You can use the Atom text and code editor with many MousePaw Media projects. While this isn’t our officially recommended IDE, many of our staff members use it.


We have found that Atom’s support for C++ leaves a lot to be desired. Consider Visual Studio Code for C++ instead.


Atom is a FOSS multi-language text and code editor with a lot of nifty features. It’s also completely customizable, allowing you to add functionality and themes from the built-in packages. (If you’re a programmer, you can also write your own!)

Installing on Linux

If you’re on Ubuntu, you can install Atom from the main package repository:

$ sudo apt install atom

Alternatively, on most Linux systems, you can install from Snapcraft:

$ sudo snap install atom

Or, you can install from Flatpak on most Linux systems:

$ flatpak run io.atom.Atom

On other operating systems, you can install Atom from the official packages on the Atom website.

SOURCE: Installing Atom - Linux

Installing on Mac

On Mac, you can go to the official Atom releases page and download the file for the latest stable release.

Extract the ZIP file, and drag the Atom application into your Applications folder.

SOURCE: Installing Atom - Mac

Installing on Windows

On Windows, you can go to the official Atom releases page and download the file AtomSetup.exe for the latest stable release.

Run the executable to launch the Atom installer.

SOURCE: Installing Atom - Windows

Configuring Atom

Atom has a lot of pretty impressive features that I won’t be covering in the tutorial. Consider taking some time to play around with it.

You’ll want to install some packages to improve Atom’s handling of various file types and languages. Go to Edit ‣ Preferences, and then select Install on the left hand menu.

We recommend the following packages:

  • autocomplete-clang

  • autocomplete-cmake

  • autocomplete-python

  • autocomplete-xml

  • language-cmake

  • language-python

  • language-restructuredText

  • linter

  • linter-cppcheck

  • linter-pylint

  • linter-xmllint

  • python-indent

  • python-tools

  • rst-preview-pandoc

You may also consider the following helpful packages:

  • cursor-history

  • file-icons

  • highlight-selected

  • minimap

  • minimap-bookmarks

  • minimap-codeglance

  • minimap-cursorline

  • minimap-findandreplace

  • minimap-highlight-selected

  • minimap-selected

  • todo-show

Each of those packages has some settings you can play with under Edit ‣ Preferences ‣ Packages. Click Settings on the package you want to modify.

At minimum, you’ll want to edit the settings for linter-pylint, setting the following:

  • Executable: pylint3

  • RC File: %p/pylintrc