b, --clipboard
        operate on the CLIPBOARD selection. 

    xclip related man page section:

    specify  which X selection to use, options are "primary" to
    use XA_PRIMARY (default), "secondary" for  XA_SECONDARY  or
    "clipboard" for XA_CLIPBOARD

    What (probably) needs to be done, is first detect if the user is pasting using ctrl+c or using the middle mouse button. If the former is the case use clipboard, if the later is the case use primary.

    if the user is copying use clipboard when ctrl+v is used, and primary if a selection has been made.

    opened by onodera-punpun 23
  • Freezing after double click or Сtrl+С in Termux

    Freezing after double click or Сtrl+С in Termux

    After double-clicking on a word or pressing Ctrl+C, the editor freezes and all I have to do is restart the terminal.

    Commit hash: b976385 OS: Android 11 Terminal: Termux 118 + bash

    opened by Daniiiiiiil 0
  • impossible to bind minus key

    impossible to bind minus key

    It is impossible to bind the minus key via the bind command or the TryBindKey function, at least not when using a literal -. I guess the problem is the following code snippet from the function findSingleEvent, which assumes that - is always used in the way "<modifier>-<key>". Hence neither "-" nor "Alt-" or "Alt--" work. If k is equal to "-", then should not be treated this way.


    opened by matthias314 0
  • AutoFmt not install

    AutoFmt not install

    He say this:

    Downloading "autofmt" (2.0.0) from "https://github.com/a11ce/micro-autofmt/archive/2.0.0.zip" zip: not a valid zip file

    How i can resolve this?

    opened by GabrielHenr8 0
  • add .conf file syntax file

    add .conf file syntax file

    Conf syntax is based off example done by @zoomosis in #2179 and the ini.yaml config.

    regex is definitely not my strong suit, so if any changes are needed let me know. it seems to work for me.

    opened by cbc02009 1
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