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Icarus is a simple terminal based text editor similar to Nano or Vim, written in Rust. It’s fast, performative, and lightweight. It lets you quickly edit text files directly from the command line with common vim-like shortcuts. Written entirely in Rust, Icarus requires no external dependencies and works on multiple Operating Systems.

Icarus can be run by using the following command, assuming the Icarus binary is on $PATH.

  icarus <optional-file-name>


  • Full keyboard control (arrow keys)
  • Create new and edit existing files
  • Searching
  • Common keyboard shortcuts (PgUp, PgDown)

How it works

  1. Icarus utilizes the Termion package for terminal control methods and keyboard input translation.
  2. The editor captures input in raw mode, and continuously refreshes the screen to display changes in the UI


  • Rust

Typical use case

Most programs like Nano, VIM, or Emacs can do a lot more than Icarus. However Icarus is a very small and simple binary that doesn’t require a lot of system overhead.

Tech Stack

  • Cargo
  • Rust


  • Phillip Flecker for writing the original guide that this is based on