Atom is an open-source cross-platform code editor developed by GitHub. It has a built-in package manager, embedded Git control, smart autocompletion, syntax highlighting and multiple panes.

Under the hood Atom is a desktop application built on Electron using HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and Node.js.

The  easiest and recommended way to install Atom on Ubuntu machines is to  enable the Atom repository and install the Atom package through the  command line.

Although  this tutorial is written for Ubuntu 18.04 the same instructions apply  for Ubuntu 16.04 and any Debian based distribution, including Debian,  Linux Mint and Elementary OS.


The user you are logging in as must have sudo privileges to be able to install packages.

Installing Atom on Ubuntu

Perform the following steps to install Atom on your Ubuntu system:

Start by updating the packages list and install the dependencies by typing:

sudo apt update

Next, import the Atom Editor GPG key using the following wget command:

wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add -

And enable the Atom APT repository by typing:

sudo add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64] any main"

Once the repository is enabled, install the latest version of Atom with:

sudo apt install atom

Starting Atom

Now that Atom is installed on your Ubuntu system you can launch it either from the command line by typing code or by clicking on the Atom icon (Activities -> Atom).

When you start the Atom editor for the first time, a window like the following should appear:

You can now start installing themes and extensions and configuring Atom according to your preferences.

Upgrading Atom

To upgrade your Atom installation when new releases are published, you can use the apt package manager normal upgrade procedure:

sudo apt update


You  have successfully installed Atom on your Ubuntu 18.04 machine. To learn  more about how to use Atom, from beginner basics to advanced  techniques, visit their official documentation page.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.