Philadelphia Python Workshop 9/Setup/Linux text editor

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Our Recommendation

On Linux, we suggest using Sublime Text or GEdit. Sublime has more advanced features, but GEdit is already installed on Ubuntu. Both can be used for free, though Sublime will prompt you to purchase a license (you can ignore this for now and take advantage of Sublime's free trial).


Sublime Text is available from It has a (non-free) license, but you can use the free trial period for as long as you like.


  • Go to the main page and click on the blue button that says "Download for Linux".
  • Save the file to your desktop (or another convenient location).
  • Double click on the file to extract it, then open the extracted folder called Sublime Text 2.
  • To run Sublime, double-click on the executable file sublime_text.
  • If a text-editor window doesn't pop up, let a staff member know.


  • If it's not running, double-click on sublime_text.
  • From the top menu, click Preferences, then click Settings - Default. A new tab will open with text and options in it.
  • Scroll down until you see the line "translate_tabs_to_spaces": false,
  • On that line, change false to true so that it reads "translate_tabs_to_spaces": true,
  • Save the settings by pressing Ctrl+s or clicking on File, then Save.
  • Now every time you press the tab key, it should insert four spaces instead of a tab.


How to find GEdit in the Applications list

GEdit should already be installed on your computer. To start GEdit: click Applications, point to Accessories, and click Text Editor. If you don't have this option, let a staff member know.

How to find GEdit from a terminal

If you prefer to start applications from a terminal, you can type the following into a terminal to launch GEdit:

gedit &

Configure GEdit to indent with spaces

  • Click Edit -> Preferences
  • Select the tab labeled "Editor"
  • In the "Tab width" field, set it to 4 (the default is 8)
  • Check the box labeled "Insert spaces instead of tabs"
  • Check the box labeled "Enable automatic indentation"
  • Click Close.

That's it! Now, you can hit tab to indent your code, and that indentation will actually be made of spaces. This change will help you use spaces consistently, so that Python doesn't get confused about whitespace.


If you prefer a different editor for text, check with an instructor before moving on to make sure it will work for the weekend.

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