Change the Default Editor

less than 1 minute read

Ever wanted to change the crontab of a server, but got an editor on screen that you're totally unfamiliar with? There are a lot of causes for this annoyance, but one is that somebody recently installed or used midnight commander (mc) which for whatever reason seams to overrule your session's default editor.

Changing the Editor

The first time it took me a while to figure it out so I thought lets make it an article on my site, so maybe it will help others save some time.

Anyhow, here how to change it, just open your terminal and type

$ export EDITOR="vim"

vim can be vim, nano, or another text editor of your choice of course.

Make It Permanent

If the problem persists, you might want to add the export to your .bashrc file, or even to the /etc/profile file. But that seems a bit radical since that's system-wide :)

Debian / Ubuntu

As noted by Roland in the comments, on Debian / Ubuntu you can use:

$ sudo update-alternatives --config editor

Much better!

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