ubuntu 22.10: GNOME text editor

Ubuntu 22.10 is trying out a brand new text editor.

Daily builds of the ‘Kinetic Kudu’ come with the new GNOME ‘Text Editor’ app in place of seasoned software stalwart ‘Gedit‘.

Since Gedit is labelled as ‘text editor’ in Ubuntu you may need to re-read that sentence to understand the subtle difference.

Ubuntu 22.10’s new text editor is Text Editor, a GTK4 app shipping as part of GNOME’s core apps collection since the GNOME 42 release back in March. The new app has the package name gnome-text-editor and replaces the text editor whose package name is gedit.

Let’s look at what the change is happening.

Why is Ubuntu changing its text editor?

Left: Gedit; Right: Text Editor

Ubuntu developers proposed replacing Gedit with the new tool earlier this month and, lo: they’ve since gone ahead and done it.

Why? Well, they reason the fact the new app makes use of GTK4 and libaadwita (which Ubuntu 22.10 will embrace full); adheres to the new desktop-standard dark mode preference; and follows GNOME design guidelines more closely than Gedit (which lest we all forget is a 23 years old).

Gedit has been out-of-the-box since the very first Ubuntu release back in 2004. The tool does offer more customisation and edge-case support than its replacement, as well as a (rather popular) plugin framework.

On the other hand Gedit’s most popular plugins are for features Text Editor has built-in. The newer app also has better auto-saving features that mean, should you accidentally quit the app, your work isn’t necessarily lost.

While I’m not a developer I do edit .css, .php, and .html files regularly. I’m yet to come across anything Text Editor either can’t do or doesn’t have an option to do — though your milage will naturally vary.

Want to try it out for yourself? You can install GNOME’s new text editor on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS from the repos, or grab the latest release from Flathub.

Gedit, for those who want it, remains available in the Kinetic repos (i.e. it’s just an apt install gedit away).

As Ubuntu 22.10 is under active development (and a long way from feature freeze) this switch is not final and may yet be un-done. If you’re not thrilled by the swap you should make your voice heard, just try to be specific about what/why/how Gedit does better than Text Editor while doing so.

Dev News default apps gedit gnome 42 libadwaita texteditor Ubuntu 22.10