NANO(1)                                                                NANO(1)


       nano - Nano’s ANOther editor, an enhanced free Pico clone


       nano [+LINE] [options] [file]


       This manual page documents briefly the nano command.

       nano  is  a small, free and friendly editor which aims to replace Pico,
       the default editor included in the non-free Pine package.  Rather  than
       just  copying  Pico’s  look and feel, nano also implements some missing
       (or disabled by default) features in Pico, such as "search and replace"
       and "go to line number".


       +LINE  Places cursor at LINE on startup.

       -A (--smarthome)
              Make the Home key smarter.  When Home is pressed anywhere but at
              the very beginning of non-whitespace characters on a  line,  the
              cursor  will  jump  to  that beginning (either forwards or back-
              wards).  If the cursor is already at that position, it will jump
              to the true beginning of the line.

       -B (--backup)
              When  saving  a  file, back up the previous version of it to the
              current filename suffixed with a ~.

       -E dir (--backupdir=dir)
              Set the directory where nano puts the backup files if file back-
              ups are enabled.

       -F (--multibuffer)
              Enable multiple file buffers, if available.

       -H (--historylog)
              Log search and replace strings to ~/.nano_history so they may be
              stored for later editing, if nanorc support is configured.

       -I (--ignorercfiles)
              Don’t look at SYSCONFDIR/nanorc or ~/.nanorc, if nanorc  support
              is available.

       -N (--noconvert)
              Disable automatic conversion of files from DOS/Mac format.

       -O (--morespace)
              Use the blank line below the titlebar as extra editing space.

       -Q str (--quotestr=str)
              Set   the   quoting  string  for  justifying.   The  default  is
              "^([ \t]*[|>:}#])+" if regular expression support is  available,
              or "> " otherwise.

       -R (--regexp)
              Enable  regular  expression matching for search strings, as well
              as \n subexpression replacement for replace strings,  if  avail-

       -S (--smooth)
              Enable smooth scrolling.  Text will scroll line-by-line, instead
              of the usual chunk-by-chunk behavior.

       -T cols (--tabsize=cols)
              Set the size (width) of a tab to cols columns.

       -V (--version)
              Show the current version number and author.

       -Y str (--syntax=str)
              Specify a specific syntax highlighting from the nanorc  to  use,
              if available.

       -Z (--restricted)
              Restricted  mode:  Don’t read or write to any file not specified
              on the command line, read any nanorc files, allow suspending, or
              allow  a  file to be appended to, prepended to, or saved under a
              different name if it already has one.  Also accessible by invok-
              ing nano with any name beginning with ’r’ (e.g. "rnano").

       -c (--const)
              Constantly show the cursor position.

       -d (--rebinddelete)
              Interpret  the Delete key differently so that both Backspace and
              Delete work properly.  You should only need to use  this  option
              if Backspace acts like Delete on your system.

       -h (--help)
              Display a summary of command line options.

       -i (--autoindent)
              Indent  new  lines  to  the previous line’s indentation.  Useful
              when editing source code.

       -k (--cut)
              Enable cut from cursor to end of line with ^K.

       -l (--nofollow)
              If the file being edited is a symbolic link,  replace  the  link
              with  a  new  file, do not follow it.  Good for editing files in
              /tmp, perhaps?

       -m (--mouse)
              Enable mouse support (if available for your system).

       -o dir (--operatingdir=dir)
              Set operating directory.  Makes nano set up something similar to
              a chroot.

       -p (--preserve)
              Preserve  the XON and XOFF sequences (^Q and ^S) so they will be
              caught by the terminal.

       -r cols (--fill=cols)
              Wrap lines at column cols.  By default, this is the width of the
              screen,  less  eight.   If this value is negative, wrapping will
              occur at cols columns from the right of the screen, allowing the
              wrap point to vary along with the screen width if resized.

       -s prog (--speller=prog)
              Enable alternative spell checker command.

       -t (--tempfile)
              Always  save  changed buffer without prompting.  Same as Pico -t

       -v (--view)
              View file (read only) mode.

       -w (--nowrap)
              Disable wrapping of long lines.

       -x (--nohelp)
              Disable help screen at bottom of editor.

       -z (--suspend)
              Enable suspend ability.

       -a, -b, -e, -f, -g, -j
              Ignored, for compatibility with Pico.


       nano  will  read  initialization  files   in   the   following   order:
       SYSCONFDIR/nanorc,  then ~/.nanorc.  Please see nanorc(5) and the exam-
       ple file nanorc.sample which should be provided with nano.


       If no alternative spell checker command is  specified  on  the  command
       line  or in one of the nanorc files, nano will check the SPELL environ-
       ment variable for one.

       nano will try to dump the buffer into an emergency file in some  cases.
       Mainly,  this  will happen if nano receives a SIGHUP or SIGTERM or runs
       out of memory, when  it  will  write  the  buffer  into  a  file  named  if  the  buffer  didn’t  have  a name already, or will add a
       ".save" suffix to the current filename.  If an emergency file with that
       name  already  exists  in  the  current directory, ".save" and a number
       (e.g. ".save.1") will be suffixed to the current filename in  order  to
       make  it  unique.   In  multibuffer  mode, nano will write all the open
       buffers to the respective emergency files.


       Please send any comments or bug reports to

       The nano mailing list is available from

       To subscribe, email to  with  a  subject  of



       /usr/share/doc/nano/ (or equivalent on your system)


       Chris  Allegretta  <>, et al (see AUTHORS and THANKS for
       details). This manual page was  originally  written  by  Jordi  Mallach
       <>,  for  the Debian GNU system (but may be used by

January 17, 2005                 version 1.3.5                         NANO(1)

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