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).
Here is a picture of micro editing its source code.
To see more screenshots of micro, showcasing all of the default colorschemes, 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 to 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)
- Persistent undo
- Automatic linting and error notifications
- Syntax highlighting (for over 120 languages!)
- Colorscheme 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 things such as undo/redo, line numbers, Unicode support, softwrap...
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.
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.
On that page you'll see the nightly release, which contains binaries for micro which are built every night, and you'll see all the stable releases with the corresponding binaries.
If you'd like to see more information after installing micro, run
Then you can easily install micro:
$ curl https://getmic.ro | bash
The script will install the micro binary to the current directory.
See the Github page for more information.
You can install micro using Homebrew on Mac:
brew install micro
On Debian Linux, you can install micro through snap
snap install micro --classic
Homebrew and snap are the two "officially" maintained package manager distributions of micro.
Micro is also available through other package managers on Linux such as AUR, Nix, and package managers for other operating systems:
- 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
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, and doesn't disable debug mode.
If you are using MacOS, you should consider using iTerm2 instead of the default Mac terminal. 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->Load Preset. 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 the 'xclip' or 'xsel' commands to be installed.
sudo apt-get install xclip
If you don't have xclip or xsel, 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 colors. Try changing the colorscheme to
by pressing CtrlE 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 colorscheme won't look very good. You can either set
the colorscheme to
simple, or download a better terminal emulator, like
Plan9, Cygwin, Mingw
These platforms are unfortunately not supported.
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 (but NaCl is deprecated anyways).
Once you have built the editor, simply start it by running
micro path/to/file.txt or simply
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.