Recommendation on IDE for web development

Please could anyone recommend me a good IDE for web development which is not very resource-intensive and free (as in freedom) software? I’ve been looking for it for some time, but couldn’t decide on which one is the best.

Hello llim,

Visual Studio Code

not sure how resource intensive it is though - I use it on laptop and it works with no issues.

VS Code is popular because it is free and pretty feature rich. It can be somewhat resource intensive though. If you don’t need all the features, you might prefer something like SublimeText or Notepad++.

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I’m a big fan of VS Code.

which is not very resource-intensive

Is there a reason for that? Are you on an old computer?

Thank you for the suggestions. Sorry, I forgot to mention that I use Linux, so Notepad++ is not an option for me.

It’s not an old computer, but it doesn’t have a lot of resources either. The main bottleneck is the amount of RAM, I have only 4 Gb, so, e.g. when I do Android application development in Android Studio (which is IntelliJ IDEA), I can’t start other programs reliably and can end up with out-of-memory error. Obviously, web development doesn’t require as much RAM (I guess), but I hear here and there that e.g. Visual Code can use a lot of RAM as well sometimes, that’s why I’m a bit worried about that.

I know Visual Studio Code can be run on the Raspberry Pi 4
Which runs on Linux and has 4GB RAM - but runs a bit slow.

But I say - no harm in trying it out to see if it is sluggish on your system :slight_smile:

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Yeah, doing things like mobile development is going to be tough on resources, running those emulators and such. The VSC site says you need 1GB of RAM so that should work, I would think for basic web development - the IDE, a few terminal windows, a dev server, a browser to run in, a few browser tabs open to docs, etc.

As suggested, give it a try. You can always monitor the resources to see what is happening.

I assume you’ve already considered upgrading your RAM.


On the mobile develpment idea, it reminds me of a story… I was using a System 76 unix box with pretty good specs. One thing I didn’t like was that the fan was so loud, and when running the android simulator it sounded like an aircraft getting ready to take off. I got a lot of weird looks in coffee shops…


When I’m running locally, my partner refers to my work laptop as “the spaceship” because it’s so loud.

@jaket Another alternative is to use an online editor like CodeSandbox or StackBlitz, or even an online VM (I think that Google, Amazon, and Microsoft all have free tiers).


gedit is more or less the same thing as Notepad++ if you really need to use something super lightweight.


The RAM upgrade advice is very good, I didn’t consider this yet. I’ve found that I can upgrade it to 8Gb, and even though I can’t do it right now, I hope to do so in the future.

Yeah, RAM is cheap and it can make a huge difference.

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@ArielLeslie - Funny you should mention online development.

Just went on - check out the current survey

Over 85% voted for Desktop app, installed locally - me too :slight_smile:

That’s typically my preference too, but it’s good to know your options.

I second the VS Code suggestion - it is what I used on Mac and now on Linux. As far as I know it is rather lightweight. Other options for Linux are Geany and Kate editors, depending on whether you use a Gnome or KDE desktop environment.

If RAM upgrade is out of the question at the moment, then one thing you can do to reduce the memory bottleneck is to switch to a more lightweight desktop environment, such as XFCE (Manjaro has an XFCE edition), or go even more lightweight with XLQt.

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I recommend that you go for an IDE that will save you from having to manually eliminate typos and errors, increasing your productivity and saving time for developing your idea further.

Which distro?
I use Manjaro, and many packages are available on the official repos or AUR.

I suppose it depends what kind of user you are. You could use VIM or EMACS if you like a CLI-like workflow. For a more GUI approach, there’s Atom and VS Code, but if you don’t want the M$ licence and whatever else is on it, you could use Code - OSS, which is VS Code without the proprietary bloat. There is another project based on Code OSS, called VSCodium.

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So, I’ve tried multiple IDEs including some not listed in this thread and ended up using Atom, I liked it the most. I wish I could use vim/neovim with plugins, but I wanted something more plug-and-play for now, maybe I’ll try later.

Speaking of RAM usage, Atom and VS Code are both not light, but not as bad as I’ve imagined.

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