The Acme User Interface for Programmers

Acme is a powerful text editor, development environment and textual-user-interface platform developed by Rob Pike originally for Plan 9 from Bell Labs research operating system, and now has ports available for all major platforms.

Acme American Wrought Anvils

Implementations and Ports

User Interface

Acme has a very peculiar user interface, it has a minimalist set of keyboard shortcuts, and makes extensive use of ‘mouse chording’. For details see:

If you are used to more traditional text editors (mode oriented like vi, key combination oriented like Emacs, or mouse menu oriented like most Windows editors), acme can be frustrating at first, but with an open mind and after some practice mouse chording will become second nature and you will miss it everywhere else.

Documentation, Manuals and Papers


Some of the applications written to take advantage of the acme user interface are included in the standard Plan 9 distribution and can be found in their corresponding directories at /acme/*:

External Apps

Acme apps not found in the Plan 9 distribution:


Useful shell scripts to make some tasks in acme easier:

Contact and Community Support

Notable Acme Users

Dennis Ritchie and his Acme Terminal


P9p's acme running on OpenBSD

Related projects

See also