Top 7 Linux Best Open Source Development Tools


Programmers are humans and their job is not as simple as it sounds. With that pace, it becomes essential for them to stay abreast of the best open source development tools that can reduce the stress off their shoulders.

Nowadays, the emerging software and text editors have made easy for the programmers to create code. And, when it comes to Linux OS, the transformation in technology has added to a sheer number of Linux development tools.

If you have just turned to Linux, you might not be aware of the ton of development tools. To help you with that, we have compiled the 7 best open source development tools for Linux which are feature-rich. Also, it allows developers to create new applications quickly.

Best Open Source Development Tools

1) Blue Fish – Linux HTML Editor

Blue Fish was launched in 1997 for programmers who know HTML and CSS coding. And for those who want to work with the common scripting languages like Javascript, PHP or more. It started with the version 1.0 and gradually updated to the latest version 2.2.4 which offers a great number of features to make programming easy.

  • It is Lightweight and Fast

Being a GUI editor, it tries to be lean and clean as much as possible. It is suited best for web development as it can load over 100 files without compromising the load time. Considered best for project support, it enables you to work on multiple projects retaining your productivity.

  • It Supports Multiple Language

The best thing about BlueFish editor is that it understands a list of programming languages, some of them are C/C++, CSS, CFML, gettext PO, HTML, Java, JavaScript, JSP, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, Shell, SQL, and XML. It is not a WYSIWYG editor, but it is capable of previewing your code on any of the browser you choose.

  • Spell Check Feature

If you are developing pages with a lot of web content, then BlueFish is just the right editor for you. It highlights the typos, spelling mistakes occurring in comments and strings.  

Not only this, the other incredible features like auto-completion, auto recovery of files and syntax highlighting makes it worth for developers.

2) Gedit

Released in 1999, Gedit is the default text editor of the GNOME desktop environment. It is considered one of the best open source development tool for Linux as it offers more than just editing, writing or jotting down simple notes. Being one of the most extensible and flexible platforms, it has excellent plugin structure, theme customization and much more.

  • Supports Syntax Highlighting

The syntax highlighting feature in Gedit makes it noticeable among other development tools as it supports syntax highlighting for a wide range of programming, markup and scientific languages.

  • Plugins

Gedit comes with a number of default plugins like Document Statistics that help to view your document stats. The other plugins like creating Snippets for text or code and the External Tool plugin allows running the commands through the shell.

Wrapping it up, Gedit is preferred because of its simple IDE and the flexible plugin system which can be used dynamically to add new features.

3) Vim

Vim for Linux, a contraction of Vi IMproved is a text editor that is capable to provide the power of the de facto Unix editor Vi. Released in 1991, it is a highly configurable text editor that makes editing easy by allowing shortcut keys to run the command.

  • Searching and Replacing

The search and replace feature in Vim has been successful in saving time for editors. For example, if you want to search for a specific name through a command, use / followed by the text name and it will bring the results for you. The substitute (:s) command for search and replace searches for a text pattern and replaces it with a text string.

  • Programming Languages

Vim supports over a hundred programming languages and file formats. It also provides other simple commands to execute functions quickly.

Vim might be challenging to learn, but once you master it, you will be on track to save time while coding.

4) Geany

Geany is an open source development IDE which is lightweight and faster. Launched in 2005, it is the programmer’s text editor for Linux platform. It has all the basic features an IDE must have such as line interfacing, syntax highlighting, clean interface and much more.

  • Supports Major Programming Languages

Geany is known for supporting major programming languages like C, C++, C#, Python, Java, Perl, Ruby and more. It automatically colors the code and functions parameters.

Although it doesn’t offer full-fledged features, it is a fast, reliable and a simple IDE supporting a plethora of programming languages. Mostly recommended for small programs or applications.

5) Quanta Plus

Quanta Plus originally called Quanta is a web development tool for the K Desktop Environment. Its support for a significant number of markup and script languages has made it to the list of best open source development tool.

  • Best for multiple document views

The best thing about Quanta Plus is that it supports multiple views of documents. You can easily use it in the code mode, WYSIWYG mode, and a DOM tree mode.

  • Supports Syntax Highlighting

Another good thing about Quanta Plus is the support for syntax highlighting for HTML, XML, Perl, PHP and more languages. As you type the code, it also does the suggestive auto-completion for you.

In addition to this, Quanta Plus also provides support for local as well as remote projects.


KATE – KDE advanced text editor is an open source development editor that was developed in 2001 by the KDE software community. It is a lightweight and fast text editor that comes preinstalled with Ubuntu.

  • Customization

With the KATE editor, you can tweak the interface with its powerful formatting capabilities.

  • Syntax Highlighting

It supports syntax highlighting for almost 300 languages. It also acts smart when it comes to spell checking.

The other features of KATE include search and replace, encoding support, window handling, smart comment and uncomment handling.

7) Aptana

Last but not the least to mention Aptana, one of the powerful open source development tool. It is based on the Eclipse IDE and has numerous features that make it the best for web development environment.

  • Git Integration

It facilitates Git based environment and can easily put your projects under Git source control.

  • IDE Customization

It sets your IDE exactly the way you want with the help of the customization features.

With Aptana studio, you can also create applications for iOS devices.

Some Other Tools

Here we have covered only the seven best open source development tools. However, there also exist others like Netbeans, Eclipse, and jEdit which you can also review.

Wrapping It Up

Since they are the most popular programming tools but it would be impertinent to declare any one of them the best open source development tool because the choice of the platform varies with the requirements. However, each of these platforms has their pros and cons and there are many others which are not in the list.

So, it is important to research before you start. And if you want to make your job easy, you can consult an open source development company that can choose the best for you.

With this blog, we hope we saved you some time in researching the top programming editors. If there is any other tool, you want to add feel free to share your thoughts in comments.