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Markdown editors for Linux

Markdown is my preferred way of writing content for the web. I even use it when jotting down notes for myself. It’s a simple, minimalistic method of writing formatted text that works well and doesn’t lock you into a proprietary system. That sits very well with the Linux philosophy.

And it’s catching on. Markdown is a lightweight markup language that can easily be turned into HTML, so it’s very useful for online content. Since John Gruber created it in 2004, it has become increasingly used in forums, blog posts and comments. So it’s worth learning. Gruber explains the syntax on his Daring Fireball blog, and you can grab our free printable Markdown cheat sheet.

There are many Markdown editors available for Mac and Windows. What’s available for Linux? We’ll list your main options in this article, and make some recommendations at the end.

Of course, since Markdown uses plain text, any text editor will do. But Markdown editors provide additional useful features, which may include:

  • syntax highlighting and a preview pane so you can see what you’re doing
  • keyboard shortcuts for speedier formatting
  • export/convert Markdown into HTML, PDF, ODT and more
  • a distraction-free writing environment with full-screen editing, dark mode and a minimal interface
  • word count, document statistics and spell check
  • advanced formatting, including tables and mathematical expressions.

So let’s get into it. Here are 17 of the best Markdown options for Linux.

Looking for more on Markdown? Check out these great links:

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1. Use Your Favorite Text Editor or IDE

You can use your favorite Linux text editor to write Markdown. You might find that it has native support for Markdown, or that a Markdown extension or plugin is available. Here are some examples:

2. Abricotine

  • License: GPL
  • Other platforms: Windows, Mac

Abricotine is an open-source markdown editor built for desktop.

Abricotine is an advanced Electron-based Markdown editor that renders Markdown in the text editor, along with syntax highlighting. The app supports tables and the ability to insert images and embedded YouTube videos into your document.

Additional features include math written with LateX, checklists, anchors, and spell checking. A table of contents of your document can be displayed in a side panel.

You can download a tarball or packages for Ubuntu from GitHub.

Abricotine Markdown editor screenshot

3. Remarkable

  • License: MIT license
  • Other platforms: Windows

The best Markdown editor for Linux and Windows.

Remarkable is an easy-to-use Markdown editor that supports syntax highlighting and a synchronized preview pane. The customizable environment provides useful shortcuts to speed your formatting, as well as support for advanced MathJax formatting. You can export your documents to HTML or PDF.

Packages for Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, SUSE and Arch systems are available from GitHub.

Remarkable Markdown editor screenshot

4. ReText

  • License: GPL
  • Other platforms: n/a

Simple but powerful editor for Markdown and reStructuredText.

ReText is a simple yet powerful tab-based Markdown editor written in Python. It includes syntax highlighting and a synchronized preview pane, and supports MathJax and Python-Markdown extensions. The app has a table editing mode, and can export to PDF, ODT, HTML and other formats.

ReText is included in many distros’ software repositories (including Debian and Ubuntu), or download it and use the setup.py install command. (Python 3 must be installed.)

Retext Markdown editor screenshot

5. Ghostwriter

  • License: GPLv3
  • Other platforms: Windows

A distraction-free Markdown editor for Windows and Linux. Stylish. Open source. Free.

Ghostwriter has a range of distraction-free features, including full screen mode, a clean interface, and a dark theme. The app also has a Focus Mode, which highlights the text around the cursor and fades the rest, and Hemingway Mode, which disables the backspace and delete keys, forcing you to write rather than edit.

Other features include built-in themes, live preview, and drag-and-drop images. There is also an Outline HUD that gives you an overview of your document, and plenty of statistics, including word count. You can export your document to HTML and a variety of other formats.

To install on Ubuntu, just type:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:wereturtle/ppa
sudo apt update
sudo apt install ghostwriter

You’ll also find links to unofficial packages for Fedora, openSUSE and Arch Linux on GitHub.

Ghostwriter Markdown editor screenshot

6. UberWriter

  • License: GPLv3
  • Other platforms: n/a

UberWriter is a writing application for Markdown.

UberWriter is a distraction-free Markdown editor inspired by iA Writer. And like that app, its interface is elegant and minimalistic. It doesn’t even include preferences. The focus is on getting work done, and Markdown is rendered inline.

The app includes a spell check and word count, and can export your document to HTML, PDF and ODT. Focus mode highlights your last sentence, and full screen mode removes the distractions of other apps. A dark mode is also available.

You can get UberWriter from the Ubuntu Software Centre for $5, or install it from a PPA by running these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:w-vollprecht/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install uberwriter

You may find packages for other distros online.

UberWriter Markdown editor screenshot

7. Uncolored

  • License: Apache License 2.0
  • Other platforms: Windows, Mac

Next generation desktop rich content editor that saves documents with themes.

Uncolored is an Electron-based Markdown editor that supports multiple tabs and keyboard shortcuts. The editor focuses on content by offering a distraction-free interface. The toolbar appears only once you select some text.

Additional features include table of contents and embedded audio and video. A 64-bit Ubuntu DEB package and tarball can be downloaded from the developer’s website.

Uncolored Markdown editor screenshot

8. CuteMarkEd

  • License: open source
  • Other platforms: Windows

A Qt-based, free and open source Markdown editor with live HTML preview, math expressions, code and Markdown syntax highlighting.

CuteMarkEd supports Markdown and code syntax highlighting in a selection of styles, and features a live preview pane. Spell checking and document statistics are available, and math formulas are supported. Content can be exported as HTML or PDF.

Additional features include the ability to create flowcharts and sequence diagrams, a snippet completer, and auto completion.

You can download a tarball from the developer’s website, and packages are available for OpenSUSE and Fedora. Here are some instructions for installing on Linux Mint.

Cutemarked Markdown editor screenshot

9. Elegant Markdown Editor (EME)

  • License: MIT License
  • Other platforms: Windows, Mac

A new elegant Markdown editor for Ubuntu Linux.

EME is a tab-based Markdown editor developed with Node.js and Electron. The editor provides a simple user interface with syntax highlighting and a preview pane.

Focus Mode allows you to focus on the paragraph you are writing, and Vim Mode offers Vim key bindings support. Math typesetting is also supported. You can export to HTML, PDF and more. DEB and tarball downloads are available from GitHub.

EME Markdown editor screenshot

10. Haroopad

  • License: GPL
  • Other platforms: Windows, Mac

The Markdown enabled Next Document Processor

Haroopad is designed for creating web-friendly documents with Markdown. Use it to create professional-looking documents for your blogposts, slides, presentations, reports and email.

The app has some advanced features, including support for LaTeX mathematical expressions, Vim key-bindings and embedding of audio and video. Themes and skins are available, and you can export your document to HTML and PDF, with more formats in the works.

Haroopad is still in beta, and the English documentation is still a little lacking. Tarballs and DEB packages are available on the developer’s website.

Haroopad Markdown editor screenshot

11. LightMd Editor

  • License: GPLv3
  • Other platforms: Windows

LightMd Markdown Editor is a free and open source feature rich yet light weight editor for Markdown. 

LightMd Editor is a tab-based QT Markdown editor that features keyboard shortcuts, syntax highlighting and themes. Some distraction-free features are provided, including focus mode, full screen mode and a dark theme. Markdown tables are supported.

Instructions for installing the package manually, or using a package for Linux Mint and Ubuntu, are found on GitHub.

LightMd Markdown editor screenshot

12. MdCharm

  • License: BSD 3-clause “New” or “Revised” License
  • Other platforms: Windows

MdCharm is a wiki editor, currently it supports Markdown (Markdown Extra) and MultiMarkdown.

MdCharm is a tab-based Markdown editor that includes syntax highlighting and a live preview pane. You can open individual files, or an entire directory in a side panel as a project. Opening Markdown files via drag and drop is also an option.

You can create styles using your own CSS, show line numbers, and highlight the current line. The app can export to HTML, PDF and ODT. A tarball and Ubuntu DEB file are available for download on the developer’s website.

mdcharm Markdown editor screenshot

13. Moeditor

  • License: GPL
  • Other platforms: Windows, Mac

Your all-purpose markdown editor.

Moeditor is an attractive Markdown editor built with Electron. It supports syntax highlighting, a live preview, custom line height and font size, and TeX math formulas.

Code blocks and math expressions are supported, and an Ubuntu DEB package is downloadable from the developer’s website.

moeditor Markdown editor screenshot

14. Typora

  • License: Proprietary, free during beta
  • Other platforms: Windows, Mac

A truly minimal Markdown editor.

Typora is highly minimalistic, and even removes the Markdown syntax as you type, replacing it with a preview of the formatting. What you see is what you get. It’s clean and makes reading easier.

Despite its simplicity, Typora is feature-rich, and supports images, lists, tables, code fences, math blocks, table of contents and more. Shortcuts do what you expect, and the themes are beautiful and fully configurable by CSS.

The Typora website gives the following instructions for installing on Ubuntu:

# optional, but recommended
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys BA300B7755AFCFAE

# add Typora's repository
sudo add-apt-repository 'deb https://typora.io ./linux/'
sudo apt-get update

# install typora
sudo apt-get install typora

Typora Markdown editor screenshot

15. Caret

  • License: Proprietary, $25
  • Other platforms: Windows, Mac

Beautiful & clever Markdown editor.

Caret is a beautiful and distraction-free Electron-based app, and hides its power under the hood. Syntax assistance is available for tables, lists, quotes, fences, links and emphasis, and there’s auto-completion for images, keywords and emoji. A file manager is available, and navigation through long documents is made simple with the popup “go to heading” feature.

For the mathematically-minded, LaTeX expressions are supported, and they’re rendered on-screen as soon as the cursor leaves them. For distraction-free writing, dark mode, focus mode and typewriter mode are all supported.

Here’s how to install the trial version on a Debian-based distro:

cd /tmp
wget -O Caret.deb $(curl -s https://api.github.com/repos/careteditor/caret/releases/latest | grep browser_download_url | grep deb | head -n 1 | cut -d '"' -f 4)
sudo dpkg -i Caret.deb

caret markdown editor screenshot

16. Mark My Words

  • License: MIT license
  • Other platforms: n/a

A minimal Markdown editor.

Mark My Words is a minimal Markdown editor with syntax highlighting and a preview pane, and just five buttons at the top. You can export files to PDF and HTML. It’s a very lightweight app.

You’ll find instructions on GitHub for installing the PPA and AUR builds of the app, or you can install it manually with these commands:

git clone https://github.com/emersion/aur-markmywords.git
cd aur-markmywords
sudo pacman -U markmywords-git-VERSION.pkg.tar.xz

Mark My Words Markdown editor screenshot

17. Mango

  • License: GPLv3
  • Other platforms: Windows, Mac

Mango is a Markdown editor designed for Linux that also supports Windows and macOS. 

Mango is a Markdown editor powered by NW.js, and features syntax highlighting and a live preview pane. It provides MathJax support for mathematical expressions, and exports to HTML and PDF. Tarballs are available for download from the developer’s website.

Mango Markdown editor screenshot

So, What Is the Best Markdown Editor for You?

That’s quite a lot of variety! Which Linux Markdown editor is best for you? That depends on your priorities, and what you’ll be using the app for.

Let’s narrow down the options for you:

  • If you already have a favorite text editor, explore what you can do to make it more Markdown friendly.
  • If you prefer software with a GPLv3 license, then Ghostwriter, Uberwriter, LightMD and Mango are your options. GPL apps include Abricotone, ReText, Haroopad and Moeditor. RMS forever!
  • If you value a distraction-free writing environment, then decide between Abricotine, Caret, Ghostwriter, LightMD, Typora, Uberwriter and Uncolored.
  • If you’re just after a typical Markdown editor that supports basic syntax and has a preview pane, have a look at CuteMarkEd, EME, Mango, Mark My Words, MdCharm, Moeditor, Remarkable and ReText.
  • If you require advanced formatting options, including maths and tables, then Abricotine, Typora, Caret and Haroopad do what you need.
  • If you don’t spend all of your time on Linux so need something that’s cross-platform, many of the apps I listed run on Windows as well. Abricotine, Uncolored, EME, Haroopad, Moeditor, Typora, Caret and Mango all run on Linux, Windows and Mac.

Your perfect app would be the one that matches all of your requirements and is available on your distro. Have some fun and try a few.

Which would I choose? I’d lean towards an attractive, minimal app with a good range of features, and a license that feels like it belongs on Linux. I’d start by trying Abricotine and Uberwriter.

What about you? What’s your favorite Markdown editor?