sensible-editor - Man Page

sensible editing

Examples (TL;DR)


sensible-editor [OPTIONS...]


sensible-editor makes sensible decisions on which editor to call. Programs in Debian can use this script as their default editor. sensible-editor try to do in the following order:

  1. if VISUAL environment variable exists, execute VISUAL [OPTIONS]
  2. if EDITOR environment variable exists, execute EDITOR [OPTIONS]
  3. source the contents of file ~/.selected_editor and, if SELECTED_EDITOR environment variable exists execute SELECTED_EDITOR [OPTIONS]
  4. run editor [OPTIONS] command
  5. finally run nano-tiny [OPTIONS] command

See Also

environ(7) for documentation of the EDITOR, VISUAL variables
select-editor(1) for changing a user's default editor.
editor(1) for default system wide editor.


This command is protected against trivial fork bomb, when user set EDITOR=sensible-editor wider loops are still possible.


Documentation of behavior of sensible-utils under a debian system is available under section 11.4 of debian-policy usually installed under /usr/share/doc/debian-policy (you might need to install debian-policy)

Referenced By

cdist-type__sensible_editor(7), nmudiff(1), select-editor(1).

14 Nov 2018 Debian