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What this is

It’s All Ghosts is a universal “editor extension” for the GhostText browser add-on.

While It’s All Text was able to spawn almost any editor, GhostText focuses on such editors that are able to run plugin code on their own. This leaves users of most simple editors, like joe, jupp, nano, gedit or kwrite behind.

Compared to fully supported editors, there is a small trade-off: GhostText can update the text live between the input field and the editor. This is not possible with It’s All Ghosts. Instead, It’s All Ghosts simply spawns the editor on connect and passes the file contents back on exit. It does, however, update the temporary file upon a change notification from the browser and some editors track file modifications - don’t use that, however, because it will almost certainly destroy your contents somewhere.

But apart from that, you can now again use your favourite editor again!

How to install

You need to install/run with python3.

The easiest way to install It’s All Ghosts is to use pip. If you’ve got Python 3.4+ or 2.7.9+, pip will be installed by default on Windows, otherwise pip-install will help you install pip. If you use pip to install, by-default it will install the latest version of ItsAllGhosts posted to, along with all dependencies when you install like this (on Windows):

c:\>c:\Python36\scripts\pip.exe install ItsAllGhosts

Be sure to run the pip.exe that is located in your Python 3.x installation directory, as in the above example.

For Unix environments you also need to ensure that you use the Python3 version of pip, so your installation will look like this:

~$ sudo pip3 install ItsAllGhosts

More advanced examples of installing with pip (e.g., if you would like to install a development version of It’s All Ghosts not yet present at can be found at

If you don’t have pip or choose not to use it, you can still install by just changing into the extracted installation directory and running “ install” with python3, as in the examples below.

Example in Unix environments:

$ sudo python3 install

Example in Windows environments:

C:\Users\me\Downloads\itsallghosts>c:\Python36\python.exe install

How to define your editor

It’s All Ghosts defaults to running:

  • nano in an xterm for Unix environments
  • notepad++ for Windows environments

You can place your own script to execute as the editor into:

  • for Unix environments: $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/itsallghosts_cmd ($XDG_CONFIG_HOME defaults to ~/.config/)

  • for Windows environments: %XDG_CONFIG_HOME%\itsallghosts.cmd (%XDG_CONFIG_HOME% defaults to C:\Users\<username>\.config\); note that the file extension MUST be “.cmd” to satisfy Windows cmd.exe

  • Unix example which runs jstar (from the joe suite) in KDE’s Konsole instead of the default:

    exec konsole --separate -e jstar $*
  • Windows example which runs the xfte editor instead of the default:

    c:\tools\xfte.exe %*

How to run

Just make sure that itsallghosts is running in your desktop session.

Example for Unix:

$ itsallghosts

Example for Windows:


Multi-user mode (Unix only)

The architecture of the GhostText protocol does not allow running on a multi-user system, as it relies on port 4001 being available to exactly one user.

It’s All Ghosts can be run as a system service, handing off single sessions to the corresponding user. This is done by introspecting the HTTP connection and is a bit of black magic not guaranteed to work correctly.

To run the system service, simply run itsallghosts as root (this is the only way of getting hold of socket owners).

In each user session then run:

itsallghosts --user

Development and contributing

It’s All Ghosts is very basic and sure can use some improvements. You can report issues or contribute in the EduGit repository (also open to GitHub and other users).

It’s All Ghosts is licensed under the MIT licence (see the LICENCE file for the text).

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