Change & Set the Default crontab Editor

Mar 7, 2011 - 11 Comments


Most hardcore command line users and unix geeks love vi, but I prefer nano. If you want to change your default crontab editor to nano, here’s how to do this:

For a one time edit, launch the terminal and type:

EDITOR=nano crontab -e

If you want to set nano as your default editor in general, you use this command:

export EDITOR=nano

Now when you go to edit crontab, nano will be the default editor than vi. You can test this by typing:

crontab -e

Looking beyond Mac OS X, this should work in Linux as well.

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Posted by: David Mendez in Command Line, Mac OS X


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  1. Nobody cares says:

    This applies to what, 4 people? Nobody uses this stuff.

  2. Dan Uff says:

    Thank you. I thought I was the only one who used Nano.

  3. capemaster says:

    This set the default editor for the session.
    If you want to make it default, you have to change /etc/bashrc or /etc/profile

  4. axe88 says:

    vi is for neckbeards

  5. W.P. Wily says:

    Thanks, I use nano on a Linux server at work and when I went to do a crontab entry on my home OS X box I was lost with vim :/

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