Developer(s)GitHub (subsidiary of Microsoft)[1]
Initial releaseFebruary 26, 2014; 9 years ago (2014-02-26)[2]
Final release
1.63.1[3] Edit this on Wikidata / 23 November 2022
Preview release
1.61.0-beta0[4] Edit this on Wikidata / 8 March 2022
Written inCoffeeScript, JavaScript, Less, HTML (front-end/UI)
Operating systemmacOS 10.9 or later, Windows 7 and later, and Linux[5]
Size87–180 MB
Available inEnglish
TypeSource code editor
LicenseMIT License (free software)[6][7] Edit this on Wikidata

Atom was a free and open-source text and source code editor for macOS, Linux, and Windows with support for plug-ins written in JavaScript, and embedded Git Control. Developed by GitHub, Atom was released on June 25, 2015.[8]

On June 8, 2022, GitHub announced Atom's end-of-life, occurring on December 15 of the same year, justifying its need "to prioritize technologies that enable the future of software development", specifically its GitHub Codespaces and Visual Studio Code, developed by Microsoft which had acquired Github in 2018.[9][10]


Atom was a "hackable" text editor, which means it was customizable using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.[11]

Atom was a desktop application built using web technologies.[12] It was based on the Electron framework, which was developed for that purpose, and hence was formerly called Atom Shell.[13] Electron is a framework that enables cross-platform desktop applications using Chromium and Node.js.[14][15]

Atom was initially written in CoffeeScript and Less, but much of it was converted to JavaScript before retirement.[16]

Atom used Tree-sitter to provide syntax highlighting for multiple programming languages and file formats.[17]


Like most other configurable text editors, Atom enabled users to install third-party packages and themes to customize the features and looks of the editor. Packages could be installed, managed and published via Atom's package manager apm. All types of packages, including but not limited to: Syntactic highlighting support for languages other than the default, debuggers, etc. could have been installed via apm.[citation needed]


Atom was developed in 2008 by GitHub founder Chris Wanstrath as a text editor using the Electron Framework (originally called Atom Shell), a framework designed as the base for Atom.[18]

Between May 2015 and December 2018,[19] Facebook developed Nuclide[20] and Atom IDE projects to turn Atom into an integrated development environment (IDE).[21][22][23][24]

In 2018 when Microsoft announced they would be acquiring GitHub, users expressed concern that Microsoft might discontinue Atom, as it competed with Microsoft's Visual Studio Code. The future GitHub CEO assured users that development and support for Atom would continue.[25] However, within four years, development ceased. On June 8, 2022, GitHub announced shutdown of Atom development and archival of all development repositories of Atom by December 15, 2022.[9]

Atom's founder, Nathan Sobo, announced that he was building the "spiritual successor" to Atom, titled Zed.[26][27][28] Unlike Atom, Zed would be written in Rust and not use the Electron framework.[29]

On January 30, 2023, GitHub announced a breach which exposed "a set of encrypted code signing certificates" some of which were used to sign Atom releases. GitHub advised users to downgrade to earlier versions of Atom signed with a different key.[30]

Following Atom's end-of-life, development continued on a community fork named Pulsar.[31]


Atom was made fully open source in May 2014 under the MIT License, including its desktop framework Electron.[32]

Privacy concerns

There was initially concern and discussion about two opt-out packages that report various data to external servers.[33][34][35][36][37] However, those packages became opt-in with a verbose dialog during the initial launch:[38]

See also


  1. ^ "Microsoft's 'future CEO of GitHub' speaks out on Atom, keeping GitHub independent and more". ZDNet. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  2. ^ "Introducing Atom". Atom. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Release 1.63.1". 23 November 2022. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  4. ^ "Release 1.61.0-beta0". 8 March 2022. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  5. ^ a b "FAQ". Atom. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  6. ^ Henry, Alan (8 May 2014). "Atom, the Text Editor from GitHub, Goes Free and Open-Source". Lifehacker.
  7. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (6 May 2014). "GitHub Open Sources Its Atom Text Editor". TechCrunch.
  8. ^ Ogle, Ben (25 June 2015). "Atom 1.0". Archived from the original on 9 Aug 2019. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Sunsetting Atom". The GitHub Blog. 2022-06-08. Retrieved 2022-06-09.
  10. ^ Wiggers, Kyle (8 June 2022). "GitHub sunsets Atom, the software dev environment it launched in 2011". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 9 June 2022. Retrieved 9 June 2022. GitHub today announced that it will sunset Atom
  11. ^ "Getting started with Atom". Codecademy. Archived from the original on 2019-10-07. Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  12. ^ "Getting Started: Why Atom". Atom project. Retrieved 17 August 2015. [...] we didn't build Atom as a traditional web application. Instead, Atom was a specialized variant of Chromium designed to be a text editor rather than a web browser. Every Atom window is essentially a locally-rendered web page.
  13. ^ "Atom Shell is now Electron". Atom. Archived from the original on 2017-07-08. Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  14. ^ "Atom GitHub Page". GitHub. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  15. ^ "Electron GitHub Page". GitHub. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  16. ^ "Hacking Atom: Tools of the Trade". Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  17. ^ Brunsfeld, Max (2018-10-31). "Atom understands your code better than ever before". The GitHub Blog. Retrieved 2023-09-10.
  18. ^ Metz, Cade. "GitHub Atom's Code-Editor Nerds Take Over Their Universe". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2024-01-18.
  19. ^ "Facebook retires Nuclide extension". Atom Blog. 12 December 2018. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  20. ^ "Retiring the Nuclide Open Source Project". Nuclide. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  21. ^ "Atom IDE". Atom IDE. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  22. ^ "Nuclide". Nuclide. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  23. ^ "Juno, the Interactive Development Environment". Juno. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  24. ^ "PlatformIO IDE: The next-generation integrated development environment for IoT". PlatformIO. Archived from the original on 2016-10-13. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  25. ^ "GitHub's new CEO promises to save Atom post-Microsoft acquisition".
  26. ^ Sobo, Nathan. "Sunsetting Atom". Hacker News. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  27. ^ Nathan Sobo [@nathansobo] (June 8, 2022). "As Atom's sun sets, Zed's sun is rising. We're not done here" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  28. ^ Eastman, David (2023-04-08). "Zed: A New Multiplayer Code Editor from the Creators of Atom". The New Stack. Retrieved 2023-07-07.
  29. ^ "Built in Rust". Zed – A lightning fast, collaborative code editor. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  30. ^ Goodin, Dan (2023-01-30). "GitHub says hackers cloned code-signing certificates in breached repository". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2023-03-02.
  31. ^ "Pulsar: A Community-Led Open Source Code Editor to Continue the Legacy of Atom". It's FOSS News. 2022-12-15. Retrieved 2023-09-14.
  32. ^ "Atom Is Now Open Source". Atom. 6 May 2014. Archived from the original on 6 May 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2015.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  33. ^ "Have metrics disabled by default, or completely removed". GitHub. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  34. ^ "Collecting Metrics in Atom Core". Atom. Archived from the original on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  35. ^ "Communicate plan on how to modify metrics to be opt-in now that 1.0 is released". GitHub Atom. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  36. ^ "should be disableable during install". Atom. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  37. ^ "Should be disabled by default". Atom. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  38. ^ "Send telemetry only with consent by damieng · Pull Request #66 · atom/metrics". GitHub.
  39. ^ a b "atom/metrics: A package to collect metrics". GitHub. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  40. ^ "atom/atom". GitHub. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  41. ^ "RIP Google Analytics by annthurium · Pull Request #100 · atom/metrics". GitHub. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  42. ^ "exception-reporting". Atom. Retrieved 3 February 2016.