Atom (text editor)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Developer(s)GitHub (subsidiary of Microsoft)[1]
Initial releaseFebruary 26, 2014; 9 years ago (2014-02-26)[2]
Stable release
1.63.1[3] Edit this on Wikidata / 23 November 2022
Preview release
1.61.0-beta0[4] 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[5]
Size87–180 MB
Available inEnglish
TypeSource code editor
LicenseMIT License (free software)[6][7] Edit this on Wikidata

Atom is a deprecated free and open-source text and source code editor for macOS, Linux, and Windows with support for plug-ins written in JavaScript, and embedded Git Control. Developed by GitHub, Atom was released on June 25, 2015.[8]

Most of the extending packages have free software licenses and are community-built and maintained.[citation needed]

On June 8, 2022, GitHub announced that Atom’s end-of-life would occur on December 15 of that year, "in order to prioritize technologies that enable the future of software development", specifically its GitHub Codespaces and Microsoft's Visual Studio Code.[9][10]


Atom is a "hackable" text editor, which means it is customizable using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.[11]

Atom was a desktop application built using web technologies.[12] It was based on the Electron framework, which was developed for that purpose, and hence was formerly called Atom Shell.[13] Electron is a framework that enables cross-platform desktop applications using Chromium and Node.js.[14][15]

Atom was initially written in CoffeeScript and Less, but much of it has been converted to JavaScript.[16]

Atom can apply syntax highlighting for multiple programming languages and file formats.[17][18]


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.[citation needed]


Atom was developed by GitHub as a text editor, and served as the basis Atom Shell which became the basis for Electron Framework.

Facebook then developed the Nuclide[19] and Atom IDE projects to turn Atom into an integrated development environment (IDE),[20][21][22][23] but development on Nuclide and Atom IDE stopped in December 2018.[24]

On June 8, 2022, GitHub announced shutdown of Atom development and archival of all development repositories of Atom by December 15, 2022.[9]

Atom's founder, Nathan Sobo, has announced that he is building the "spiritual successor" to Atom, titled Zed.[25][26][non-primary source needed] Unlike Atom, Zed will be written in Rust and will not be using the Electron framework.[27]

On January 30, 2023, GitHub announced a breach which exposed "a set of encrypted code signing certificates" some of which were used to sign Atom releases. GitHub advised users to downgrade to earlier version of Atom signed with a different key.[28]

A fork of the project was created, called Pulsar Editor.[29]


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.[30]

Privacy concerns[edit]

There was initially concern and discussion about two opt-out packages that report various data to external servers.[31][32][33][34][35] However, those packages are now opt-in with a verbose dialog at the initial launch:[36]

  • 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.[37][38]), including a unique UUID v4 random identifier.[39] According to the authors, this is to determine the performance and know the most-used functions.[5] This feature can be disabled by the user by opening the Settings View, searching for the metrics package, and disabling it.[39]
  • Exception-reporting package: Reports uncaught Atom exceptions to[40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Microsoft's 'future CEO of GitHub' speaks out on Atom, keeping GitHub independent and more". ZDNet. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  2. ^ "Introducing Atom". Atom. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Release 1.63.1". 23 November 2022. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  4. ^ Error: Unable to display the reference properly. See the documentation for details.
  5. ^ a b "FAQ". Atom. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  6. ^ Henry, Alan (8 May 2014). "Atom, the Text Editor from GitHub, Goes Free and Open-Source". Lifehacker.
  7. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (6 May 2014). "GitHub Open Sources Its Atom Text Editor". TechCrunch.
  8. ^ Ogle, Ben (25 June 2015). "Atom 1.0". Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Sunsetting Atom". The GitHub Blog. 2022-06-08. Retrieved 2022-06-09.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ Wiggers, Kyle (8 June 2022). "GitHub sunsets Atom, the software dev environment it launched in 2011". TechCrunch. TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 9 June 2022. Retrieved 9 June 2022. GitHub today announced that it will sunset Atom{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  11. ^ "Getting started with Atom". Codecademy.
  12. ^ "Getting Started: Why Atom". Atom project. Retrieved 17 August 2015. [...] we didn't build Atom as a traditional web application. Instead, Atom was 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.
  13. ^ "Atom Shell is now Electron". Atom. Archived from the original on 2017-07-08. Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  14. ^ "Atom GitHub Page". GitHub. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  15. ^ "Electron GitHub Page". GitHub. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  16. ^ "Hacking Atom: Tools of the Trade". Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  17. ^ "GitHub – atom/language-examples: Language examples for all Atom core languages". March 3, 2019 – via GitHub.
  18. ^ "Tree-sitter|Introduction".
  19. ^ "Retiring the Nuclide Open Source Project". Nuclide. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  20. ^ "Atom IDE". Atom IDE. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  21. ^ "Nuclide". Nuclide. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  22. ^ "Juno, the Interactive Development Environment". Juno. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  23. ^ "PlatformIO IDE: The next-generation integrated development environment for IoT". PlatformIO. Archived from the original on 2016-10-13. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  24. ^ "Facebook retires Nuclide extension". Atom Blog. 12 December 2018. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  25. ^ Sobo, Nathan. "Sunsetting Atom". Hacker News. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  26. ^ Nathan Sobo [@nathansobo] (June 8, 2022). "As Atom's sun sets, Zed's sun is rising. We're not done here" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  27. ^ "Built in Rust". Zed – A lightning fast, collaborative code editor. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  28. ^ Goodin, Dan (2023-01-30). "GitHub says hackers cloned code-signing certificates in breached repository". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2023-03-02.
  29. ^ "pulsar editor - Github".
  30. ^ "Atom Is Now Open Source". Atom. 6 May 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  31. ^ "Have metrics disabled by default, or completely removed". GitHub. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  32. ^ "Collecting Metrics in Atom Core". Atom. Archived from the original on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  33. ^ "Communicate plan on how to modify metrics to be opt-in now that 1.0 is released". GitHub Atom. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  34. ^ "should be disableable during install". Atom. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  35. ^ "Should be disabled by default". Atom. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  36. ^ "Send telemetry only with consent by damieng · Pull Request #66 · atom/metrics". GitHub.
  37. ^ "atom/atom". GitHub. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  38. ^ "RIP Google Analytics by annthurium · Pull Request #100 · atom/metrics". GitHub. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  39. ^ a b "atom/metrics: A package to collect metrics". GitHub. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  40. ^ "exception-reporting". Atom. Retrieved 3 February 2016.

External links[edit]