Good CSS Editors for Linux (Ubuntu)

There are many good CSS editors for Linux. Basically, all you really need is a text editor that will perform syntax highlighting on CSS files. Some of the programs below are just simple text editors, while some offer additional features.

Cream / Vim for Editing CSS

Cream is a version of Vim that makes Vim easy to use. I highly recommend Cream if you are looking for a simple text editor, or want to learn Vim the easy way. Here is a screenshot of editing some CSS with Cream:

Using Cream/vim to edit a CSS file

To install Cream on Ubuntu (or any Debian-based Linux), use:

sudo apt-get install cream

[Note: you may need to have the Universe repository enabled to install some of these programs on Ubuntu.]

Here is a screenshot of using Vim in GNOME Terminal to edit some CSS:

Using Vim to edit CSS

Vim comes pre-installed on most (all?) Linux distros. To install the graphical version of Vim (Gvim) on Ubuntu, type sudo apt-get install vim-gnome in a terminal.

If you are using Vim in a terminal and want to switch to Gvim just go into normal mode (i.e., push ESC, Ctrl-c, or Ctrl-[) and type :gui. Gvim will launch and the terminal will pass the file to Gvim.

Quanta as a Linux CSS Editor

Quanta Plus is a great HTML and CSS editor. I usually use it for editing HTML, CSS, and PHP files directly on remote servers over FTP. Quanta has many features. A useful feature of using Quanta for CSS is the color dialog as shown below:

Using Quanta to edit CSS

Here is a larger screenshot of Quanta running on Ubuntu, with CSS documentation browser on the right sidebar, and document structure browser on the left sidebar:

Quanta Plus, a full-featured CSS editor for Linux

To install Quanta on Ubuntu, the following command should work:

sudo apt-get install quanta


cssed is a GTK-based CSS editor. It has many CSS-specific features, including color picker, and CSS helpers. Definitely worth experimenting with.

cssed is a great css editor for Linux

To install cssed on Ubuntu use:

sudo apt-get install cssed

gedit as a CSS Editor

gedit — the default text editor for GNOME — works well as a simple CSS editor. It lacks a color picker tool though.

Using gedit for editing CSS

SciTE as a CSS Editor

SciTE is a great text editor that runs on both Linux and Windows. I don't know of any special features that SciTE has for editing CSS, but I often use it to print CSS files, especially when using Windows. SciTE can also export your CSS files to PDF format while preserving the syntax highlighting. SciTE is a nice editor for the toolkit.

SciTE editing a CSS file

jEdit as a CSS Editor

jEdit is a great editor that is written in Java, but I've stopped using it because it runs a little too slow on my computer. You can install jEdit on Ubuntu, but if you are having problems, make sure that you have Sun's version of Java installed on your computer. The GNU version might not work as well.

jEdit on Ubuntu

Bluefish as a CSS Editor

Bluefish is another text editor that you can use to edit CSS files on Linux. One great feature of Bluefish is the CSS reference that is included. Here is a screenshot of Bluefish on Ubuntu, editing some CSS:

Bluefish on Ubuntu, editing CSS

To install Bluefish on Ubuntu, just use:

sudo apt-get install bluefish


Which CSS editor should you pick? I recommend trying several. If you just want a simple text editor that highlights your CSS then try Cream or SciTE. If you want more features, try Quanta (KDE), Bluefish (GNOME), or cssed (GNOME). I am using GNOME, but I often use Quanta, because it is great for editing files over FTP (Konqueror is my main FTP program). I like emacs' features for editing HTML, but not so much for CSS because Emacs CSS mode adds an extra space where I don't want it. I'm sure there is a workaround, but I haven't had time to fix it yet.

RELATED POST: Using Linux for Web Design and Development


Very good article

Thanks for your wonderful article. It was really helpful and informational. Thanks again.

Thank you

I would like to thank you for making this page about .css file editors.

FYI - I download Quanta to try it out first :)

great list

great list! just the one i need. will try quanta first and see how it goes. fantastic post!

Effects in CSS

No doubt that article is very interesting & important to get something and I also got some interesting knowledge but still I have a query about CSS effects. can we put some effects in the content by coding like article fade when it enter and fade then it outs, scrolling etc.


Webmaster Tips's picture


The fade effects you're talking about sound like something you could do with JavaScript. Take a look at jquery:

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