On macOS, when I do wp @alias post edit 1 I get nano. The same happens when I do EDITOR=emacs wp @alias post edit 1. I want emacs, My EDITOR is set to emacs. How do I get emacs?

Note that env|grep nano doesn't return anything. And most of the time the EDITOR var seems to work just fine.

I found this in the documentation:

To set an environment variable on demand, simply place the environment variable definition before the WP-CLI command you mean to run.

# Use vim to edit a post
$ EDITOR=vim wp post edit 1

To set the same environment variable value for every shell session, you’ll need to include the environment variable definition in your ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc file

# Always use vim to edit a post
export EDITOR=vim

So this looks like a bug to me. And someone else was having a very similar issue, but it wasn't deemed to be a bug, and I haven't found a solution so far.

When I run wp post edit 1 on my server it works fine. I'm guessing the problem is related to getenv and using wp-cli remotely. I tried settings EDITOR=emacs in various places (through this ServerFault answer), but no luck so far.

Even after adding a symlink from nano to emacs inside /usr/local/bin, wp-cli still insists on opening /usr/bin/nano despite my PATH preference for /usr/local/bin.

  • Does that happen without an @alias as well?
    – leymannx
    Commented Jun 9, 2019 at 22:33

1 Answer 1


I thought the command must be typed like so:

$ export EDITOR=emacs; wp post edit 1

Which is exactly how it's working for me on my 10.14.5 macOS right now. And on Linux as well.

Maybe something is misconfigured on your Mac. Or @alias is interfering. Can you try to rerun that command without @alias or on a fresh macOS installation?

  • No it must not. It can be typed like this, but it's slightly different. And no, unfortunately this doesn't give me the desired result either.
    – the
    Commented Jun 9, 2019 at 22:14
  • 1
    Yeah it's a good idea to run wp locally, I'm pursuing this now. First have to set up mysql locally (again). Will update here with my findings.
    – the
    Commented Jun 10, 2019 at 7:46

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