How to Install SciTE on Ubuntu 22.04 | 20.04

Are you an Ubuntu user looking for a powerful, lightweight, and feature-rich text editor that stands out? Look no further than SciTE (short for Scintilla Text Editor), a versatile and customizable text editor that could quickly become your go-to tool for all your coding needs. In this introduction, we’ll explore some of the key features that make SciTE a compelling choice for Ubuntu users, and then we’ll show you how to install it on your system.

What sets SciTE apart from other text editors?

  • Customizability: SciTE offers an extensive range of configuration options, allowing you to tailor the editor to your preferences, whether customizing key bindings, changing fonts and colors, or tweaking the user interface.
  • Syntax Highlighting: With support for numerous programming languages, SciTE provides syntax highlighting that enhances readability and makes it easier to spot errors in your code.
  • Code Folding: Keep your code clean and organized with SciTE’s code folding feature, which allows you to collapse and expand sections of your code based on indentation or code structure.
  • Auto-completion: SciTE’s intelligent auto-completion feature saves you time and effort by suggesting relevant code snippets as you type.
  • Find and Replace: Quickly locate and replace text within your code with SciTE’s powerful search and replace functionality, which includes support for regular expressions.

Why should Ubuntu users choose SciTE over other popular alternatives?

  • Lightweight and Fast: SciTE is designed to be lean and efficient, making it an excellent choice for users with limited system resources or those who prefer a minimalist approach to their text editor.
  • Cross-platform Compatibility: SciTE is available for various platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux, making it an ideal choice for users who work across different operating systems.
  • Regular Updates: The SciTE development team actively maintains and improves the software, ensuring it stays up-to-date with the latest programming language features and functionality.
  • Open-source: As an open-source project, SciTE benefits from a vibrant community of contributors who work together to enhance and expand the software’s capabilities.

Intrigued by the potential of SciTE as your go-to text editor? The guide below will demonstrate how to install SciTE on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish or Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa using Ubuntu’s APT repository or Flatpak package manager with the Flathub repository.

Section 1: Install SciTE with APT

Step 1: Update Ubuntu

To ensure a smooth installation process and avoid potential conflicts, it’s essential to keep your Ubuntu system updated. In this step, we will update the package lists and upgrade the existing packages on your system. Open your terminal and execute the following command:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

This command performs two tasks:

  • sudo apt update: Updates the package lists for available upgrades.
  • sudo apt upgrade: Upgrades the installed packages to their latest versions.

By running these commands together, you ensure that your system is up-to-date before proceeding with the installation.

Step 2: Install SciTE

Now that your system is updated, we will proceed with the installation of SciTE. In this step, we will use the APT package manager to install SciTE from the Ubuntu repository. This method is recommended for most users as it is the easiest and most straightforward way to install the software.

To install SciTE, enter the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt install scite

This command installs the SciTE text editor by fetching the necessary packages from the Ubuntu repository and setting them up on your system.

Section 2: Install SciTE with Flatpak and Flathub

In this section, we will explore an alternative method to install SciTE using the Flatpak package manager. Flatpak is a universal package manager for Linux distributions, similar to Snap, that allows you to install applications in an isolated environment. This offers benefits such as improved security and easier updates, making it a popular choice for installing software like SciTE.

Step 1: Enable Flathub

Before installing SciTE through Flatpak, you must enable the Flathub repository, a primary source for Flatpak applications. To enable Flathub, execute the following command in your terminal:

sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub

This command adds the Flathub repository to your Flatpak configuration, ensuring you have access to a wide variety of applications, including SciTE.

Step 2: Install SciTE

With Flathub enabled, you can now proceed to install SciTE using the flatpak install command. Run the following command in your terminal:

flatpak install flathub org.scintilla.SciTE -y

This command installs the SciTE text editor from the Flathub repository, providing you with the latest version of the application.

Note: If your system does not have Flatpak installed, please refer to our own guide on How to Install Flatpak on Ubuntu for step-by-step instructions on installing the most recent supported version of Flatpak.

Section 3: Launch SciTE

With the SciTE text editor now installed on your system, you can launch the application using one of the following methods:

Step 1: Launch SciTE from the Terminal

To launch SciTE from the terminal, enter the following command:


If you installed SciTE using Flatpak, you would need to use a different command. Enter the following command in your terminal:

flatpak run org.scintilla.SciTE

Step 2: Launch SciTE from the Desktop

While launching SciTE from the terminal might be useful in some cases, it may not be the most practical method for everyday use. Instead, you can launch the application directly from your desktop environment. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Activities menu in your desktop environment.
  2. Click on Show Applications.
  3. Look for the SciTE Text Editor icon and click on it to launch the application.

Example of SciTE Text Editor application icon with Ubuntu Linux:

Section 4: Getting Started with SciTE on Ubuntu Linux

Now that you have SciTE installed and running on your Ubuntu system, let’s explore some tips to help you get started and make the most out of your new text editor. In this section, we will cover general tips, customization options, and other helpful advice tailored specifically for Ubuntu Linux users.

Tip 1: Customize SciTE’s Appearance

SciTE allows you to customize its appearance to match your preferences. To access these customization options, follow these steps:

  1. In the SciTE text editor, click on Options in the menu bar.
  2. Select Open Global Options File.

This will open the global configuration file, You can now modify various settings related to appearance, such as font size, colors, and themes. Some common customizations include:

  • Changing the font size: Look for the line font.base, and change the size value to your desired font size.
  • Changing the color scheme: Find the line colour.scheme, and change its value to one of the available color schemes.
  • Enabling line numbers: Uncomment the line line.margin.visible (remove the # at the beginning) to display line numbers.

Don’t forget to save the file and restart SciTE to apply your changes.

Tip 2: Make Use of Keyboard Shortcuts

SciTE offers various keyboard shortcuts to improve your efficiency while working with the text editor. Some of the most useful shortcuts include:

  • Ctrl+S: Save the current file.
  • Ctrl+O: Open a new file.
  • Ctrl+Z: Undo the last action.
  • Ctrl+Y: Redo the last undone action.
  • Ctrl+F: Open the Find dialog.
  • Ctrl+H: Open the Replace dialog.

These shortcuts can help you save time and increase your productivity when working with SciTE.

Tip 3: Customize the Toolbar

SciTE provides a customizable toolbar that allows you to add, remove, or rearrange buttons for frequently used actions. To customize the toolbar, open the global configuration file as described in Tip 1 and look for the toolbar.visible line. Uncomment this line to enable the toolbar. You can then modify the user.toolbar line to add or remove buttons, separated by spaces. Some available buttons include:

  • | (pipe symbol): Creates a separator between buttons.
  • New: Creates a new file.
  • Open: Opens an existing file.
  • Save: Saves the current file.
  • SaveAs: Saves the current file with a new name.

Once you have made your desired changes, save the file and restart SciTE for the changes to take effect.

Tip 4: Configure File Associations

You can configure SciTE to be the default text editor for specific file types on your Ubuntu system. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Ubuntu desktop.
  2. Navigate to Default Applications.
  3. Locate the Text Editor setting and select SciTE from the dropdown menu.

Now, SciTE will open automatically when you double-click on files with the associated file types.

Example of SciTE first-time launched with Ubuntu Linux default UI:

Section 5: Additional SciTE Commands with Ubuntu Linux

In this section, we will cover various additional commands that you may find useful when working with SciTE on Ubuntu Linux. Specifically, we will discuss how to update SciTE, as well as how to remove (uninstall) the application if you no longer require it. The appropriate commands will depend on the installation method you used earlier.

Updating SciTE on Ubuntu Linux

To ensure that you have the latest features and security updates, it’s essential to keep SciTE up to date. Depending on the installation method you used (APT or Flatpak), the commands to update SciTE will differ.

APT Update Method:

If you installed SciTE using the APT package manager, execute the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt upgrade && sudo apt upgrade

This command will update your system’s package list and then upgrade any outdated packages, including SciTE.

Flatpak Update Method:

If you installed SciTE using Flatpak, use the following command to update the application:

flatpak update

This command will update all installed Flatpak applications, including SciTE.

It’s a good idea to use the terminal update command even if you have auto-updates in your desktop GUI to ensure everything updates correctly.

Removing (Uninstalling) SciTE on Ubuntu Linux

If you no longer need SciTE and wish to remove it from your system, use one of the following commands based on your original installation method:

APT Remove Method:

To remove SciTE installed via the APT package manager, execute the following command:

sudo apt remove scite

This command will uninstall SciTE and remove any associated configuration files and data.

Flatpak Remove Method:

If you installed SciTE using Flatpak, use the following command to uninstall the application and delete its data:

flatpak uninstall --delete-data org.scintilla.SciTE -y

Closing Thoughts on Installing SciTE with Ubuntu Linux

In summary, we have explored different methods for installing the SciTE text editor on Ubuntu Linux, including using the APT package manager and Flatpak. We’ve also discussed how to launch the application, provided tips for getting started, and covered additional commands for updating and removing SciTE. By following the instructions provided in this guide, you should now be well-equipped to use SciTE on your Ubuntu Linux system effectively.

Additional Resources and Links

To further enhance your knowledge and skills with SciTE, here are some valuable resources:

  • SciTE Official Website: This is the official website of the SciTE text editor. Here you can find the latest updates, features, and general information about the application.
  • SciTE Documentation: Visit this link to access the official SciTE documentation, which offers comprehensive information on using and customizing the text editor.
  • SciTE on GitHub: Explore the SciTE source code and keep up to date with the latest developments by visiting the project’s GitHub repository.

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