Introduction to Ed

Ed is a line-oriented text editor. It is used to create, display, modify and otherwise manipulate text files, both interactively and via shell scripts. Ed isn't something which many people use. It's described here because it can be used by the patch program if you encounter an ed-based patch file. This happens rarely because diff-based patches are preferred these days.



Development versions of BLFS may not build or run some packages properly if dependencies have been updated since the most recent stable versions of the book.

Package Information

Ed Dependencies

Required to uncompress the tarball

libarchive-3.6.2 (for bsdtar)

User Notes: https://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/ed

Installation of Ed

Install Ed by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr &&

To test the results, issue: make check.

Now, as the root user:

make install


Installed Programs: ed and red
Installed Libraries: None
Installed Directories: None

Short Descriptions


is a line-oriented text editor


is a restricted ed—it can only edit files in the current directory and cannot execute shell commands