20 Best Free HTML Editors for Linux and UNIX

Good Editors That Cost Nothing

Free HTML editors are considered by many to be the best kind. They offer flexibility and power without an outlay of cash. But be aware, if you’re looking for more features and flexibility, there are many reasonably priced HTML editors available. Find the best HTML editor for you.

This is a list of the 20 best free web editors for Linux and UNIX, in order best to worst.

List updated: November 5, 2010

01
of 20
Komodo Edit
Komodo Edit. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Komodo Edit is hands down the best free XML editor available. It includes a lot of great features for HTML and CSS development. Plus, if that isn't enough, you can get extensions for it to add on languages or other helpful features (like special characters). It's not the best HTML editor, but it's great for for the price, especially if you build in XML. I use Komodo Edit every day for my work in XML and I use it a lot for basic HTML editing as well. This is one editor I'd be lost without.

There are two versions of Komodo: Komodo Edit and Komodo IDE.

Version: 6.0.0
Score: 215 / 69% More »

Aptana Studio
Aptana Studio. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Aptana Studio is an interesting take on web page development. Instead of focusing on the HTML, Aptana focuses on the JavaScript and other elements that allow you to create Rich Internet Applications. One of the things I really like is the outline view that makes it really easy to visualize the DOM. This makes for easier CSS and JavaScript development. If you are a developer creating web applications, Aptana Studio is a good choice.

Version: 2.0.5
Score: 183 / 59% More »

03
of 20

NetBeans

NetBeans
NetBeans. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

NetBeans IDE is a Java IDE that can help you build robust web applications. Like most IDEs it has a steep learning curve because they don’t often work in the same way that web editors do. But once you get used to it you’ll be hooked. One nice feature is the version control included in the IDE which is really useful for people working in large development environments. If you write Java and web pages this is a great tool.

Version: 6.9
Score: 179 / 58%

04
of 20

Screem

Screem
Screem. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Screem is a versatile text web page editor and XML editor. It recognizes the Doctype you're using and validates and completes tags based on that. It also includes wizards and help that you don't always see on Unix software. I especially like how it handles the doctype as you can use it to edit more than just HTML - any language that can be defined by a doctype can be edited in Screem.

Version: 0.16.1
Score: 170 / 55%

05
of 20

Bluefish

Bluefish
Bluefish. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Bluefish is a full featured web editor for Linux. And the 2.0 release adds a lot of great new features. There are also native executables for Windows and Macintosh. There is code-sensitive spell check, auto complete of many different languages (HTML, PHP, CSS, etc.), snippets, project management, and auto-save. It is primarily a code editor, not specifically a web editor. This means that it has a lot of flexibility for web developers writing in more than just HTML, but if you’re a designer by nature you might not like it as much.

Version: 2.0.2
Score: 166 / 54%

06
of 20

Eclipse

Eclipse
Eclipse. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Eclipse is a complex development environment that is perfect for people who do a lot of coding on various different platforms and with different languages. It is structured as plug-ins so if you need to edit something, you just find the appropriate plug-in and go. If you are creating complex web applications, Eclipse has a lot of features to help make your application easier to build. There are Java, JavaScript, and PHP plugins, as well as a plugin for mobile developers.

Version: 3.6.1
Score: 157 / 51%

07
of 20
SeaMonkey
SeaMonkey. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

SeaMonkey is the Mozilla project all-in-one Internet application suite. It includes a web browser, email and newsgroup client, IRC chat client, and composer — the web page editor. One of the nice things about using SeaMonkey is that you have the browser built-in already so testing is a breeze. Plus it's a free WYSIWYG editor with an embedded FTP to publish your web pages.

Version: 2.0.8
Score: 139 / 45% More »

08
of 20

Amaya

Amaya
Amaya. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Amaya is the W3C web editor. It also acts as a web browser. It validates the HTML as you build your page, and since you can see the tree structure of your web documents, it can be very useful for learning to understand the DOM and how your documents look in the document tree. It has a lot of features that most web designers won’t ever use, but if you’re worried about standards and you want to be 100% sure that your pages work with the W3C standards, this is a great editor to use.

Version: 11.3.1
Score: 135 / 44%

09
of 20
KompoZer
KompoZer. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

KompoZer is a good WYSIWYG editor. It is based on the popular Nvu editor — only it is called an “unofficial bug-fix release.” KompoZer was conceived by some people who really liked Nvu, but were fed up with the slow release schedules and poor support. So they took it over and released a less buggy version of the software. Ironically, there hasn't been a new release of KompoZer since 2007.

Version: 0.7.10
Score: 127 / 41% More »

10
of 20

Nvu

Nvu
Nvu. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Nvu is a good WYSIWYG editor. I prefer text editors to WYSIWYG editors, but if you don’t, then Nvu is a good choice, especially considering that it’s free. I love that it has a site manager to allow you to review the sites that you’re building. It's surprising that this software is free. Feature highlights: XML support, advanced CSS support, full site management, built-in validator, and international support as well as WYSIWYG and color coded XHTML editing.

Version: 1
Score: 125 / 40%

11
of 20

Notepad++

Notepad++
Notepad++. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Notepad++ is a Notepad replacement editor that adds a lot of features to your standard text editor. Like most text editors, this is not specifically a web editor, but can be used to edit and maintain HTML. With the XML plugin, it can check for XML errors quickly, including XHTML. This is an editor popular with About.com Guides.

Version: 5.8.2
Score: 121 / 39%

12
of 20

Emacs

Emacs
Emacs. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Like vi, Emacs is found on most Linux systems which makes it easy for you to edit a page even if you don't have your standard software. Emacs is a lot more complicated than vi and so offers more features, but I find it harder to use. Feature highlights: XML support, scripting support, advanced CSS support, and a built-in validator, as well as color coded HTML editing.

Version: 23.2
Score: 120.5 / 39%

13
of 20

Arachnophilia

Arachnophilia
Arachnophilia. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Arachnophilia is a text HTML editor with a lot of functionality. The color coding makes it easy to use. It has a Windows native version and a JAR file for Macintosh and Linux users. With the 5.3 release (2008), it added XHTML functionality which makes it a fine free tool for web developers.

Version: 5.4
Score: 120 / 39%

14
of 20
Serna Free
Serna Free. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Serna Free is an open source version of the Syntext Enterprise XML Document Editor. It is a WYSIWYG XML editor that makes it easy to review your XML documents. This is not an HTML editor. You can use it to edit XHTML documents, but you will not have many features that are standard in most HTML editors. But if you do a lot of XML editing, this tool might be useful.

Version: 4.2
Score: 113 / 36% More »

15
of 20

Geany

Geany
Geany. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Geany is a text editor for developers. It should run on any platform that can support the GTK libraries. It is meant to be an IDE that is small and fast loading. So you can develop all your projects in one editor. It supports HTML, XML, PHP, and many other web and programming languages.

Version: 0.19.1
Score: 111 / 36%

16
of 20

jEdit

jEdit
jEdit. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

jEdit is a text editor written in Java. It is primarily a text editor, but includes things like support for unicode, color coding, and allows for macros to add-in features. Feature highlights: XML support, scripting support, advanced CSS support, and international support as well as color coded text XHTML editing.

Version: 4.3.2
Score: 108.5 / 35%

17
of 20

EditiX Lite

EditiX Lite
EditiX Lite. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

EditiX Lite is a free version of EditiX for non-commercial use. If you need to manipulate XML or XHTML, this is a fine product. You can use it to write valid XHTML documents, but it's major strength is in the XML and XSLT functionality. Remember that this product is free only for non-commercial use.

Version: 2010
Score: 107 / 35%

18
of 20

Vim

Vim
Vim. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Vim is an extended version of vii. It has all the benefits of vi plus some improvements. Vim is not as readily available on Linux systems as vi is, but when it’s available it can really help streamline your web editing. Vim is not specifically a web editor, but as a text editor it's long been one of my favorites. There are also lots of scripts created by the community to help improve Vim. One that I saw recently that made me laugh was a Vim Twitter client!

Version: 7.3
Score: 102 / 33%

19
of 20

Quanta Plus

Quanta Plus
Quanta Plus. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Quanta is a web development environment based off of KDE. So it offers all the support and functionality of KDE within it, including site management and FTP capabilities. Quanta can be used to edit XML, HTML, and PHP as well as other text based web documents.

Version: 3.5.9
Score: 100.5 / 32%

20
of 20

gEdit

gEdit
gEdit. Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Gedit is a GNOME text editor for Linux and UNIX with binaries for Windows and Macintosh. It offers good functionality for a text editor, but not all of the features you might want for a fully robust web page editor. This editor was recommended to me by About.com Web Design/HTML site readers.

Version: 2.30.2
Score: 97.5 / 31%

What is your favorite HTML editor? Write a review!

Do you have a Web editor that you absolutely love or positively hate? Write a review of your HTML editor and let others know which editor you think is the best.