Welcome to the Screen Editor Homepage

Welcome to the home page for Screen Editor, se for short. se is a screen oriented version of the classic UNIX text editor ed. It’s similar to vi as both are modal editors with curses interfaces. However, it differs from vi in that it has the same command syntax as ed. For example, in se to escape from append mode, you’d enter a line containing a single period instead of the vi way of hitting the escape key.

se has a long history dating back to the early 1980s. Beginning in 2013, Thomas Cort undertook the task of modernizing the early code and build system to get the software working on recent POSIX operating systems. The code base was straight forward and only used facilities available 25 years prior, and as a result, with a few modifications, it runs on many modern operating systems. Thomas' primary motivation is to preserve this bit of computing history. His goals are to squash any remaining bugs and make se as portable as possible. No major new features will be added. Inquiries, bug reports, patches, and other correspondance should be directed to Thomas via e-mail at linuxgeek@gmail.com

  • command syntax that is very familiar to users who already know ed.

  • full visual interface allowing you to see the text you’re editing.

  • built-in help system which describes many of the available commands.

  • many configurable options which can be loaded from a .serc file.

  • can be run interactively or in a script via the included scriptse utility.

  • portable across many platforms.

  • will notify you if you have new/unread e-mail.

  • optional usage logging.


2013-11-26 - Package for OpenBSD available and other updates

Thanks to James Turner, there is now a package for se in OpenBSD Ports.

Work on se is continuing. I’ve recently been using scan-build to identify potential bugs and fixing the code that caused the warnings. Over the next few months I’ll be working on documentation and bug fixes. If all goes well, another release will be made in about 6 months. Feel free to suggest improvements and contribute patches.

2013-03-24 - Version 3.0.1 Released [Security Fix]

This is a security release. It is recommended that all users upgrade. The release fixes insecure handling of .serc files. The new behaviour is to ignore .serc files that aren’t owned by the euid of the se process and .serc files that are writable by other users. No other changes are included in this release. Thank you to Matthias Kilian of the OpenBSD project for alerting me to this issue. A write-up about the issue is available in security advisory SE-SA-2013-001.

2013-03-24 - public git repository

Just a short note to mention that I’ve set up a git repository on github for se development. The URL is as follows: git://github.com/screen-editor/se.git The pretty web interface is at the following URL: https://github.com/screen-editor/se

2013-03-06 - Version 3.0 Released

It is with great pleasure that I announce the release of se version 3.0. Many thanks are owed to the original authors of this historic text editor. There are no functional changes to se in this release, just autotooling and code modernization. Download se-3.0.tar.gz.