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Pulsar: A Community-Led Open Source Code Editor to Continue the Legacy of Atom

Pulsar aims to be a replacement for Atom users, and could challenge Visual Studio code as its development progresses further.

It is no surprise that Microsoft decided to kill the Atom text editor to favor Visual Studio Code.

If you did not know, you could take a glance through our older coverage:

To Favor Microsoft VS Code, Microsoft’s GitHub is Killing GitHub’s Atom Editor
Coder, coder in the hall, which is the best editor of them all! Sorry for the really cheesy opening line. I could not prevent myself from writing that. Just as we all could not prevent the certain demise of the most loved open source code editor of the last decade,

While you may have had better options, Atom was an impressive tool when it was popular.

A community build for it is already available; however, there seems to be a new version (Pulsar) that aims to bring feature parity with the original Atom and introduce modern features and updated architecture.

As per its documentation, the original team that worked on Atom-Community is now involved with creating Pulsar. The reason why they made a separate fork is because of different goals for the projects.

Pulsar wants to modernize everything to present a successor to Atom.

Pulsar is a new project, as a new fork to Atom, with dev/beta releases available to test.

Pulsar Editor: What's to see here?

pulsar editor

Of course, the user interface is much of the same. Considering Pulsar hasn't had a stable release yet, the branding could sometimes seem all over the place.

However, the essentials seem to be there with the documentation, packages, and features like the ability to install packages from Git repositories.

The key feature highlights for Pulsar, as per the official website, include:

  • Cross-platform support (Linux, macOS, and Windows)
  • Built-in package manager
  • Smart autocompletion
  • File system browser
  • Multiple pane user interfaces
  • Find and replace feature

At the time of writing this, automatic updates for Pulsar are not available. You will be able to install newer versions through the official website.

pulsar editor settings

You can customize the editor, change keybindings, manage packages, apply themes, and configure your experience with all the available options.

As of now, it is too soon to say if Pulsar will become something better than what the Atom community version offers. However, it is something that we can keep an eye on.

Download and Try Pulsar

As mentioned earlier, Pulsar is in its early development stage. So, you can find binaries for Linux distributions and AppImage file that you can try on any distro.

In my test, it did not work for Linux Mint, but it worked fine with Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

You can head to its official download page to get the package required for your system and test it out.

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