Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-features (365 mails)

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[openFATE 308876] Include GNU nano in default install, livecd and install medias
  • From: fate_noreply@xxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2010 13:23:38 +0100 (CET)
  • Message-id: <feature-308876-12@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Feature changed by: Ivo Anjo (knuckles)
Feature #308876, revision 12
Title: Include GNU nano in default install, livecd and install medias

openSUSE-11.3: Unconfirmed
Requester: Desirable

Requested by: Ivo Anjo (knuckles)

GNU nano is a very small and user-friendly text editor. There are lots
of tips and resources and how-tos on the internet for linux that use
nano when simple command-line text editing is needed.
The lack of nano on opensuse means that most users can get stuck if
they need to use a rescue system or live system to edit some files, and
most suggestions point to using vi, which although very powerful and a
better editor, is not user-friendly at all. (Ever tried to rescue a
system over the phone, and had to step someone through editing a file
using vi?)
The nano rpm for opensuse 11.2 comes in at 350K, so even installed nano
has a very small footprint.
Ubuntu, Gentoo and many other distros include nano in their rescue,
live, and default installs, and even as their default editor when using
the shell.
I know a possible alternative is joe, but joe is very unknown, and most
people never know what it is or that it is there. (Small popularity
experiment using google trends here


#1: Jan Engelhardt (jengelh) (2010-01-25 12:36:51)
I suppose we do not install emacs, joe, or mcedit for the same reason.

#2: Ivo Anjo (knuckles) (2010-01-26 00:09:08) (reply to #1)
Until your post, I had never heard of mcedit, and I've been a full-time
openSUSE user since 9.1 .
And emacs isn't really comparable to nano in terms of footprint on disk
and user-friendliness -- I'm not asking for an editor because it's a my
favourite editor and I really like it (I tend to use vi for shell
editing these days). I'm asking because it is a very simple editor, one
that does the job nicely when any kind of user needs to do a quick edit
of a text file from a shell, and that is featured on many guides and
howto's for linux on the internet (and to be honest should replace the
usage of vi for that purpose).
Updated link (
2C+joe+linux%2C+mcedit&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=1) to google trends
comparing nano, joe and mcedit.

#3: Jan Engelhardt (jengelh) (2010-01-27 00:38:59) (reply to #2)

#4: Ivo Anjo (knuckles) (2010-01-27 22:29:00) (reply to #3)
That link is an interesting counter-point, but it also shows that joe's
popularity has indeed been decreasing and is currently below nano's.

#5: Jan Engelhardt (jengelh) (2010-01-31 20:17:31) (reply to #4)
I do not really take these graphs as authoritative. They look too much
like having only two states - or a Google database failure. Or that
nano is buggier. Whichever interpretation to choose. At the end of the
day, we are no wiser.

#6: Leo Eraly (leraly) (2010-02-09 14:49:06)
If nano is really that important for you you could easily build your
own 'custom' live cd with suse studio and include all your favorite
tools on it.
At least that is how I do it...

#7: Dimitar Pashov (pashov_d) (2010-02-24 15:12:35)
Nano is a simple, small and fairly popular editor. Even redhat has it
in the default. It will be good to have it in openSUSE too. It is
easier to walk people through ediditing config files with nano from a
root terminal than explaining them about the nuisances of vi/vim.
Nano is a no-nonsence console editor and deserves recognition.

#8: Markus K (kamikazow) (2010-03-14 03:04:47)
And vim should be removed from the default install / Live CD

+ #9: Ivo Anjo (knuckles) (2010-03-14 13:23:27) (reply to #8)
+ I wouldn't go that far, especially because it has been there for a long
+ time, and many people expect it to be there.

openSUSE Feature:

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