Want to install and know how to use Nano Text Editor? We are here to help. We are going to show you how to install one of the most popular editors. It is a great Text Editor for your local system as well as a server. You can do a lot of editing tasks using Nano Text Editor. It is simple & easy to use text editor, check out the features below.

In this guide, We are going to show you how to install Nano Text Editor on Debian/Ubuntu & RHEL/CentOS. You can easily follow these methods to install the Nano Text Editor on similar platforms. Alongside this, We are going to show you how you can use Nano Text Editor easily on your system as well as the server. 

How to Install Nano Text Editor

You can install Nano Text Editor by running a simple command. However, some Operating Systems come with Nano Text Editor pre-installed. If you are using Mac OS or Linux distros, you should check if there is any version of the Nano Text Editor installed on your system. To do so, follow the steps before proceeding to the installation process.

If you cannot see any version in the console, You can install the one through the methods below. But if you see any version for Nano Text Editor, you don’t have to go through the installation process again. Simply, paste this command in your console & check for the Text Editor version.

nano –version

If you didn’t see any version, that means there is no previously installed Nano Text Editor on the system. To install Nano Text Editor, You can simply choose the right Operating System & follow the methods for the same.

For Debian/Ubuntu

If you are using Ubuntu Operating System, you can follow this method to install Nano Text Editor. As Ubuntu is based on Debian, you can proceed with any OS based on Debian for this method. 

Firstly, you need to have root privileges on Ubuntu if you want to install any package. You might have to use Login Credentials if you are not logged in to the root user. Paste the command in Console:

sudo apt-get install nano

The Installation process will take some time to complete. Wait until the installation process is completed. You need to make sure that the commands are performed by using the root access. Once the installation is complete, your Nano Text Editor is installed on Debian based Ubuntu platform.


If you want to install Nano Text Editor on CentOS or any other similar operating systems, this is the method to follow. As CentOS is based on RHEL, you can use this method for any operating system that is based on RHEL platforms.

To install Nano Text Editor on CentOS or any RHEL-based platform, you need to copy the command below. Run it in the console with having admin privileges in order to install any package.

yum install nano

Wait till the installation process is finished. Once you see the Success message on your console, Nano Text Editor is installed on your system. Now, you can check the uses of Nano Text Editor.

How to Use Nano Text Editor

If you are new to Nano Text Editor, you must check the uses of Nano Text Editor. Here, you will get the commands that you need to use to access any functionality. There are various tasks that you need to do on a usual basis. 

As the Nano Text Editor is accessible through the console, you need to know about the commands. If you remember the commands, it is easier for you to use Nano Text Editor. There are various tasks in Nano Text Editor that we have shared below.

Open & Close Nano Text Editor

The first thing you need to know is How to open and close the Text Editor using commands. You need to execute these commands in order to access Nano Text Editor. Here is the command that you can use for opening the Nano Text Editor

nano filename

You can change the ‘filename’ with any file name that is available in the same location. Just for the example, if you would like to open file1.txt, the command for this case would be:

nano file1.txt

You can open various types of file on the Nano Text Editor like .txt, .php, .html, etc. If you want to open any HTML file, you would need to enter the filename along with the Extension of the file. You can even open the files from a different location by entering the complete location of the file like:

nano path/folder1/location/file1.txt

If you enter any location or a file name that doesn’t exist, it will create a new file with the same name in that location. However, if you do not enter any file name in the command, it will create an untitled file. It will ask you for a name once you exit or save the file.

Once you run the command for opening a file, You will see the Nano Text Editor in the window. It is similar to other text editors you can type the content within the same file. However, you need to press various button combinations to use the functions.

You can see various controls on the bottom that you might need while using Nano Text Editor. If you are using Windows-based keyboards, ‘^’ would mean the CTRL button. And for MacOS, you need to press the Command button for ‘^’. Some of the controls are:

To save the changes while keep editing the file, you need to press CTRL(CMD) + O

To Exit from the Nano Text Editor, you would need to press CTRL(CMD) + X. If there are any changes made in the file, you will see a message asking if you want to save them or not. You can simply press Y for Yes and N for No, as mentioned in the message.

If you are opening any important config file on the Nano Text Editor, you should use -w between the command. This allows the Nano Text Editor to open the file in standard format. You can see an example of such a code below. 

sudo nano -w /path/file/location/file1.conf

Search & Replace Text

You might want to search and replace some text from the file; these are the steps you can follow. It will help you to search for any text in the file & replace it with a new one that you provide. Follow these steps to Search any text from a file using Nano Text Editor.

  • Firstly, to search for text in your file, press CTRL + W.
  • Now Insert text that you would like to search in the file.
  • Press Enter after entering the whole text.
  • If you would like to continue the search for the same text in the file, press ALT + W

And If you would like to Search & Replace, you can follow these steps. This will not only search for the text, but it will also replace the text in the file. 

  • Press CTRL + W. After that, press CTRL + R as well.
  • First, enter the text that you would like to search in the file.
  • Then, Enter the text that you would like to replace in the place of searched text.
  • You will see the first instance of the searched text in your file. If you would like to replace the first instance only, press Y
  • If you want to replace all the instances having the same text as searched, you can press A. This will replace all the text that matches the searched text in your file.

To cancel any current process, you can press CTRL + C. It will abort the current process & you might get back to the previous version.

Edit the Text

Obviously, you would want to edit the text on a “Text Editor”, Here is how to do it. You will see a bunch of functions that you can do to edit the text in your file. These are some of the most common shortcuts that are generally used on Nano Text Editor.

To select some text from the file, go to the text from where you want to select it. Press ALT + A to start the selecting feature. Now, use the arrow keys to select the text up to where you wanted to select.

If you want to copy the selected text in Nano Text Editor, you can simply press ALT + 6. It will copy the text in your clipboard.

If you would like to cut the selected text, all you need to do is press CTRL + K. This will cut the text from your file.

In order to paste any copied text, you simply need to press CTRL + U. Just navigate to the desired location and press the shortcut.

Basic Commands and Shortcuts

Here are some of the basic commands that you can use on Nano Text Editor. There are a lot of basic functions on a Text Editor, Check the commands and execute on your Editor. These are some of the very useful shortcuts from Nano Text Editor:

CTRL + A: To go to the beginning of your current line.

CTRL + E: To go to the End of your current line.

CTRL + Y: To scroll down the page

CTRL + V: To scroll up the page

CTRL + G: To get the help window. You can check for different commands & solutions to the queries.

CTRL + O: To save the current file. 

CTRL + W: Search for any text or phrase in the file. You can use ALT + W to search the same phrase or text again.

CTRL + K: To cut the selected line from your file.

CTRL + U: To paste the text into the current line of your file.

CTRL + J: To set the alignment as Justify for the current paragraph.

CTRL + C: To check the current position of your cursor in the file.

CTRL + R: Open any file and inserting it at the current position of the cursor

CTRL + X: To Exit/Close Nano Text Editor. It will ask you to save the file if you have made any recent unsaved changes.

CTRL + \: To replace the text string.

CTRL + T: To invoke any spell checker into the file.

CTRL + _: To go to any specific line or column location

ALT + A: For selecting the text in your file.

There are different other commands in Nano Text Editor. You can simply check the help section of the editor. It will show you the commands that you must be looking for.

Reasons to Use Nano Text Editor

There are many reasons that one would want to use Nano Text Editor. One of the many reasons is that It is a great text editor when it comes to editing the text using command line. There are different text editors available in the market, but no one could compete with Nano. 

If you are a Linux user, Nano is a great text editor for you. It is a simple yet useful text editor. There are various features that makes it one of the best editor available till now. You can easily edit, copy, paste, cut the text on Nano Text Editor. With Simple Command Shortcuts on Nano Text Editor, it is easier to use the functions on this one comparatively.

You also get to see the shortcuts on the bottom that you can use, particularly for different situations. It is a good to have feature considering the beginner’s perspective for the editor. Not only this, but Advanced users also get comfortable with the number of functions on this Editor.


Nano Text editor is an amazing tool, even if you are a beginner or an advanced user. It is easier to install and provides a lot of functionality to you. It is most-widely preferred on Ubuntu or CentOS based platforms. Even on the hosting server, you can use Nano Text Editor using your console.

That’s all about this guide, and We hope that you got what you were looking for. Follow us on Social Media platforms to get the latest updates. Share this with your friends who are confused about using any text editor on their Servers, Website, Ubuntu platforms.

Happy Editing😜!!

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