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I believe I can do something like export EDITOR=vi, but I'm not sure what exactly to enter, and where.

How can I set "vi" as my default editor?

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migrated from Apr 24 '13 at 0:43

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just export EDITOR=vim in your bashrc or zshrc or ..rc – Kent Apr 23 '13 at 23:31
often must be set up for programs in addition to this such as git – timpone Apr 24 '13 at 0:39

3 Answers 3

up vote 37 down vote accepted

You should add it to your shell’s configuration file. For Bash, this is ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_profile. You should also set $VISUAL, as some programs (correctly) use that instead of $EDITOR (see VISUAL vs. EDITOR). Additionally, unless you know why, you should set it to vim instead of vi.

TL;DR, add the following to your shell configuration (probably ~/.bashrc):

export VISUAL=vim
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You could also set your default text editor by using the following command.

sudo update-alternatives --config editor
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Drop it in your home directory .bash_profile

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