Fastest Minimal Linux Text Editor: Beaver vs Gedit vs Kate vs KWrite vs Leafpad

Stupidly, I have been using Kate as a text editor for taking down notes and such.

The Arch Wiki list of applications shows some real candidates, which I compared by looks, start-up time and reaction to drag & drop.

Application versions & screenshots

  • Beaver
    beaver 0.4.1-2
  • GEdit
    gedit 3.10.3-1
  • Kate
    kdesdk-kate 4.12.0-1
  • KWrite
    kdebase-kwrite 4.12.0-1
  • Leafpad

Start-up time

I tested by loading a 62218 Byte text file using `time` and holding down Ctrl + Q down, averaging five times.

  1. 0.283s Beaver
  2. 0.315s Leafpad
  3. 0.534s Gedit
  4. 0.989s Kwrite
  5. 1.076s Kate

My experience with Kate is that when I’m in the middle of jumping between 20 tabs while playing back one or two flash instances, the start-up time will be very noticeable.

Drag & Drop

I need an editor which allows me to drop links into for quick note-taking of web sources. What I’m testing is the default behavior when dragging the URL by the document icon left (leftmost object in Chromium URL bar), or a text link (“Home” on

Drag & Drop into Text Editor

Gedit failes to open http, Kate/Kwrite will download and open the HTML files while Beaver and Leafpad will insert the URL. I haven’t checked whether the default behavior of any of these can be changed. By selecting the URL bar text and dragging and dropping it, all editors will copy the text only.

By the way: When dragging an image, either link or not, into the editor, Gedit fails to open http, Kate/KWrite will open the binary file, Leafpad will ask you to save/discard/cancel the currently open file but won’t actually open the image while Beaver apparently does not handle images (no drag & drop indicator icon appears).


I’d go with Beaver but pressing the “new file” button makes it segfault, so I’ll give Leafpad a try, as long as it does not crash. If it does, I will have to check whether gedit can be taught to calm down regarding links. Alternative suggestions welcome!

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3 Responses to Fastest Minimal Linux Text Editor: Beaver vs Gedit vs Kate vs KWrite vs Leafpad

  1. 94964654 says:

    My Gedit 3.10.3 behaves like Kate/Kwrite.

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