How to Install Sublime Text 3 Editor in Linux

Sublime Text is a feature-rich text editor for Linux, Windows and macOS. It's free to use but it's proprietary software, which means that the code isn't available to the public. The free version is an evaluation copy, but it has all the features and doesn't expire. You can also pay the license to get rid of a message that appears asking you to buy the software.

This software is GUI based and has a lot of interesting features that help the developer increase its productivity considerably.

The documentation is available on the official website.


These are some of the most important features of Sublime Text:

  • Minimap: Shows a preview of the structure of the code, allowing the developer to navigate through the code in a faster way if he knows its structure.
  • Multi-selection: Select the same term multiple times along the code.
  • Multi-cursor: Create cursors to write, delete, copy, etc., in multiple lines, simultaneously.
  • Native support for multiple languages: Supports 43 programming languages natively.
  • Syntax highlight: Completely configurable syntax highlight.
  • Auto-completion
  • Dynamic search: Search files, regular expressions, directories, etc. Combine search terms.
  • Tabs
  • Parenthesis and indentation highlight
  • Plugins and snippets support
  • Console
  • Multiple layout support


Ubuntu / Mint

This tutorial was made using the following Ubuntu / Mint builds:

  • Release: Xubuntu 17.10 (also tested in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS) / Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia
  • Architecture: x86_64

Firstly, install the GPG key:

$ wget -qO - | sudo apt-key add -

Install apt-transport-https:

$ sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https

Select the Stable channel:

$ echo "deb apt/stable/" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/sublime-text.list

Update apt sources and install Sublime Text:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install sublime-text


This tutorial was made using the following Arch Linux build:

  • Release: 2017.11.01
  • Architecture: x86_64

Install the GPG key:

$ curl -O && sudo pacman-key --add sublimehq-pub.gpg && sudo pacman-key --lsign-key 8A8F901A && rm sublimehq-pub.gpg

Select the Stable channel:

$ echo -e "\n[sublime-text]\nServer =" | sudo tee -a /etc/pacman.conf

Update pacman and install Sublime Text:

$ sudo pacman -Syu sublime-text


This tutorial was made using the following Fedora build:

  • Release: Fedora 27 Workstation
  • Architecture: x86_64

Install the GPG key:

$ sudo rpm -v --import

Select the Stable channel:

$ sudo dnf config-manager --add-repo

Install Sublime Text:

$ sudo dnf install sublime-text


This is how the software looks like:

sublime text first look

You can clearly see the syntax highlighting: In this case, we have some C code, which was automatically recognized when I opened the file. In the right side, there is the Minimap.

The bottom bar shows the actual line and column in the left side, and in the right side shows the tab size, allowing the user to change it with a simple click.

You can also configure the keyboard shortcuts, by going to Preferences -> Key Bindings.

Useful shortcuts

  • Add cursor Up / Down: Shift + Alt + Up / Shift + Alt + Down
  • Switch line Up / Down: Ctrl + Shift + Up / Ctrl + Shift + Down
  • Find: Ctrl + F
  • Goto anything: Ctrl + P
  • Indent line: Ctrl + ]
  • Comment / Uncomment line: Ctrl + /
  • Zoom In / Out: Ctrl + + / Ctrl + -
  • Find Next / Previous: F3 / Shift + F3
  • New file: Ctrl + N


You can change the layout to have more than one single file in your workspace:

  • Single: Shift + Alt + 1
  • 2 Columns: Shift + Alt + 2
  • 3 Columns: Shift + Alt + 3
  • 4 Columns: Shift + Alt + 4
  • 2 Rows: Shift + Alt + 8
  • 3 Rows: Shift + Alt + 9
  • Grid (2x2): Shift + Alt + 5

Example (Grid):

sublime text layout example

Wrapping up

Sublime Text is, for me, one of the best GUI editors out there. It is amazingly lightweight and has lots of useful features. It's also eye-candy and completely customizable, so if you don't like the default settings, you can change them as you like.

I personally have been using as my main text editor since I discovered it, so I suggest you give it a try and if you like it, buy the license to support the developers :-)

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