Linux/Fedora/Ubuntu or yet-another-Mac-app?


Many web-designers and web-developers as well as countless legions of server guys use Linux workstations. I’m hoping that Atom is Linux ready and not just yet another cool but distant app on “Apple Island”. Please make me happy and tell me I can run Atom on Fedora, Ubuntu and Chrome OS. Also I haven’t received an invite yet. Thanks.

Why atom is only for mac

Right now Atom is MacOS only.
But there will be a Linux and Mac Version in the Future.


Is it built to be portable across Unix/Linux systems or is it heavily dependent on Apple libraries?


Wait, this will be a FOSS app right? You’ll release the source code at some point? Heard that it’s “shared source” and I was thinking WTF???


It’s build on Chromium and Node


So it is open-source right? If it’s closed source that would be rather insane for Github seeing as their business is built on top of Git which is GPL one of the pillars of the FOSS ecosystem. You’ll publish the full source code under a BSD or MIT license right?


The code is based on a version of Chromium with Node.js as the engine powering everything. The UI is written in HTML5, and all logic is in JavaScript (well, Coffeescript, but compiled to JavaScript).

So everything about Atom is portable. All that needs to land is some integration code for whatever specific environment you need it to run in (MS Windows, X Window System, Wayland, etc). But right now they only have the Mac code.

No, not FOSS, but it will be Open Source. The source will be limited in use in some way so that Github can make money (They’ve been working on this since 2008 it seems, so they need to pay their engineers). They haven’t worked out the details, but it seems like a shared source license type deal. There’s a big thread on this already.


For now the Core is not open. They have not decided whether to open the core or not.
However all official Plugins are under MIT (


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Here’s a great idea, have them talk to Linus Torvalds, the creator of Git and see what he thinks about having the core of this editor closed source!


The official rant thread is over here:


It’s too bad I got really excited about this and now I could care less and so will the rest of the world…


I think you’re confusing Linus Torvalds with Richard Stallman. Yes, Linus did create git, but he has a much more laid back and in my opinion realistic view of the open source movement. He has criticized Stallman in the past for his black and white stance on free software. Linus for example uses Android, which the FLOSS movement does not consider to be free software. He also uses lots of other completely closed source Google products.


No I’m not actually. Yeah I know about the difference in philosophy. It’s the pragmatic and practical reasons why you go with GPL or the generic FOSS route. Look at Git itself, why is it successful? Because it was awesome and secondly totally FOSS and unrestricted. It’s just a matter of making something sustainable and not driving into a narrow dead-end. Sure, feel free to introduce products and services based on Atom. But the actually software itself should really be FOSS if you want it to be successful in a market saturated with FOSS alternatives and solutions.


I’d hardly call the programmer’s editor market “saturated”, let alone with FOSS alternatives. The fact that this is generating so much buzz is proof enough of that …


Because people made the assumption that it’s free and open-source due to the association with Github as a company that promotes open-source and collaborative development. People will feel the wind socked out of them and totally shocked when they find out it’s a premium app that’s closed source. This doesn’t have a market, just some buzz that will die out.


I too find it a bit weird that Github doesn’t make it open source and for that matter, that they don’t plan to tightly integrate git and Github. But I also strongly believe that it is their right to keep it closed source to make money with it and that nobody has the right to demand them to change their opinion. It’s very rude to call their decision insane. As for the success, look at Sublime Text. Completely closed source but it’s gotten really popular. Textmate too, it’s open source now but wasn’t for a long time and when it was closed source lots of people used it, probably much more people than nowadays, at least I don’t hear people mention it that often anymore.


Totally, it’s 100% their right to do so. The problem is that they’re following a business model that’s obsolete. Everyone is moving away from that now because it doesn’t work to create a large enough market where it would be sustainable. You build it GPL or MIT/Apache/BSD and then create proprietary integration with your web-services. Like how Google keeps a few proprietary bits in Android to integrate with Google web-services but the platform itself is free and FOSS.


I’m probably missing something but: what’s your point exactly? I believe you already had an answer to your initial question.


Originally I was concerned about Linux support. But I also assumed that this was a fully open-source app coming from Github and all it would just make sense. However, I was shocked and quite upset that the app is actually closed source. It’s a very odd choice by Github because I previously thought their business was selling account subscriptions and not selling paid apps. Also because Github is used to host so many open-source projects as well.