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NANORC(5) - Linux man page online | File formats

GNU nano's configuration file.

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version 2.9.3
NANORC(5) File Formats Manual NANORC(5)

NAME

nanorc - GNU nano's configuration file

DESCRIPTION

The nanorc file contains the default settings for nano, a small and friendly editor. The file should be in Unix format, not in DOS or Mac format. During startup, nano will first read the system-wide settings, from /etc/nanorc (the exact path might be different on your system), and then the user-specific settings, either from ~/.nanorc or from $XDG_CON‐ FIG_HOME/nano/nanorc or from ~/.config/nano/nanorc, whichever is encountered first.

OPTIONS

The configuration file accepts a series of set and unset commands, which can be used to configure nano on startup without using command-line options. Additionally, there are some commands to define syntax highlighting and to rebind keys -- see the two separate sections on those. nano reads one command per line. Options in nanorc files take precedence over nano's defaults, and command-line options override nanorc settings. Also, options that do not take an argument are unset by default. So using the unset command is only needed when wanting to override a setting of the system's nanorc file in your own nanorc. Options that take an argument cannot be unset. Below, the string parameters need to be enclosed in double quotes. Quotes inside these string parameters don't have to be escaped with backslashes. The last double quote in the string will be treated as its end. For example, for the brackets option, ""')>]}" will match ", ', ), >, ], and }. The supported commands and arguments are: set allow_insecure_backup When backing up files, allow the backup to succeed even if its permissions can't be (re)set due to special OS considerations. You should NOT enable this option unless you are sure you need it. set atblanks When soft line wrapping is enabled, make it wrap lines at blank characters (tabs and spaces) instead of always at the edge of the screen. set autoindent Use auto-indentation. set backup When saving a file, create a backup file by adding a tilde (~) to the file's name. set backupdir directory Make and keep not just one backup file, but make and keep a uniquely numbered one every time a file is saved -- when backups are enabled with set backup or --backup or -B. The uniquely numbered files are stored in the specified directory. set backwards Obsolete option. Recognized but ignored. ^Q is available to start a backward search. set boldtext Use bold instead of reverse video for the title bar, status bar, key combos, function tags, line numbers, and selected text. This can be overridden by setting the options titlecolor, statuscolor, keycolor, functioncolor, numbercolor, and selectedcolor. set brackets string Set the characters treated as closing brackets when justifying paragraphs. This may not include blank characters. Only closing punctuation (see punct), optionally fol‐ lowed by the specified closing brackets, can end sentences. The default value is ""')>]}". set casesensitive Do case-sensitive searches by default. set constantshow Constantly display the cursor position in the status bar. (The old form of this option, 'set const', is deprecated.) This overrides the option quickblank. set cutfromcursor Use cut-from-cursor-to-end-of-line by default, instead of cutting the whole line. (The old form of this option, 'set cut', is deprecated.) set fill number Hard-wrap lines at column number number. If number is 0 or less, the maximum line length will be the screen width less number columns. The default value is -8. This option conflicts with nowrap -- the last one given takes effect. set functioncolor fgcolor,bgcolor Specify the color combination to use for the function descriptions in the two help lines at the bottom of the screen. See set titlecolor for more details. set historylog Save the last hundred search strings and replacement strings and executed commands, so they can be easily reused in later sessions. set keycolor fgcolor,bgcolor Specify the color combination to use for the shortcut key combos in the two help lines at the bottom of the screen. See set titlecolor for more details. set linenumbers Display line numbers to the left of the text area. set locking Enable vim-style lock-files for when editing files. set matchbrackets string Set the opening and closing brackets that can be found by bracket searches. This may not include blank characters. The opening set must come before the closing set, and the two sets must be in the same order. The default value is "(<[{)>]}". set morespace Use the blank line below the title bar as extra editing space. set 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. Text can still be selected through dragging by holding down the Shift key. set multibuffer When reading in a file with ^R, insert it into a new buffer by default. set noconvert Don't convert files from DOS/Mac format. set nohelp Don't display the two help lines at the bottom of the screen. set nonewlines Don't automatically add a newline to the ends of files. set nopauses Don't pause between warnings at startup. This means that only the last one will be visible (when there are multiple ones). set nowrap Don't hard-wrap text at all. This option conflicts with fill -- the last one given takes effect. set numbercolor fgcolor,bgcolor Specify the color combination to use for line numbers. See set titlecolor for more details. set operatingdir directory nano will only read and write files inside directory and its subdirectories. Also, the current directory is changed to here, so files are inserted from this directory. By default, the operating directory feature is turned off. set positionlog Save the cursor position of files between editing sessions. The cursor position is remembered for the 200 most-recently edited files. (The old form of this option, 'set poslog', is deprecated.) set preserve Preserve the XON and XOFF keys (^Q and ^S). set punct string Set the characters treated as closing punctuation when justifying paragraphs. This may not include blank characters. Only the specfified closing punctuation, optionally fol‐ lowed by closing brackets (see brackets), can end sentences. The default value is "!.?". set quickblank Do quick status-bar blanking: status-bar messages will disappear after 1 keystroke instead of 25. The option constantshow overrides this. set quiet Obsolete option. Recognized but ignored. set quotestr string The email-quote string, used to justify email-quoted paragraphs. This is an extended regular expression if your system supports them, otherwise a literal string. The default value is "^([ \t]*[#:>\|}])+" if you have extended regular expression support, and "> " otherwise. Note that '\t' stands for a literal Tab character. set 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. set 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. set regexp Do extended regular expression searches by default. set selectedcolor fgcolor,bgcolor Specify the color combination to use for selected text. See set titlecolor for more details. set showcursor Put the cursor on the highlighted item in the file browser, to aid braille users. set 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. set smooth Use smooth scrolling by default. set softwrap Enable soft line wrapping for easier viewing of very long lines. set speller spellprog Use spelling checker spellprog instead of the built-in one, which calls spell. set statuscolor fgcolor,bgcolor Specify the color combination to use for the status bar. See set titlecolor for more details. set suspend Allow nano to be suspended. set tabsize number Use a tab size of number columns. The value of number must be greater than 0. The default value is 8. set tabstospaces Convert typed tabs to spaces. set tempfile Save automatically on exit, don't prompt. set titlecolor fgcolor,bgcolor Specify the color combination to use for the title bar. Valid names for the foreground and background colors are: white, black, blue, green, red, cyan, yellow, and magenta. The name of the foreground color may be prefixed with bright. And either "fgcolor" or ",bgcolor" may be left out. set trimblanks Remove trailing whitespace from wrapped lines when automatic hard-wrapping occurs or when text is justified. set unix Save a file by default in Unix format. This overrides nano's default behavior of sav‐ ing a file in the format that it had. (This option has no effect when you also use set noconvert.) set view Disallow file modification. set whitespace string Set the two characters used to indicate the presence of tabs and spaces. They must be single-column characters. The default pair for a UTF-8 locale is "»⋅", and for other locales ">.". set wordbounds Detect word boundaries differently by treating punctuation characters as parts of words. set wordchars string Specify which other characters (besides the normal alphanumeric ones) should be consid‐ ered as parts of words. This overrides the option wordbounds.

SYNTAX HIGHLIGHTING

Coloring the different syntactic elements of a file is done via regular expressions (see the color command below). This is inherently imperfect, because regular expressions are not powerful enough to fully parse a file. Nevertheless, regular expressions can do a lot and are easy to make, so they are a good fit for a small editor like nano. For each kind of file a separate syntax can be defined via the following commands: syntax "name" ["fileregex" ...] Start the definition of a syntax with this name. All subsequent color and other such commands will be added to this syntax, until a new syntax command is encoun‐ tered. When nano is run, this syntax will be automatically activated if the current file‐ name matches the extended regular expression fileregex. Or the syntax can be explicitly activated by using the -Y or --syntax command-line option followed by the name. The syntax "default" is special: it takes no fileregex, and applies to files that don't match any syntax's regexes. The syntax "none" is reserved; specifying it on the command line is the same as not having a syntax at all. header "regex" ... If from all defined syntaxes no fileregex matched, then compare this regex (or regexes) against the first line of the current file, to determine whether this syn‐ tax should be used for it. magic "regex" ... If no fileregex matched and no header regex matched either, then compare this regex (or regexes) against the result of querying the magic database about the current file, to determine whether this syntax should be used for it. (This functionality only works when libmagic is installed on the system and will be silently ignored otherwise.) linter program [arg ...] Use the given program to run a syntax check on the current file. (This overrides the speller function.) formatter program [arg ...] Use the given program to automatically reformat text -- useful in a programming language like Go. (This overrides the speller and linter functions.) comment "string" Use the given string for commenting and uncommenting lines. If the string contains a vertical bar or pipe character (|), this designates bracket-style comments; for example, "/*|*/" for CSS files. The characters before the pipe are prepended to the line and the characters after the pipe are appended at the end of the line. If no pipe character is present, the full string is prepended; for example, "#" for Python files. If empty double quotes are specified, the comment/uncomment function is disabled; for example, "" for JSON. The default value is "#". color fgcolor,bgcolor "regex" ... Display all pieces of text that match the extended regular expression regex with foreground color fgcolor and background color bgcolor, at least one of which must be specified. Valid colors for foreground and background are: white, black, red, blue, green, yellow, magenta, and cyan. You may use the prefix "bright" to get a stronger color highlight for the foreground. If your terminal supports trans‐ parency, not specifying a bgcolor tells nano to attempt to use a transparent back‐ ground. icolor fgcolor,bgcolor "regex" ... Same as above, except that the matching is case insensitive. color fgcolor,bgcolor start="fromrx" end="torx" Display all pieces of text whose start matches extended regular expression fromrx and whose end matches extended regular expression torx with foreground color fgcolor and background color bgcolor, at least one of which must be specified. This means that, after an initial instance of fromrx, all text until the first instance of torx will be colored. This allows syntax highlighting to span multiple lines. icolor fgcolor,bgcolor start="fromrx" end="torx" Same as above, except that the matching is case insensitive. include "syntaxfile" Read in self-contained color syntaxes from syntaxfile. Note that syntaxfile may contain only the above commands, from syntax to icolor. extendsyntax name command [arg ...] Extend the syntax previously defined as name with another command. This allows adding a new color, icolor, header, magic, comment, linter, or formatter command to an already defined syntax -- useful when you want to slightly improve a syntax defined in one of the system-installed files (which normally are not writable).

REBINDING KEYS

Key bindings can be changed via the following two commands: bind key function menu Rebinds the key key to a new function named function in the context of menu menu (or in all menus where the function exists by using all). unbind key menu Unbinds the key key from the menu named menu (or from all menus where it exists by using all). The format of key should be one of: ^ followed by an alpha character or the word "Space". Example: ^C M- followed by a printable character or the word "Space". Example: M-C F followed by a numeric value from 1 to 16. Example: F10 Valid function names to be bound are: help Invokes the help viewer. cancel Cancels the current command. exit Exits from the program (or from the help viewer or the file browser). writeout Writes the current buffer to disk, asking for a name. savefile Writes the current file to disk without prompting. insert Inserts a file into the current buffer (at the current cursor position), or into a new buffer when option multibuffer is set. whereis Starts a forward search for text in the current buffer -- or for filenames matching a string in the current list in the file browser. wherewas Starts a backward search for text in the current buffer. searchagain Repeats the last search command without prompting. (The form 'research' is depre‐ cated.) findprevious As searchagain, but always in the backward direction. findnext As searchagain, but always in the forward direction. replace Interactively replaces text within the current buffer. cut Cuts and stores the current line (or the marked region). copytext Copies the current line (or the marked region) without deleting it. uncut Copies the currently stored text into the current buffer at the current cursor posi‐ tion. mark Sets the mark at the current position, to start selecting text. cutwordleft Cuts from the cursor position to the beginning of the preceding word. cutwordright Cuts from the cursor position to the beginning of the next word. cutrestoffile Cuts all text from the cursor position till the end of the buffer. curpos Shows the current cursor position: the line, column, and character positions. (The form 'cursorpos' is deprecated.) wordcount Counts the number of words, lines and characters in the current buffer. speller Invokes a spell-checking program (or a linting program, if the current syntax high‐ lighting defines one). linter A synonym of speller (for when the speller has not been configured). justify Justifies the current paragraph. fulljustify Justifies the entire current buffer. indent Indents (shifts to the right) the currently marked text. unindent Unindents (shifts to the left) the currently marked text. comment Comments or uncomments the current line or marked lines, using the comment style specified in the active syntax. complete Completes the fragment before the cursor to a full word found elsewhere in the cur‐ rent buffer. left Goes left one position (in the editor or browser). right Goes right one position (in the editor or browser). up Goes one line up (in the editor or browser). down Goes one line down (in the editor or browser). scrollup Scrolls up one line of text from the current position. scrolldown Scrolls down one line of text from the current position. prevword Moves the cursor to the beginning of the previous word. nextword Moves the cursor to the beginning of the next word. home Moves the cursor to the beginning of the current line. end Moves the cursor to the end of the current line. beginpara Moves the cursor to the beginning of the current paragraph. endpara Moves the cursor to the end of the current paragraph. prevblock Moves the cursor to the beginning of the current or preceding block of text. (Blocks are separated by one or more blank lines.) nextblock Moves the cursor to the beginning of the next block of text. pageup Goes up one screenful. pagedown Goes down one screenful. firstline Goes to the first line of the file. lastline Goes to the last line of the file. gotoline Goes to a specific line (and column if specified). Negative numbers count from the end of the file (and end of the line). gototext Switches from targeting a line number to searching for text. findbracket Moves the cursor to the bracket (brace, parenthesis, etc.) that matches (pairs) with the one under the cursor. prevbuf Switches to editing/viewing the previous buffer when multiple buffers are open. nextbuf Switches to editing/viewing the next buffer when multiple buffers are open. verbatim Inserts the next keystroke verbatim into the file. tab Inserts a tab at the current cursor location. enter Inserts a new line below the current one. delete Deletes the character under the cursor. backspace Deletes the character before the cursor. recordmacro Starts the recording of keystrokes -- the keystrokes are stored as a macro. When already recording, the recording is stopped. runmacro Replays the keystrokes of the last recorded macro. undo Undoes the last performed text action (add text, delete text, etc). redo Redoes the last undone action (i.e., it undoes an undo). refresh Refreshes the screen. suspend Suspends the editor (if the suspending function is enabled, see the "suspendenable" entry below). casesens Toggles case sensitivity in searching (search/replace menus only). regexp Toggles whether searching/replacing is based on literal strings or regular expres‐ sions. (The form 'regex' is deprecated.) backwards Toggles whether searching/replacing goes forward or backward. prevhistory Shows the previous history entry in the prompt menus (e.g. search). nexthistory Shows the next history entry in the prompt menus (e.g. search). flipreplace Toggles between searching for something and replacing something. (The form 'dontre‐ place' is deprecated.) flipexecute Toggles between inserting a file and executing a command. flipnewbuffer Toggles between inserting into the current buffer and into a new empty buffer. (The form 'newbuffer' is deprecated.) dosformat When writing a file, switches to writing a DOS format (CR/LF). macformat When writing a file, switches to writing a Mac format. append When writing a file, appends to the end instead of overwriting. prepend When writing a file, 'prepends' (writes at the beginning) instead of overwriting. backup When writing a file, creates a backup of the current file. discardbuffer When about to write a file, discard the current buffer without saving. (This func‐ tion is bound by default only when option --tempfile is in effect.) browser Starts the file browser, allowing to select a file from a list. gotodir Goes to a directory to be specified, allowing to browse anywhere in the filesystem. firstfile Goes to the first file when using the file browser (reading or writing files). lastfile Goes to the last file when using the file browser (reading or writing files). nohelp Toggles the presence of the two-line list of key bindings at the bottom of the screen. constupdate Toggles the constant display of the current line, column, and character positions. morespace Toggles the presence of the blank line that 'separates' the title bar from the file text. smoothscroll Toggles smooth scrolling (when moving around with the arrow keys). softwrap Toggles the displaying of overlong lines on multiple screen lines. whitespacedisplay Toggles the showing of whitespace. nosyntax Toggles syntax highlighting. smarthome Toggles the smartness of the Home key. autoindent Toggles whether new lines will contain the same amount of whitespace as the preceding line. cuttoend Toggles whether cutting text will cut the whole line or just from the current cursor position to the end of the line. nowrap Toggles whether long lines will be hard-wrapped to the next line. tabstospaces Toggles whether typed tabs will be converted to spaces. backupfile Toggles whether a backup will be made of the file being edited. multibuffer Toggles whether a file is inserted into the current buffer or read into a new buffer. mouse Toggles mouse support. noconvert Toggles automatic conversion of files from DOS/Mac format. suspendenable Toggles whether the suspend sequence (normally ^Z) will suspend the editor window. Valid menu sections are: main The main editor window where text is entered and edited. search The search menu (AKA whereis). replace The 'search to replace' menu. replacewith The 'replace with' menu, which comes up after 'search to replace'. (The form 'replace2' is deprecated.) gotoline The 'goto line (and column)' menu. writeout The 'write file' menu. insert The 'insert file' menu. extcmd The menu for inserting output from an external command, reached from the insert menu. help The help-viewer menu. spell The interactive spell checker Yes/no menu. linter The linter menu. browser The file browser for inserting or writing a file. whereisfile The 'search for a file' menu in the file browser. gotodir The 'go to directory' menu in the file browser. all A special name that encompasses all menus. For bind it means all menus where the specified function exists; for unbind it means all menus where the specified key exists.

FILES

/etc/nanorc System-wide configuration file. ~/.nanorc or $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/nano/nanorc or ~/.config/nano/nanorc Per-user configuration file.

SEE ALSO

nano(1)

AUTHOR

Chris Allegretta and others (see the files AUTHORS and THANKS for details). This manual page was originally written by Jordi Mallach for the Debian system (but may be used by others).
January 2018 version 2.9.3 NANORC(5)
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