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0.28.1 • Public • Published


A fast, browser-based IDE written in NodeJS. For Real.

Nikki's philosophy embraces the "less is better" approach, giving you a smart text editor that lets you focus on code rather than making you waste your time waiting for the IDE to boot, to suggest a method or to scan a new project.

Nikki is purely built on JavaScript (both on the browser and on Node), HTML and CSS, uses to have fun with your filesystem and the ACE editor to let you edit files like you're on your (ex) favourite IDE.


The recommended way to install nikki is to do it globally:

npm install -g nikki



Once you have it installed globally you can simply start nikki from the command line:


This command will open your browser at http://localhost:9123/, where the IDE is running.

To open specific project, simply specify it in the URL, for example http://localhost:9123/home/odino/my-project.

You can check whether nikki is runnin with a nikki --status; if you want to stop nikki simply run nikki --stop.

If you wish to start nikki on another port, simply specify it once you start the IDE:

nikki --port 8000

By default, nikki opens on the directory from which it was launched, which means that:

cd /tmp


will open the browser at http://localhost:9123/tmp

If you feel lost, simply run a nikki --help and get some comfort; in any case, upon booting, you will find a nikki.log file in nikki's root directory: in case of errors, have a look there.


By default, nikki comes with some configs stored in the .nikki.yml file of the module itself; you can setup custom configs by storing a .nikki.yml file in your home directory, or in the directory from which you are starting nikki.

For example, to change the editor theme, you can create the .nikki.yml configuration file in ~:

  theme: chaos

For a full list of available configurations, have a look here.

If you want to be more granular and specify per-project configurations, you can do it by storing another .nikki.yml in your project's folder (ie. /home/user/projects/test-project/.nikki.yml): once you open nikki at localhost:9123/home/user/projects/test-project you will see that you are now using custom configurations that will only be available on that project.


Nikki is thought with shortcuts in mind and focused on letting you write code without using your mouse.

Here are some of the shortcuts you might find useful while using it (on Macs, simply replace ctrl with ):

  • use up or down to move between files / directories
  • press space to open a file / directory
  • ctrl + s will save the current open file
  • ctrl + f to find a string in the current file
  • ctrl + shift + f will search for files and directories
  • ctrl + shift + g will search in files
  • press ctrl + shift + x to switch the focus between the filesystem structure and the editor tab (this is handy when you open a file, save it and then wanna open another file without using the mouse)
  • press delete to delete either a file or a directory

When you are on the editor tab, use your usual shortcuts (ie. tab to indent, ctrl + z to undo), as we are using the ACE editor.

To switch between editor tabs, press ctrl + < and ctrl + >; to close a tab simply use ctrl + shift + l.

For a full list of keyboard shortcuts supported by the editor visit its documentation.

File / directory search

When the search is enabled (ctrl + shift + f), you can use a single word or a sequence of words to match a path; long story short:

  • app matches app.js and app_production.js
  • app prod only matches app_production.js
  • proj app matches /some/path/project/app.js

Nikki will look for files from the current directory onwards.


Nikki should work on all modern browser: for an optimal experience, though, we recommend the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox.


You can contribute to nikki by simply forking this repo and running it locally; cd into nikki's root, run npm install and launch the app with gulp:

git clone

cd nikki

npm install


By the way, the layout sucks, big time: never been a genious with HTML and CSS so if you guys wanna come up with something I'd be super happy.


For the ones who care, nikki is released under the MIT license.

Are you for real?

"Kinda", "Why not?" and "Let's just have fun" are all valid answers to this question.

Of course, calling this thing an "IDE" is a bit - well, a lot - pretentious. On purpose ;-)

The main idea behind nikki came up to my mind months ago when I was thinking on why we are still relying on desktop applications to interact with the filesystem while we can simply use sockets to make the browser communicate, in a simple way, with the server. At the same time, I got so much frustrated with traditional IDEs like Eclipse, Netbeans, WebStorm: tried all of them and it's just ridicolous how much time you spend in waiting for that thing to respond to your actions.

Hey, couldn't you simply use TextMate or LightTable?

Yes, but then, where's the fun?


The sickest thing is that I started building Nikki with WebStorm and, once it got quite decent, I continued to build Nikki with Nikki.


npm i nikki

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