Why does ls | nano - open the editor in Ubuntu but close the editor and save a file to -.save in CentOS?

How can I get nano in CentOS to remain open when reading stdin?

  • What are the nano versions in those distributions? Maybe the different behavior comes from an older version.. Oct 8, 2012 at 6:45
  • 1
    If your shell is bash try with process substitution: nano <( ls ).
    – manatwork
    Nov 12, 2012 at 14:13

2 Answers 2


The feature wasn't added until version 2.2


For version 2.2:

  • Allow nano to work like a pager (read from stdin) [DONE]

and CentOS6 uses nano-2.0.9-7 (http://mirror.centos.org/centos/6/os/x86_64/Packages/)

If you decided you want the latest version, you can download from the upstream site (http://www.nano-editor.org/download.php) and then follow the Fedora guide to build your own RPM. (http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/How_to_create_an_RPM_package)

  • Or you can use the rpms provided by them. See nano-editor.org/dist then version then the rpm folder for red Hat/ fedora/ centos compatible rpms.
    – cde
    Apr 5, 2018 at 6:11

I think that this is text editor "feature" and nano doesn't have that.

you can use 2 steps:

ls > output.txt
nano output.txt

There are 2 other editors which can use stdin for data input

ls | joe
ls | jed

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