Advanced text editor for KDE


Open specific files

$ kate [path/to/file1 path/to/file2 ...]

Open specific remote files
$ kate [ ...]

Create a new editor instance even if one is already open
$ kate --new

Open a file with the cursor at the specific line
$ kate --line [line_number] [path/to/file]

Open a file with the cursor at the specific line and column
$ kate --line [line_number] --column [column_number] [path/to/file]

Create a file from stdin
$ cat [path/to/file] | kate --stdin

Display help
$ kate --help


kate [-s, --start name] [--startanon] [-n, --new] [-b, --block] [-p, --pid pid] [-e, --encoding name] [-l, --line line] [-c, --column column] [-i, --stdin] [-u, --use] [KDE Generic Options] [Qt Generic Options]


Kate is the KDE Advanced Text Editor.

Kate also provides the editor part for various applications, under the name KWrite.

Some of Kate's many features include configurable syntax highlighting for languages ranging from C and C++ to HTML to bash scripts, the ability to create and maintain projects, a multiple document interface (MDI), and a self-contained terminal emulator.

But Kate is more than a programmer's editor. Its ability to open several files at once makes it ideal for editing UNIX®'s many configuration files. This document was written in Kate.


-s, --start name

Start Kate with a given session.


Start Kate with a new anonymous session, implies -n.

-n, --new

Force start of a new Kate instance (is ignored if start is used and another Kate instance already has the given session opened), forced if no parameters and no URLs are given at all.

-b, --block

If using an already running Kate instance, block until it exits, if URLs given to open.

-p, --pid pid

Only try to reuse kate instance with this pid (is ignored if start is used and another Kate instance already has the given session opened).

-e, --encoding name

Set encoding for the file to open

You can use this to force a file opened in utf-8 format, for instance. (The command iconv -l provides a list of encodings, which may be helpful to you.)

-l, --line line

Navigate to this line

-c, --column column

Navigate to this column

-i, --stdin

Read the contents of stdin

-u, --use

Use an already running Kate instance; default, only for compatibility


To open a file named source.cpp at column 15, line 25, in an existing Kate window, you could use:

kate -c 15 -l
25 -u source.cpp

If you have an active internet connection, you can take advantage of KDE's network transparency to open a file from an ftp site. If you do not have write permission on the remote server, the file will be opened read only and you will be prompted for a local filename to save to if you make changes. If you do have write permission, changes will be saved transparently over the network.



The maintainer of Kate is Christoph Cullmann<>. A comprehensive list of authors and contributors is available in the complete user manual mentioned above.



the Kate website


More detailed user documentation is available from help:/kate (either enter this URL into Konqueror, or run khelpcenter help:/kate). There is also further information available at the Kate website [1] .


Lauri Watts <>


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