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How can I check what version of the vi editor I have? What's the best way to upgrade it or install vim on Solaris?

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6 Answers 6

up vote 8 down vote accepted

According to, Sun Solaris Vim is included in the Companion Software:

vi has had the :ve[rsion] command going back at least as far as 1979, so it should work on any Solaris release.

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The command to show the version is


which can be abbreviated to

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You should try to find the vi version with the package manager:

pkginfo | grep -i vi 


pkginfo '*vi*'
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And for Solaris 11, pkg list vim – bahamat Aug 4 '12 at 21:16

On Solaris 11 and later releases, vim is now the default version of vi.

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You can simply open the editor by typing


This will open the default page that shows the version number.

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vi --version 

should do this job :)

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Please someone explaining what's wrong with this answer. Thanks. – Paolo Oct 27 '11 at 18:25
On Solaris 9, vi --version prints vi: illegal option -- -. vim recognizes the --version option; other vi implementations, including nvi, do not. – Keith Thompson Jan 22 '12 at 23:10
Also this answer does not address the other part of the question: upgrading or installing Vim on Solaris. – MετάEd Jun 26 '12 at 15:56

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