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Many SuSE Support Database articles mention an ASCII editor that you should use to edit configuration files. But what is an ASCII editor?


An ASCII editor is a utility for editing text. This editor type does not use font formattings, such as bold or italics, but only plain text. The acronym ASCII stands for

American Standard Code for Information Interchange

Most configuration files in Linux are plain text files -- you can use an ASCII editor to configure your SuSE Linux system. You can adjust your system manually if configuration tools like YaST2 are not able to configure special features or cause configuration errors.

You have the possibility to choose from an endless list of ASCII editors for Linux. Here a selection of some popular editors:

  • emacs
  • joe
  • mcedit
  • pico
  • vi

As a description of all editors would exceed the scope of this article, we single out the editor mcedit. Start this editor on the command line with the command mcedit.

Once the program has started, the bottom bar displays the mapping of the individual function keys (F keys). F9 produces a menu bar, which you can use to open files. The menu structure is similar to that of other programs.

"mcedit" is especially suitable for newcomers. The search function (F7) enables you to find the required entry or line quickly even in extensive configuration files. Save your changes with the function key F2 and exit the editor with F10. <keyword>ascii,editor,edit,plain,text</keyword>