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      GNU nano -- an enhanced clone of the Pico text editor


The nano project was started because of a few "problems" with the
wonderfully easy-to-use and friendly Pico text editor.

First and foremost was its license: the Pine suite does not use
the GPL or a GPL-friendly license, and has unclear restrictions on
redistribution.  Because of this, Pine and Pico are not included
with many GNU/Linux distributions.  Also, other features (like
go-to-line-number or search-and-replace) were unavailable until
recently or require a command-line flag.  Yuck.

nano aims to solve these problems by emulating the functionality of
Pico as closely as possible while addressing the problems above and
providing other extra functionality.

The nano editor is an official GNU package.  For more information on
GNU and the Free Software Foundation, please see

How to compile and install nano

Download the nano source code, then:

    tar xvzf nano-x.y.z.tar.gz
    cd nano-x.y.z
    make install

It's that simple.  Use --prefix with configure to override the
default installation directory of /usr/local.

If you haven't configured with the --disable-nanorc option, after
installation you may want to copy the doc/sample.nanorc file to
your home directory, rename it to ".nanorc", and then edit it
according to your taste.

Web Page

Mailing Lists

There are three nano-related mailing-lists.

+ [email protected] is a very low traffic list used to announce
  new nano versions or other important info about the project.
+ [email protected] is for those seeking to get help without
  wanting to hear about the technical details of its development.
+ [email protected] is the list used by the people that make nano
  and a general development discussion list, with moderate traffic.

To subscribe, send email to <name>[email protected] with a subject
of "subscribe", where <name> is the list you want to subscribe to.

Bug Reports

To report a bug, please file a description of the problem on nano's
bug tracker ( -- hover on
"Bugs", then click "Submit new").  The issue may have already been
reported, so please look first.

Current Status

Since version 2.5.0, GNU nano has abandoned the distinction between
a stable and a development branch: it is now on a "rolling" release
-- fixing bugs and adding new features go hand in hand.

Copyright Years

When in any file of this package a copyright notice mentions a
year range (such as 1999-2011), it is a shorthand for a list of
all the years in that interval.

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