Sublime Text is one of the most popular text/code editors, and for good reason: you can extend its functionality by using hundreds of plug-ins. Let’s see how you can install Sublime Text on your Ubuntu-based distribution, enable Package Control, and install packages for your development needs.
Install Sublime Text on Ubuntu
In the past, to install Sublime Text, you had to download its package from its official site and install it the manual way. Unfortunately, this meant that whenever there was an update available, you had to repeat the process.
Today, installing Sublime Text on any Ubuntu-based distribution is much easier. The easiest way is through the Software Center, where you only have to click on the “Install” button.
You might notice that this uses
snap instead of
apt. If you prefer to use the terminal, just enter the following command to install the Sublime Text snap package.
sudo snap install --classic sublime-text
If you prefer “apt,” you will first have to add its repositories and security key:
wget -q0 - https://download.sublimetext.com/sublimehq-pub.gpg | sudo apt-key add -
The next step is to make sure apt can work with HTTPS sources:
sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https
Sublime Text offers two channels you can use for its updates: a “stable” and a “developer” one. You can choose the first by using:
echo "deb https://download.sublimetext.com/ apt/stable/" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/sublime-text.list
We don’t suggest you use the developer version unless A) you are a developer, and, probably most importantly, B) you have paid for it. Yes, you can use Sublime Text for free, but officially you are supposed to pay for a license if you keep using it.
The developer version demands this license from the get-go, so, as we said, don’t choose it if you neither have a specific need for it nor have bought a license for the application.
If you have paid for it and have no problem with unforeseen consequences, due to the somewhat unstable nature of the developer version, choose it with:
echo "deb https://download.sublimetext.com/ apt/dev/" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/sublime-text.list
For the contents of the repository to be accessible by apt, you first have to run an update:
sudo apt update
Finally, install the program itself with:
sudo apt install sublime-text
After its installation completes, you can now find Sublime Text in your Applications menu.
Installing Packages in Sublime Text
Before you start installing packages on Sublime Text, you have to install the main one, with which you will control them: Package Control. This is much easier than it sounds since you only have to select “Tools -> Install Package Control …”
After it’s installed, visit Sublime Text’s “Command Palette.” To do that, use the Ctrl + Shift + P shortcut on your keyboard.
Now you’re ready to start installing extra packages to extend Sublime Text’s functionality. Start by typing “install” in the command palette.
Choose “Package Control: Install Package” from the list of available options. After that, select the package you wish from the hundreds available and press Enter.
The Command Palette allows you to filter down the package list as well to help in pinpointing the ones you want. For example, if you type “HTML,” the package list will show only packages with that term in their name.
After a package is installed, if it needs to inform you about something or allows you to tweak some options, a new “Package Control Messages” document might pop up in Sublime Text’s main interface. In most cases, if you don’t care about being informed of every aspect of the software you use and don’t want to get too granular with its configuration, you can safely ignore them.
There are so many packages available that we couldn’t realistically list all of them. This also means that whatever you need, it will be there available for you to install and use. This is what makes Sublime Text so useful.
Are you using Sublime Text? If not, what alternative did you choose and why? Do you have any suggestions for other plug-ins we missed?
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