You can sign up to get a daily email of our articles, see the Mailing List page.
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. See more here.

Popular multiplayer code editor Zed gets a Linux release

By - | Views: 34,382

A little break in the gaming news for a moment to mention that Zed, a "high-performance, multiplayer code editor from the creators of Atom and Tree-sitter", now has a Linux version available.

Something many have been wanting, because of how popular it is. Previously only officially available for macOS, the developers are not yet even providing official builds for Windows (but it can be built from source).

Announced via their blog in the "Linux when? Linux now." post, it included a nice thank you note about how vital the community has been in pushing the rapid development of the Linux build.

It has some of the fanciest sounding features I've ever read for a code editor. Built like a video game as they said: "Zed’s breakthrough performance starts with our GPUI framework, a new way to build 2D user interfaces. GPUI rasterizes the entire window on the GPU, just like a 3D video game. The result? Fast, reliable, and smooth delivery of pixels on every frame.".

Not just that, it's built for collaboration too with a virtual office system with different channels, shared documents for notes, audio and text-based chat and so on. So, it sounds like an open-source Discord for programmers in a way.

See more on the official website.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
13 Likes
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
29 comments
Page: 1/3»
  Go to:

akselmo Jul 11
Having tried it, it was pretty slow compared to other editors I've used. The fonts are also quite blurry, it's full of AI stuff , it looks like Mac app even on Linux, has some weird Mac keyboard symbols for shortcuts, there's no debugger support...

I know it's just first release on Linux and I hope it gets better, but for now I saw no reason to use it over Kate or Helix.

You can luckily toggle off the AI bullshit from the settings but it being plastered everywhere really tells me who the audience is, and I don't think it's me. Also they seemed to equate Git with Github, because only Github services were supported.

On positive side though, it was very easy to get going with it and the config, while being editing json files (why??), was still alright experience.

Edit: https://github.com/zed-industries/zed/issues/12589 oh no


Last edited by akselmo on 11 July 2024 at 10:34 am UTC
Taros Jul 11
Wow. Never heard of it. Will definitely give it a try.
dmoonfire Jul 11
I fell in love with Atom and wrote a few novels with it, plus contributed a decent amount of code. When Microsoft canned it, it was heartbreaking because all my work was basically just canned. Zed looks interesting, but I'm also concerned about their EULA (https://zed.dev/eula) because it implies that they are going the route of some products by having a community edition and a closed-source version, which usually means the community edition gets less features over time and they push the private one more.

QuoteZed makes certain versions of the Editor and related software available at the Zed GitHub Repository: https://github.com/zed-industries/zed (the “Repo”). Your use of such software is subject to the open source software licenses declared in the Repo.

And, of course, the network-based services are going to be paid-for:

QuoteIf you have elected to use the Network Based Service by enabling or activating the Network Based Service, Zed will use commercially reasonable efforts to make the Network Based Service available to You as set forth in this Agreement. Once you elected to use the Network Based Service, You may access and use the Network Based Service during the Term, subject to Your compliance with the terms and conditions of the Agreement,

So, as much as I really want to get into it, to find something that isn't VS Code and can fill the Atom-sized hole in my life, I keep bouncing off those concerns. I'm hoping Eclipse Theia (https://theia-ide.org/) has a chance but I'm just waiting at this point (mainly because I've tried to write a few editors myself and failed).
grigi Jul 11
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
The one big issue for me that's still left is that it will just download binary blobs from various online places, and do so continuously. It will always update to the latest version of whatever thing it decides it needs. One has no control over it.

So it will always run the latest release at basically all times.

One of the few things that saved us from the XZ disaster was that as a library it took a few weeks to roll out, and that delay allowed someone to notice the behaviour change before it was rolled out everywhere to limit the impact.
tmtvl Jul 11
I probably should try it some time to see if there are any features in it I would like to port to Emacs.
TheSHEEEP Jul 11
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: dmoonfireAnd, of course, the network-based services are going to be paid-for:
How could they not be paid-for?
They certainly cause network traffic. And I don't think they are running on donations.

I gave it a quick glance. Makes a nice first impression, but time will tell if it can actually replace VSCode (I'd sure love to get rid of it eventually).


Last edited by TheSHEEEP on 11 July 2024 at 12:27 pm UTC
dmoonfire Jul 11
Quoting: TheSHEEEP
Quoting: dmoonfireAnd, of course, the network-based services are going to be paid-for:
How could they not be paid-for?
They certainly cause network traffic.

As opposed to being self-hosted network services first and happen to have an instance for those who don't want to manage a hosted ve4aion themselves.

There are a number of projects that do that, proved the basic tool as open source but then hardcode/firmly suggest a private, commercial service. Like dolt (OSS) and dolthub (closed). Or VS Code making the C# plugin closed.

I'm fine with projects making money, but I'd rather it be entirely on the side instead of using the OSS project intended to drive the non OSS commercial service.

Zed's EULA suggests to me which is why I'm not comfortable with it.
Julius Jul 11
Are there any details available how to run the server side parts of this "multiplayer" mode? Or is it all closed-source and they are trying to vendor lock-in people?
wvstolzing Jul 11
Quoting: akselmoHaving tried it, it was pretty slow compared to other editors I've used. The fonts are also quite blurry, it's full of AI stuff , it looks like Mac app even on Linux, has some weird Mac keyboard symbols for shortcuts, there's no debugger support...

I know it's just first release on Linux and I hope it gets better, but for now I saw no reason to use it over Kate or Helix.

You can luckily toggle off the AI bullshit from the settings but it being plastered everywhere really tells me who the audience is, and I don't think it's me. Also they seemed to equate Git with Github, because only Github services were supported.

On positive side though, it was very easy to get going with it and the config, while being editing json files (why??), was still alright experience.

Edit: https://github.com/zed-industries/zed/issues/12589 oh no

I got curious & installed it (Arch already has it in the official Extra repo.). My first impressions are pretty much the same.

... not that I'll investigate it any further, but the open project dialog doesn't even show up on my Xfce setup, & the UI gives no clue as to how I could open a file. Drag-drop doesn't work either. So, yeah, I haven't been able to open a file on this thing. The entirely baseless joke about 'exiting vim' can be replaced by 'opening a file in zed' now, I guess -- and it would have a material basis this time around.

QuoteEdit: https://github.com/zed-industries/zed/issues/12589 oh no

-- and their reasoning for doing it this way is ridiculous. If this is a text editor for programmers, maybe it doesn't have to have a 100% no-config ootb experience for all of its functionality; it's not a general-purpose todo app.
wvstolzing Jul 11
Quoting: tmtvlI probably should try it some time to see if there are any features in it I would like to port to Emacs.

The various emacs packages for git forge integration & llm integration seem to cover a lot of zed's features, though (not sure if this is at all possible), a client for their 'collaboration server' on emacs could be interesting: https://github.com/zed-industries/zed/blob/main/docs/src/development/local-collaboration.md

-- in other news, emacs 30.1 is just around the corner (the NEWS file has an entry for it, though the build still says 30.0.60).
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Reward Tiers: Patreon. Plain Donations: PayPal.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone! Patreon supporters can also remove all adverts and sponsors! Supporting us helps bring good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
Login / Register


Or login with...
Sign in with Steam Sign in with Google
Social logins require cookies to stay logged in.