Geany: A cross platform, lightweight IDE


An IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to computer programmers for software development. Usually good coders are backed up by good IDEs like Eclipse, Netbeans etc. Most of these IDEs are over half a gigabyte in size and pack in so many features that most developers even don’t use!

So i searched for a good IDE that was not at all crippled but was small, lightweight and fast. And I came across a software named Geany (Yeah, the same meaning as Genie from Aladdin!). Clocking in at just about 3Mb, Geany is really, really light in weight!

About Geany

Geany is a small and lightweight IDE with very few dependencies. One would think it can’t be too powerful. Surprisingly, it does almost everything a budding programmer needs to code! Syntax completion, check! Highlighting, check! In fact i was wondering how the developers of the program (Nick Treleaven, Enrico Troger and Frank Lanitz) managed to keep the size so small!

Geany is cross platform and can be run on Linux, Windows, BSD, Solaris and Mac OS X.


Salient features of the IDE are:-

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Code completion
  • Auto completion of constructs like if, for and while, XML and HTML
  • Call tips
  • Many supported file types like C, Java, PHP, HTML, Python, Perl, Pascal, C# etc.
  • Easy Code navigation
  • Embedded terminal emulation
  • And best of all, it is also extensible by plugins!

Testing Testing!

To test the program, I wrote a simple C++ code, given below:-
using namespace std;
int main()
cout<<"The Geeks Club Rocks"

As you can appreciate, I have deliberately not put a semicolon (;) at the end of the statement. When I compiled the program, Geany could easily point out the error. After correcting the error, I successfully compiled the program and could run it! So Geany gets full marks!

Although compilers are required for languages like Java and C#, but still clocking in under 10Mb is a major feat achieved by Geany. I’d recommend it to all programmers on Linux.

Download Geany | Official Webpage.

Eclipse and NetBeans may also interest you.

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