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How to Install Sublime Text 3 on Ubuntu

Sublime Text is a popular cross-platform text editor with a fervent following, but many get stuck wondering how to install Sublime Text on Ubuntu.

‘Ditch that third-party PPA because an official Sublime Text apt repository is available for Ubuntu’

Well, that’s what this post is for. We’re going to show you how to install Sublime Text 3 on Ubuntu in just three commands (easy-peasy, copy-pasty) using the official Sublime Text Linux repositories.

Sublime Text 3

Sublime Text 3 is a proprietary app (it is not open-source) but it is available across operating systems, something many developers really appreciate. The app is also pretty fast (faster than Atom, anyhow) and its feature set can be extended by users with plugins.

The editor is available to download and use for free (it has an unlimited ‘evaluation’ period) but you’re supposed to buy a license if you plan on using it full-time. Licenses start from $70.

Official Sublime Text installers are available from the Sublime Text website (and have been for some time) but while useful these do have one big drawback on Ubuntu: they don’t update.

See, while versions made for Windows and macOS do automatically update you to new releases as and when they’re made, the Linux version won’t.

Instead, to get Sublime Text updates on Ubuntu you need to add the source code editor’s official repository. Forget whatever third-party PPA you’ve used until now because an official Sublime Text apt repository is now available for Ubuntu (and Linux Mint, etc) users to, well, use.

Install Sublime Text on Ubuntu

First download the security key for the text editor’s repository. This will ensure packages downloaded from the repo are authenticated, etc:

wget -qO - | sudo apt-key add -

Next. add the Sublime Text stable repository to your software sources:

echo "deb apt/stable/" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/sublime-text.list

If you want to run the latest development builds of Sublime Text you can: just run this command instead of the one above:

echo "deb apt/dev/" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/sublime-text.list

Whether stable or dev, once you’ve added the repo you can go ahead and run an update and install the app:

sudo apt update && sudo apt install sublime-text

That’s all you need to do.

When installation is complete you can launch the app from your desktop app launcher.

Polite Notice

This article is here as a “how to” for readers who want to install Sublime Text 3 on Ubuntu the official way. This article is not here because I think this app is better than {other code editor}. If emacs is your thing, keep using it; if Atom is your code bae, keep dating it, and so on.