How to Install Atom Text Editor on Ubuntu 20.04

A text editor is a computer program that lets a user enter, change, store, and usually print text.

Beautiful open source text editors are pretty common these days, between Adobe’s Brackets, Microsoft’s VSCode, and GitHub’s Atom.

Each of these seem to offer similar experiences: a modern interface, easily installable plugins, and a big brand-name sponsor. And they’re all actually really good.

Every developer’s toolbox should have a light, straightforward text and source code editor.

Finding the right source code editor can be a personal choice depending on your projects and list of requirements. A prominent code editor among macOS, Linux, and Windows users is Atom Text Editor.

So what sets Atom apart from any other hyper-modern text editor? Or from a classic old editor like Vim or Emacs?

What is Atom Text Editor?

Atom is a free and open-source hackable text editor and source code editor for macOS, Linux, and Microsoft Windows with support for plug-ins written in JavaScript, and embedded Git Control.

Back in 2014, Atom was developed and released by GitHub. This free, open-source code editor is self-labeled ‘a hackable text editor for the 21st century’. And hackable, it is.

Atom allows developers to fully customize the look, feel, and requirements to speed up their workflows.

Atom is based on Electron (formerly known as Atom Shell) a framework that enables cross-platform desktop applications using Chromium and Node.js.

Atom is written in CoffeeScript and Less, but much of it has been converted to JavaScript.

Developers love using Atom to design interactive and responsive web apps. Like many other text/code editors, Atom provides several benefits to make coding that much more straightforward. It offers:

  • Customizable color schemes to make code more readable
  • A wide selection of third-party plugins to catch coding errors
  • Keyboard shortcuts to speed up your workflows
  • Automatic code indentation
  • Highlighting language-specific syntax
  • The ability to view your project’s file and folder structure in a tree view

Key Features of Atom Text Editor:

  • Cross-platform editing: Atom works across operating systems. Use it on OS X, Windows, or Linux.
  • File system browser: Easily browse and open a single file, a whole project, or multiple projects in one window.
  • Built-in package manager: Search for and install new packages or create your own right from Atom.
  • Smart autocompletion: Atom helps you write code faster with a smart and flexible autocomplete.
  • Find and replace: Find, preview, and replace text as you type in a file or across all your projects.
  • Multiple panes: Split your Atom interface into multiple panes to compare and edit code across files.

This guide shows four ways of installing Atom on Ubuntu 20.04.

Atom can be installed as a snap package via the Snapcraft store or as a .deb package from the Atom repositories.

Method 1: Installing Atom as a Snap Package

Atom is available in Ubuntu’s Software Center. Atom snap package is distributed and maintained by Github.

A snap package is a type of universal Linux package that you can enjoy irrespective of the distro. Its an self-contained software packages that include the binary all dependencies needed to run the application.

All you need is the snap service pre-configured, In the case of Ubuntu 20.04, it comes with snap pre-installed.

If snapd package is not already installed then you can install it by running following command.

$ sudo apt install snapd

Note: Snap packages can be installed from either the command-line or via the Ubuntu Software application.

This is actually the Snap version of the Atom. It can be used on any Linux distribution that has Snap support. Open your terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and type the following command to install the Atom Text Editor package.

$ sudo snap install atom --classic

That’s It. Now you can open the Atom application with the help of Activities search bar.

Note: Whenever a new version is released, the Atom snap package will be automatically updated in the background.

If you are not comfortable with the command line, open Ubuntu Software, search for “Atom” and install the application.

Method 2: Installing Atom using .deb Binaries (Graphically Way)

One who is not very comfortable with the command line can install Atom text editor using the graphical method.

Note: .deb installation file is available for the 64-bit Ubuntu systems only.

So let’s get started.

Step #1

Visit the official website of Atom to download the .deb binary installation file.

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Step #2

Once you have downloaded the .deb file, simply double click on it and it will open with the software center.

You just have to click install button and follow the steps to install the same.

Its that simple!!.

Method 3: Installing Atom with the help of PPA [Recommended only for 32-bit systems]

For those who are using Ubuntu 20.04, 32 Bit operating system, this method is recommended.

Note: Before installing let me make you clear that this is an unofficial PPA.

With the help of .deb file you cannot install Atom application in ubuntu 32 bit operating system because .deb file is available only for 64 bit operating system.

With the help of PPA, we can install Atom application very easily.

Open a terminal(Ctrl+Alt+T) and use the following commands.

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/atom
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install atom

That’s it. You can now happily use Atom on 32-bit systems.

If you want to remove the application for any reason, use the following command.

$ sudo apt-get remove atom
$ sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:webupd8team/atom

Method 4: Installing Atom via apt

Atom application can also be installed with the help of apt repository.

Step #1

First of all to get all of the available updates, for that Open your terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and type the following command.

$ apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

Step #2

Then run the following command to import the repository GPG key and enable the apt repository.

$ wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add -
$ sudo add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64] any main"

Step #3

Once the apt repository enabled, you can install the Atom Text Editor by running the command given below.

$ sudo apt install atom

Starting Atom Text Editor

In the Activities search bar type “Atom” and click on the icon to launch the application.

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I hope that now you have a good understanding of How to Install Atom Text Editor on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa.

If anyone does have any questions about what we covered in this guide then feel free to ask in the comment section below and I will do my best to answer those.

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