#editor #terminal #text-editor

bin+lib kibi

A text editor in less than 1024 lines of code with syntax higlighting, search and more

2 releases

✓ Uses Rust 2018 edition

new 0.1.2 Feb 17, 2020
0.1.1 Feb 10, 2020
0.1.0 Feb 10, 2020

#5 in Text editors



Kibi: A text editor in ≤1024 lines of code, written in Rust

Build Status Crate AUR Minimum rustc version License


A configurable text editor with UTF-8 support, incremental search, syntax highlighting, line numbers and more, written in less than 1024 lines1 of Rust with minimal dependencies.

This project is inspired by kilo, a text editor written in C. See comparison below.

Contributions are welcome! Be careful to stay below the 1024-line limit...

1.: Counted with tokei


With cargo

You can install Kibi with cargo:

$ cargo install kibi

Syntax highlighting configuration files are available in the syntax directory of this repository. They need to be placed in one of the configuration directories mentioned in the Configuration/Syntax Highlighting section.

For instance:

$ cd ~/repos
$ git clone https://github.com/ilai-deutel/kibi.git
$ mkdir -p ~/.config/kibi
$ ln -sr ./kibi/syntax ~/.config/kibi/syntax.d

Arch User Repository (Arch Linux)

kibi is available on the AUR.

Installation with an AUR helper

For instance, using yay:

yay -Syu kibi

Manual installation with makepkg

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/kibi.git
cd kibi
makepkg -si


# Start an new text buffer
$ kibi
# Open a file
$ kibi <file path>

Keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcut Description
Ctrl-F Incremental search; use arrows to navigate
Ctrl-S Save the buffer to the current file, or specify the file path
Ctrl-G Go to <line number>[:<column number>] position
Ctrl-Q Quit
Ctrl-D Duplicate the current row


Global configuration

Kibi can be configured using:

  • A system-wide configuration file, located at /etc/kibi/config.ini
  • A user-level configuration file, located at:
    • $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/kibi/config.ini if environment variable $XDG_CONFIG_HOME is defined
    • ~/.config/kibi/config.ini otherwise

Example configuration file:

# The size of a tab. Must be > 0.
# The number of confirmations needed before quitting, when changes have been made since the file.
# was last changed.
# The duration for which messages are shown in the status bar, in seconds.
# Whether to show line numbers.

Syntax Higlighting

Syntax highlighting can be configured using INI files located at:

  • /etc/kibi/syntax.d/<file_name>.ini for system-wide availability
  • For user-level configuration files:
    • $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/kibi/syntax.d/<file_name>.ini if environment variable $XDG_CONFIG_HOME is defined
    • ~/.config/kibi/syntax.d/<file_name>.ini otherwise

Syntax highlighting configuration follows this format:

### /etc/kibi/syntax.d/rust.ini ###
# Kibi syntax highlighting configuration for Rust

multiline_comment_delim=/*, */
; The keyword list is taken from here: https://doc.rust-lang.org/book/appendix-01-keywords.html
keywords_1=abstract, as, async, await, become, box, break, const, continue, crate, do, dyn, else, enum, extern, false, final, fn, for, if, impl, in, let, loop, macro, match, mod, move, mut, override, priv, pub, ref, return, self, Self, static, struct, super, trait, true, try, type, typeof, unsafe, unsized, use, virtual, where, while, yield
keywords_2=i8, i16, i32, i64, i128, isize, u8, u16, u32, u36, u128, usize, f32, f64, bool, char, str

Comparison with kilo

This project is inspired by kilo, a text editor written by Salvatore Sanfilippo (antirez) in C, and this tutorial (also in C).

kibi provides additional features:

  • Support for UTF-8 characters
  • Command to jump to a given row/column
  • Handle window resize
  • Parsing configuration files: global editor configuration, language-specific syntax highlighting configuration
  • Display line numbers on the left of the screen; display file size in the status bar
  • Syntax highlighting: multi-line strings
  • "Save as" prompt when no file name has been provided
  • Command to duplicate the current row
  • Memory safety, thanks to Rust!
  • Many bug fixes


This project must remain tiny, so using advanced dependencies such as ncurses, toml or ansi-escapes would be cheating.

These dependencies provide safe wrappers around libc calls, to avoid using unsafe code as much as possible:

  • libc
  • nix
  • signal-hook

In addition, unicode-width is used to determine the displayed width of Unicode characters.

Why Kibi?

  1. Porting the kilo source code from C to Rust and trying to make it idiomatic was interesting
  2. Implementing new features while under the 1024-line constraint is a good challenge
  3. Most importantly, I wanted to learn Rust and this was a great project to start (thanks Reddit for the idea)


Kibi is distributed under the terms of both the MIT license and the Apache License (Version 2.0).