How to Save in a GNU Nano

By Joseph Wiltham

Nano's terminal-only interface causes the program to be confusing to some first-time users, because the program's save command is not made immediately clear from the interface. The program seeks to capture the functionality of the University of Washington's Pico text editor, and users who are not familiar with the earlier Pico program may be unsure of how to navigate the program's array of keyboard commands. Learning the save command is one the first steps in mastering nano.

Step 1

Open a document in Nano if you have not already. From your system's terminal, type "nano -w" without quotation marks, then press "Enter." Replacewith the path to the file you'd like to edit, such as "~./bashrc" to edit your bash profile. If the file does not exist, nano will automatically create it.

Step 2

Type your changes to the configuration file or document.

Step 3

Press "Ctrl" and "W" on the keyboard. This tells nano that you'd like to write the current document buffer to the disk.

Step 4

Press "Y" when asked to confirm the action.

Step 5

Pres "Ctrl" and "X" on the keyboard to exit nano once you have saved your file.