Several text editors are available on Rivanna. Most provide features such as syntax coloring.

Vim (Vi iMproved)

Vim is an updated version of the early Unix text editor vi (for “visual”). It provides many extensions over plain vi. On Rivanna, the vi command is equivalent to the vim command. Vim is primarily utilized through keyboard
commands. Once learned, it is extremely efficient to use. Many tutorials can be found online such as https://vim.fandom.com/wiki/Tutorial.


Emacs is another well-known Unix text editor.
Like vim, it is largely operated through the keyboard. It can run a compiler
and debugger so has some of the capabilities of an IDE. An introduction can be found here.


Nano is a simplified version of Emacs. It is
easy to use and mostly self-explanatory. An introduction is available at its


Pluma is a simple WYSIWYG text editor provided by the MATE desktop. It is a
variant of gedit and we provide an alias to it, so either name should work.
It is very similar to Notepad++ on Windows and can do syntax coloring.


An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) provides more features than a
text editor. They are nearly all graphical in nature and so must be used
through a graphics-capable frontend. On Rivanna we recommend using them
via FastX.


Geany is a lightweight IDE. In some respects it is
intermediate between a text editor such as pluma and a full-featured IDE. It is capable of managing building C/C++/Fortran programs, including through make. It provides syntax coloring for many languages other than the three compiled languages. It is accessed through a module:

module load geany
ModuleVersion Module Load Command
geany1.38 module load geany/1.38

Code Server

See here

ModuleVersion Module Load Command
code-server4.16.1 module load apptainer/1.2.2 code-server/4.16.1
code-server4.16.1 module load code-server/4.16.1