Ref: Install and Use JOE Text Editor on Arch and Debian Linux

Ref: Install and Use JOE Text Editor on Arch and Debian Linux

The JOE text editor is a "full featured terminal-based screen editor which is distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). JOE has been around since 1988 and comes standard with many Linux distributions."

JOE stands for Joe's Own Editor. The entire package is only 2.1MB.

More information is available at the project website:

Check Availability

First check if JOE is available for your distribution.

On Arch type pacman -Si joe:

$ pacman -Si joe
Repository      : extra
Name            : joe
Version         : 4.6-2
Description     : Joe's own editor
Architecture    : x86_64
URL             :
Licenses        : GPL
Groups          : None
Provides        : None
Depends On      : ncurses
Optional Deps   : gpm: console mouse support
Conflicts With  : None
Replaces        : None
Download Size   : 551.12 KiB
Installed Size  : 2027.20 KiB
Packager        : Felix Yan <>
Build Date      : Sat 16 May 2020 11:38:44 AM CEST
Validated By    : MD5 Sum  SHA-256 Sum  Signature

On Debian type apt show joe:

$ apt show joe
Package: joe
Version: 4.6-1+b1
Priority: optional
Section: editors
Source: joe (4.6-1)
Maintainer: Josip Rodin <>
Installed-Size: 2123 kB
Depends: libc6 (>= 2.14), libncurses6 (>= 6), libtinfo6 (>= 6)
Breaks: jupp (<< 3.1.18-2~)
Tag: implemented-in::c, interface::text-mode, role::program,
 scope::application, uitoolkit::ncurses, use::editing, works-with::text
Download-Size: 530 kB
APT-Sources: buster/main amd64 Packages
Description: user friendly full screen text editor

Install Package

Install JOE.

On Arch type sudo pacman -S joe.

$ sudo pacman -S joe

On Debian type sudo apt-get install joe.

$ sudo apt-get install joe


Run the package by typing joe in the command line.

$ joe

Using JOE

Here are some of the most common commands.

Description Syntax
Quit ctrl-k q
Save ctrl-k x
Help ctrl-k h