Atom (text editor)

Developer(s)GitHub (subsidiary of Microsoft)
Initial release26 February 2014; 8 years ago (2014-02-26)
Stable release
1.63.1 Edit this on Wikidata / 23 November 2022
Preview release
1.61.0-beta0 Edit this on Wikidata / 8 March 2022
Written inCoffeeScript, JavaScript, Less, HTML (front-end/UI)
Operating systemmacOS 10.9 or later, Windows 7 and later, and Linux
Size87–180 MB
Available inEnglish
TypeSource code editor
LicenseMIT License (free software) Edit this on Wikidata

Atom was a free and open-source text and source code editor for macOS, Linux, and Microsoft Windows with support for plug-ins written in JavaScript, and embedded Git Control. Developed by GitHub, Atom was a desktop application built using web technologies. Most of the extending packages have free software licenses and are community-built and maintained. It was based on the Electron framework, which was developed for that purpose, and hence was formerly called Atom Shell. Electron is a framework that enables cross-platform desktop applications using Chromium and Node.js. Atom was initially written in CoffeeScript and Less, but much of it has been converted to JavaScript.

Atom was released from beta, as version 1.0, on June 25, 2015. Its developers call it a "hackable text editor for the 21st Century", as it is fully customizable in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

On June 8, 2022, GitHub announced that Atom’s end-of-life will happen on December 15, "in order to prioritize technologies that enable the future of software development", specifically its Github Codespaces and Microsoft's Visual Studio Code.


Atom was a "hackable" text editor, which means it is customizable. There is an init script one can customize using CoffeeScript, a style sheet to customize the looks of Atom, and a keymap to map or re-map key combinations to commands. One can even make a package to wrap all of this functionality into a single package, written in their choice of CoffeeScript or JavaScript.


Atom was (and is) developed by GitHub as a text editor, and served as the basis for the Electron Framework.

Facebook then developed the Nuclide and Atom IDE projects to turn Atom into an integrated development environment (IDE), but development on Nuclide and Atom IDE stopped in December 2018.

On June 8, 2022, GitHub announced the expected shutdown of Atom by scheduling archival of all development repositories of Atom by December 15, 2022. Atom's founder, Nathan Sobo, has announced that he's building the "spiritual successor" to Atom, titled Zed.[non-primary source needed] Unlike Atom, Zed will be written in Rust and will not be using the Electron framework.

On December 15, 2022 the first beta release of Pulsar-Edit was released on their site. The goal of Pulsar-Edit is continue development of the Atom editor.


Like most other configurable text editors, Atom enabled users to install third-party packages and themes to customize the features and looks of the editor. Packages can be installed, managed and published via Atom's package manager apm. All types of packages, including but not limited to: Syntactic highlighting support for languages other than the default, debuggers, etc. can be installed via apm.

Programming language support

Atom's default packages can apply syntax highlighting for multiple programming languages and file formats.


Initially, extension packages for Atom and anything not part of Atom's core were released under an open-source license. On May 6, 2014, the rest of Atom, including the core application, its package manager, as well as its desktop framework Electron, were released as free and open-source software under the MIT License.


There was initially concern and discussion about two opt-out packages that report various data to external servers. However, those packages are now opt-in with a verbose dialog at the initial launch:

  • Metrics package: Reports usage information to Google Analytics (As of version 1.31.0, this has been removed, now usage information is sent to GitHub's analytics pipeline directly.), including a unique UUID v4 random identifier. According to the authors, this is to determine the performance and know the most-used functions. This feature can be disabled by the user by opening the Settings View, searching for the metrics package, and disabling it.
  • Exception-reporting package: Reports uncaught Atom exceptions to

See also

This page was last updated at 2023-02-08 13:17 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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