What is Atom? A Farewell to Atom Editor

In the fast-evolving landscape of web development tools, Atom has stood as a reliable companion for many aspiring full-stack web developers.

However, recent updates from GitHub require our attention.

Before we delve into the beginner’s guide, it’s crucial to address the recent developments.

January 30, 2023 Update: Important Announcement

On December 7, 2022, GitHub detected unauthorized access to repositories crucial for the development of Atom. GitHub assures users that this incident poses no risk to GitHub.com services. However, as a preventative measure, encrypted code signing certificates used for the Atom application will be revoked. This action will render certain versions of Atom unusable, effective February 2, 2023. To continue using Atom, users must update to a previous version (1.63.1 or 1.63.0).

Overview of Atom

History and Development:

Atom’s journey began in 2014 as an open-source, cross-platform editor developed by GitHub. Its roots in simplicity and hackability have made it a popular choice. However, the recent developments necessitate users to be mindful of the version they are using and, if needed, to update before the deadline.

Key Features of Atom

User Interface:

Atom’s user interface remains one of its standout features, offering customization options and a variety of themes. Despite the recent security measures, Atom still provides a personalized and adaptable coding environment.

Package Management:

While Atom’s package management system remains a powerful ally, users should be aware that certain versions may cease to function after February 2, 2023. Installing essential packages is still encouraged for an enhanced development experience.

Git Integration:

Atom’s integration with Git is a valuable feature, allowing for efficient version control. Despite the recent security incident, this functionality remains intact, ensuring collaborative coding remains seamless.

Teletype for Real-time Collaboration:

Teletype, Atom’s real-time collaboration tool, has been an asset for team projects. However, users need to be aware that Teletype will no longer work after the sunset of Atom on February 2, 2023.

Getting Started with Atom

Installation Process:

Installing Atom remains a straightforward process. However, users are urged to update to a previous version (1.63.1 or 1.63.0) before February 2, 2023, to ensure continued functionality.

Configuring Atom for Web Development:

Adjusting Atom’s settings and installing essential packages remains crucial for a smooth web development workflow. The recent updates do not negate the editor’s capability to be tailored to individual needs.

Atom as a Full-Stack Development Tool

Front-end Development:

Atom continues to excel in front-end development, offering support for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Developers can still enjoy the benefits of live previews and real-time editing.

Back-end Development:

While Atom provides support for various server-side languages, users must be aware of the version they are using. Choosing a version that remains functional is crucial for a comprehensive full-stack development experience.

Troubleshooting and Tips

Common Issues and Solutions:

Given the recent security incident, users might encounter new challenges. GitHub’s commitment to informing users and providing support during this transition is evident. A collaborative approach to problem-solving is encouraged.

Keyboard Shortcuts and Productivity Hacks:

Mastering Atom’s keyboard shortcuts is still a valuable asset for developers. Despite the changes, efficiency remains a key focus for Atom users.

Atom Sunset: What to Expect After February 2, 2023

Pre-built Atom Binaries:

Users can still download pre-built Atom binaries from the atom repository releases. This provides an opportunity for users to transition smoothly to alternative solutions.

Atom Package Management:

After the sunset, Atom package management will cease to work. Users are advised to explore alternative solutions compatible with their development needs.

No More Security Updates:

Atom’s commitment to maintenance and security updates has been integral. However, after the sunset, users must be mindful that there will be no more security updates.

Teletype Discontinuation:

Teletype, once a hallmark of collaborative coding in Atom, will no longer work after February 2, 2023. Teams relying on this feature should plan accordingly.

Deprecated Redirects:

Any deprecated redirects that supported downloading Electron symbols and headers will no longer work after the sunset.


In bidding farewell to Atom, it’s essential to acknowledge its significant role in the development community. Despite the recent challenges, Atom has been a foundation for various applications, contributing to the evolution of software development.

As developers, we must now shift our focus to technologies like GitHub Codespaces. While this marks the end of an era, it also heralds the beginning of new possibilities in the realm of software development.

Let’s embrace the transition and shape the future of coding together.