Editing System Files

Question: Can you give me the names of the editors with the help of which we can view/edit the linux system files.
Dawn Triglio

Answer: Linux (unlike some other operating systems) stores all of the information in its system files in plain text. This means that you can use any text editor to view and edit the system files just the same as you can with other files (except that you may need to be logged on as root or have super user access in order to be able to access them).

The most popular command line text editor on Linux is vi and the most popular gui based text editor is emacs so you almost certainly have copies of these two editors on your system. You may also have one or more other text editors available to you (there are a large number of them).

The most important thing is that you use a text editor that you are familiar with so as to minimizes the risk that you will accidentally enter the wrong command and render your system unusable. If you are not yet familiar with any Linux text editors then I suggest that you use emacs (it's much easier to use than vi) and practice creating and updating dummy text files before you try using it to update your system files.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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