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NANO(1)                                                                NANO(1)

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

       nano [OPTIONS] [[+LINE,COLUMN] FILE]...

       This manual page briefly documents 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  dis-
       abled by default) features in Pico, such as "search and replace" and "go to line and column number".

              Places  cursor at line number LINE and column number COLUMN (at least one of which must be specified) on
              startup, instead of the default of line 1, column 1.

       -?     Same as -h (--help).

       -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 backwards).  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 ~.

       -C dir (--backupdir=dir)
              Set the directory where nano puts unique backup files if file backups are enabled.

       -D (--boldtext)
              Use bold text instead of reverse video text.

       -E (--tabstospaces)
              Convert typed tabs to spaces.

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

       -H (--historylog)
              Log search and replace strings to ~/.nano_history, so they can be retrieved in later sessions, if nanorc
              support is available.

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

       -K (--rebindkeypad)
              Interpret  the  numeric  keypad  keys  so that they all work properly.  You should only need to use this
              option if they don't, as mouse support won't work properly with this option enabled.

       -L (--nonewlines)
              Don't add newlines to the ends of files.

       -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 extended regular  expres-
              sion support is available, or "> " otherwise.  Note that \t stands for a Tab.

       -R (--restricted)
              Restricted  mode:  don't  read  or  write to any file not specified on the command line; read any nanorc
              files; allow suspending; allow a file to be appended to, prepended to, or saved under a  different  name
              if it already has one; or use backup files or spell checking.  Also accessible by invoking nano with any
              name beginning with 'r' (e.g. "rnano").

       -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.  The value of cols must be greater than 0.   The  default
              value is 8.

       -U (--quickblank)
              Do  quick  statusbar blanking.  Statusbar messages will disappear after 1 keystroke instead of 25.  Note
              that -c overrides this.

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

       -W (--wordbounds)
              Detect word boundaries more accurately by treating punctuation characters as part of a word.

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

       -c (--const)
              Constantly show the cursor position.  Note that this overrides -U.

       -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)
              Show a summary of command line options and exit.

       -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.

       -l (--nofollow)
              If  the  file being edited is a symbolic link, replace the link with a new file instead of following it.
              Good for editing files in /tmp, perhaps?

       -m (--mouse)
              Enable mouse support, if available for your system.  When enabled, mouse clicks can be used to place the
              cursor,  set the mark (with a double click), and execute shortcuts.  The mouse will work in the X Window
              System, and on the console when gpm is running.

       -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.  If this value is 0 or less, wrapping will occur at the width of  the  screen
              less  cols  columns, allowing the wrap point to vary along with the width of the screen if the screen is
              resized.  The default value is -8.

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

       -t (--tempfile)
              Always save changed buffer without prompting.  Same as Pico's -t option.

       -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 example file nanorc.sample, both of 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 environment variable for one.

       In some cases nano will try to dump the buffer into an  emergency  file.   This  will  happen  mainly  if  nano
       receives  a  SIGHUP  or SIGTERM or runs out of memory.  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, it will add ".save" plus a number (e.g. ".save.1")
       to the current filename in order to make it unique.  In multibuffer mode, nano will write all the open  buffers
       to their 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 "subscribe".


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

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

August 23, 2007                  version 2.0.0                         NANO(1)