How To Install Nano Text Editor on Debian 11

Install Nano Text Editor on Debian 11

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Nano Text Editor on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, GNU nano is one of the popular and easiest command line text editors used on many operating systems including Unix-based systems and BSD variants. Nano text editor supports syntax highlighting, spell checking, justifying, completion, undo/redo, and many more.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the nano text editor on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Debian 10 or Debian 11.
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
  • A non-root sudo user or access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Install Nano Text Editor on Debian 11 Bullseye

Step 1. Before running the tutorial below, it’s important to make sure your system is up to date by running the following apt commands in the terminal:

sudo apt update

Step 2. Installing Nano Text Editor on Debian 11.

By default, Nano is available on Debian 11 base repository, Now we nano to your Debian 11 system using the following command below:

sudo apt install nano

So simply run the below command to check the version installed on your system:

nano --version

Step 3. Use Nano Text Editor.

In this part, you are going to tips on how to open and close files. Also, a way to search and replace text. Then, we’ll exhibit you some editing hints and different user-friendly commands that you could use in Nano textual content editor:

The main syntax to open Nano and to edit a certain file is:

nano file.txt

However, if you are in another folder and you want to open a file (file.txt) in the /path/to/directory, you can enter this line instead:

nano /path/to/directory/file.txt

To search in the text,  press CTRL + W. Insert your value and press Enter. To continue searching for the same text string, use ALT + W.

We have compiled the most useful commands to help you utilize the Nano text editor more effectively:

Command Explanation
CTRL + A Let’s jump to the beginning of the line.
CTRL + E Let’s you jump to the end of the line.
CTRL + Y Scrolls page down.
CTRL + V Scrolls page up.
CTRL + G A Help window will pop out and show you all the available commands.
CTRL + O To save the file. Nano will ask you to edit or verify the desired file name.
CTRL + W Search for a specified phrase in your text. Press ALT + W to search for the same phrase again.
CTRL + K It cuts the entire selected line to the cut buffer (similar to the clipboard).
CTRL + U To paste the text from the cut buffer into the selected line.
CTRL + J Justifies the current paragraph.
CTRL + C Shows the current cursor position in the text (line/column/character).
CTRL + R Opens a file and inserts it at the current cursor position.
CTRL + X To exit Nano text editor. It prompts a save request if you made any changes to the file.
CTRL + \ Replaces string or a regular expression.
CTRL + T Invokes the spell checker, if available.
CTRL + _ Let’s go to the specified line and column number.
ALT + A To select text. You can combine this command with CTRL + K to cut a specific part of the text to the cut buffer.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed nano. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing the latest version of the nano text editor on the Debian system. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official nano website.

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r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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