Micro is a terminal-based text editor that aims to be easy to use and intuitive, while also taking advantage of the full capabilities
of modern terminals. It comes as one single, batteries-included, static binary with no dependencies, and you can download and use it right now.
As the name indicates, micro aims to be somewhat of a successor to the nano editor by being easy to install and use in a pinch, but micro also aims to be enjoyable to use full time, whether you work in the terminal because you prefer it (like me), or because you need to (over ssh).
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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
- Documentation and Help
- 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](runtime/syntax).
- Color scheme support.
- By default, micro comes with 16, 256, and true color themes.
- True color support (set the
MICRO_TRUECOLORenvironment variable to 1 to enable it).
- Copy and paste with the system clipboard.
- Small and simple.
- Easily configurable.
- 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.
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.
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.
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
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,
must be installed. Please see the section on Linux clipboard support
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:
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
make install will install the binary to
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
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
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
xselcommands (for Ubuntu:
sudo apt install xclip)
- On Wayland, the
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
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
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
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
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.
*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the micro-editor README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.