Section: File Formats (5)
Updated: June 19, 2003
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nanorc - GNU nano's rcfile
This manual page documents GNU nano's rcfile.
nano is a small, free and friendly editor which aims to replace
Pico, the default editor included in the non-free Pine package. Rather
than just copying Pico's look and feel, nano also implements some
missing (or disabled by default) features in Pico, such as "search and
replace" and "go to line number".
The nanorc file contains the default settings for nano.
During startup, nano will first read its system-wide settings from
and then user-specific settings from
The configuration file accepts a series of "set" and "unset" commands,
which can be used to configure nano on startup without using the
command-line options. Additionally, the "syntax" and "color" keywords
are used to define syntax highlighting rules for different text patterns.
GNU nano will read one command per line.
Options in rcfiles take precedence over nano's defaults, and command line
options override rcfile settings.
Options are unset by default, except for options that take an argument.
The supported commands and arguments are:
- set/unset autoindent
- set/unset backup
Create backup files in
- set/unset const
Constantly display the cursor position in the status bar.
- set/unset cut
Use cut to end of line with ^K by default.
- set fill n
Wrap lines at column number n. If n is 0 or less, the line
length will be the screen width less n. The default value is -8.
- set/unset historylog
for saving and reading search/replace strings.
- set/unset keypad
Use alternate keypad routines.
- set/unset multibuffer
Allow inserting files into their own buffers.
- set/unset noconvert
Don't convert files from DOS/Mac format.
- set/unset nofollow
Don't follow symlinks when writing files.
- set/unset nohelp
Don't display the help lists at the bottom of the screen.
- set/unset nowrap
Don't wrap text at all.
- 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 dir. By default the operating directory feature is
- set/unset preserve
Preserve the XON and XOFF keys (^Q and ^S).
- 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
set quotestr "^([ \t]*[|>:}#])+"
if you have regexps, otherwise set quotestr "> ". Note that '\t'
above stands for a literal Tab character.
- set/unset regexp
Do regular expression searches by default.
- set/unset smooth
Use smooth scrolling by default.
- set speller spellprog
Use spelling checker spellprog instead of the built-in one, which
- set/unset suspend
Allow nano to be suspended with ^Z.
- set tabsize n
Use a tab size of n instead of the default (8); must be greater
- set/unset tempfile
Save automatically on exit, don't prompt.
- set/unset view
Disallow file modification.
- syntax str [fileregex ... ]
Defines a syntax named str which can be activated via the
-Y flag, or will be automatically activated if the current
filename matches fileregex. All following color statements
will apply to syntax until a new syntax is defined.
- color fgcolor[,bgcolor] regex ...
For the currently defined syntax, display all expressions matching
regex with foreground color fgcolor and optional background
color bgcolor. Legal colors for foreground and background color are:
white, black, red, blue, green, yellow, magenta, and cyan. You may use
the prefix "bright" to force a stronger color highlight. If your
terminal supports transparency, not specifying a bgcolor tells
nano to attempt to use a transparent background.
- color fgcolor[,bgcolor] start=sr end=er
Display expressions which start with sr and end with er
with foreground color fgcolor and optional
background color bgcolor. This allows syntax highlighting to span
multiple lines. Note that all subsequent instances of sr after
an initial sr is found will be highlighted until the first
instance of er.
System-wide configuration file
Per-user configuration file
/usr/share/doc/nano/examples/nanorc.sample (or equivalent on your
Chris Allegretta <email@example.com>, et al (see
This manual page was written by Jordi Mallach <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
- SEE ALSO
This document was created by
using the manual pages.
Time: 22:28:00 GMT, June 19, 2003