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If you're going to write programs using Linux, then you will want to become familiar with vim (a command line text editor). It's not pretty, and there's a learning curve, but it provides syntax highlighting, lets you know where your cursor is at (which is helpful for debugging), is standard on most Linux distros, and can be used from the command line which may be all that you have if you're remoting in via ssh. To learn how to use vim, open a terminal window and type vimtutor.

gg (takes you to the beginning of the file)
= (indent command)
G (takes you the the end of the file)

:syntax on (turns syntax highlighting on)
:set tabstop=4 (redefines tab as 4 spaces)

The .vimrc file contains optional runtime configuration settings to initialize Vim when it starts. To edit it:
vim ~/.vimrc

To make a setting permanent (such as syntax highlighting), simply add it to the file.
syntax on