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The Howl editor

Build Status

What is it?

Howl is a general purpose editor that aims to be both lightweight and fully customizable. It's built on top of the very fast LuaJIT runtime, uses Gtk for its interface, and can be extended in either Lua or Moonscript. It's known to work on Linux, but should work on at least the *BSD's as well.

It is released as free software under the MIT license, with the source being available on Github.

Visit for installation instructions and documentation, and follow on Twitter for updates.

Quick installation instructions

The home page contains more elaborate instructions, including pointers to existing distribution packages, but below you'll find the basic instructions for how to install Howl from source.

Build requirements

  • wget: For auto-downloading build dependencies.
  • GTK+: Version >= 3, with development files (e.g. libgtk-3-dev on Debian based system).
  • C compiler: Howl has a very small C core itself, and it embeds dependencies written in C.

Build && install

Clone the repository or download and unpack a release. Cd into the src directory, and run make && sudo make install. The installed binary will be named howl.


Howl is released under the MIT license (see the file for the full details).


Any feedback, be it patches, feature request or bug reports, is most welcome.

If you want to provide patches, the preferred way of doing so would be as a pull request via GitHub, or as a pull request from some other Git server. Should that not be an option, I'll gladly accept patches through other means as well.

If you have any bug reports or feature requests, please submit them to the Github issue tracker. As with patches, I'll be happy to receive these through other means as well.

You can also contact me directly at <nino at>.

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