Atom (text editor)

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Atom icon.svg
Atom editor with an open project
Atom editor with an open project
Initial release26 February 2014; 5 years ago (2014-02-26)[1]
Stable release
1.36.0[2] / 11 April 2019; 12 days ago (2019-04-11)
Preview release
1.37.0-beta0[3] / 11 April 2019; 12 days ago (2019-04-11)
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inElectron (back-end), CoffeeScript / JavaScript / Less / HTML (front-end/UI)
Operating systemmacOS 10.9 or later, Windows 7 and later, and Linux[4]
Size87-145 MB
Available inEnglish
TypeSource code editor, IDE
LicenseMIT License (free software)

Atom is a free and open-source[5][6] text and source code editor for macOS, Linux, and Microsoft Windows[7] with support for plug-ins written in Node.js, and embedded Git Control, developed by GitHub. Atom is a desktop application built using web technologies.[8] Most of the extending packages have free software licenses and are community-built and maintained.[9] Atom is based on Electron (formerly known as Atom Shell),[10] a framework that enables cross-platform desktop applications using Chromium and Node.js.[11][12] It is written in CoffeeScript and Less.[13] It was able to be used as an integrated development environment (IDE)[14][15][16][17], until that feature was 'retired' in December 2018.[18] Atom was released from beta, as version 1.0, on 25 June 2015.[19] Its developers call it a "hackable text editor for the 21st Century".[20]


Like most other configurable text editors, Atom enables 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.

Programming language support[edit]

Atom's default packages can apply syntax highlighting for the following programming languages and file formats:[21][22]


Initially, extension packages for Atom and anything not part of Atom's core were released under an open-source license. On 6 May 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.[24]


There was initially concern and discussion about two opt-out packages that report various data to external servers.[25][26][27][28][29] However, those packages are now opt-in with a verbose dialog at the initial launch:[30]

  • 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.[31][32]), including a unique UUID v4 random identifier.[33] According to the authors, this is to determine the performance and know the most-used functions.[34] This feature can be disabled by the user by opening the Settings View, searching for the metrics package, and disabling it.[33]
  • Exception-reporting package: Reports uncaught Atom exceptions to[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Introducing Atom". Atom. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Atom Releases". Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Releases – atom/atom". Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  4. ^ "A hackable text editor for the 21st Century". Atom.
  5. ^ Henry, Alan (8 May 2014). "Atom, the Text Editor from GitHub, Goes Free and Open-Source". Lifehacker.
  6. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (6 May 2014). "GitHub Open Sources Its Atom Text Editor". TechCrunch.
  7. ^ "FAQ". Atom. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Getting Started : Why Atom". Atom project. Retrieved 17 August 2015. [...] we didn’t build Atom as a traditional web application. Instead, Atom is a specialized variant of Chromium designed to be a text editor rather than a web browser. Every Atom window is essentially a locally-rendered web page.
  9. ^ "Atom Packages".
  10. ^ "Atom Shell is now Electron". Atom. Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  11. ^ "Atom GitHub Page". Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Electron GitHub Page". Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  13. ^ "Hacking Atom : Tools of the Trade". Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  14. ^ "Atom IDE". Atom IDE. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  15. ^ "Nuclide". Nuclide. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  16. ^ "Juno, the Interactive Development Environment". Juno. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  17. ^ "PlatformIO IDE: The next-generation integrated development environment for IoT". PlatformIO. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  18. ^ ""Facebook retires Nuclide extension"". Atom Blog. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  19. ^ Ogle, Ben (25 June 2015). "Atom 1.0". Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  20. ^ "A hackable text editor for the 21st Century". Atom.
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Atom Is Now Open Source". Atom. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  25. ^ "Have metrics disabled by default, or completely removed". GitHub. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  26. ^ "Collecting Metrics in Atom Core". Atom. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  27. ^ "Communicate plan on how to modify metrics to be opt-in now that 1.0 is released". GitHub Atom. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  28. ^ "should be disableable during install". Atom. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  29. ^ "Should be disabled by default". Atom. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  30. ^ "Send telemetry only with consent by damieng · Pull Request #66 · atom/metrics".
  31. ^ "atom/atom". GitHub. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  32. ^ "RIP Google Analytics by annthurium · Pull Request #100 · atom/metrics". GitHub. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  33. ^ a b "atom/metrics: A package to collect metrics". Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  34. ^ "FAQ". Atom. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  35. ^ "exception-reporting". Atom. Retrieved 3 February 2016.

External links[edit]