vim (Vi IMproved) is a text editor supporting different editing modes.

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212
votes
14answers
105k views

What are the pros and cons of Vim and Emacs?

How would you compare these editors? What are the pros and cons of each? [note] This is not meant to be answered by those who "hate one and love another" or those who haven't used both.
87
votes
3answers
69k views

Delete from cursor to end of line on VI

I know I've probably looked over this a million times in all the VI documents I've read, but I can't seem to find the delete from cursor to end of line command.
60
votes
9answers
11k views

Why can't Vim open a 100 MB text file when I have 16 GB RAM?

I have a 100MB MySQL database backup file and I have trouble to open it in Vim on my Linux box that has 16G of RAM. Vim just hangs (at least unusable). This is something I don't understand. I have 16 ...
54
votes
8answers
12k views

Exit vim more quickly

I use Vim mainly for quick edits rather than long work sessions. In that sense, I find the keyboard sequence for quitting especially laborious: Esc, Shift + ;, w, q, Enter. How to quit Vim (possibly ...
49
votes
8answers
36k views

How can I edit multiple files in VIM?

I know I can open multiple files with vim by doing something like vim 2011-12*.log, but how can I switch between files and close the files one at a time? Also, how can I tell the file name of the ...
47
votes
5answers
4k views

Becoming root from inside Vim

Sometimes I start editing configuration files in /etc using Vim, but forget to use sudo to start Vim. The inevitable result then is that after finishing my edits I encounter the dreaded notice that I ...
43
votes
2answers
20k views

Ctrl-s hang terminal emulator?

I came across a sentence in vimdoc: Note: CTRL-S does not work on all terminals and might block further input, use CTRL-Q to get going again. and this key indeed hangs my vim. I was ...
36
votes
5answers
25k views

vim - better colors so comments aren't dark blue?

Mostly I edit ruby files, although shell script file comments are also # Currently my comments show as dark blue on black which is really hard to read. See screenshot. How can I change their color? ...
35
votes
8answers
31k views

How to copy text from vim to an external program?

I'm trying to copy-paste some text from vim. I'm doing v to enter visual mode, then y once I selected my block. It appears to copy the text into vim's clipboard, because p will paste it. But in ...
35
votes
3answers
2k views

How does vim steal root owned files?

Witness the following: sh-3.2$ mkdir testcase sh-3.2$ cd testcase sh-3.2$ sudo touch temp sh-3.2$ ls -al total 0 drwxr-xr-x 3 glen staff 102 19 Dec 12:38 . drwxr-xr-x 12 glen staff 408 19 Dec ...
33
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does Vim indent pasted code incorrectly?

In Vim, if I paste this script: #!/bin/sh VAR=1 while ((VAR < 10)) do echo "VAR1 is now $VAR" ((VAR = VAR +2)) done echo "finish" I get these strange results: ...
33
votes
1answer
10k views

What's the recommended way of copying changes with vimdiff?

When comparing files, and updating a source code repository, I like to use vimdiff. To copy changes made from one file to the other, I usually use a key sequence like this:- Shift + V (select line) k ...
32
votes
5answers
4k views

Why does `ESC` move the cursor back in vim?

In vim, when I hit ESC to return to command mode, the cursor moves one character to the left. This is not what I would hope for, occasional I immediately hit l to move back to that spot, perhaps to ...
31
votes
2answers
17k views

refresh changed content of file opened in vi(m)

I have a config-file that I keep open in vim, but that sometimes gets changed on disk, without these changes being reflected on the terminal. Can I refresh the content on the screen without closing ...
29
votes
2answers
24k views

How can I set VIM's default encoding to UTF-8?

I'd like to contribute to an open source project providing translated strings. One of their requirements is that contributors must use UTF-8 as the encoding for the PO files. I'm using VIM 7.3 on ...
28
votes
9answers
3k views

How to find out which file is currently opened in vim?

This may sound trivial but, on more than one occasion, I have found myself having forgotten which file in vim I have open (e.g. when I am looking through different log files and such) and the only way ...
26
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I remotely edit files via ssh?

I have to edit some files placed on some server I could reach via ssh. I would prefer to edit these files in customized vim on my workstation (I have not rights to change vim settings on remote ...
25
votes
7answers
28k views

Vi vs vim, or, is there any reason why I would ever want to use vi?

I know a bit about *NIX text editors (currently migrating from nano to vim), and, after looking around a bit on the Unix & Linux SE, have noticed that a fair about of question use vi instead of ...
24
votes
6answers
3k views

Why is it risky to give sudo vim access to ordinary users?

I'd like to create a new user and give him sudo access. To be specific, I want him to use sudo vim and edit httpd.conf. I wrote this in sudoers: user ALL=(ALL) /usr/bin/vim ...
24
votes
5answers
4k views

How to yank a particular line without moving the cursor in vim?

For example How can I yank and paste Line 4 only to Line 12 without having to move the cursor to Line 4?
22
votes
6answers
4k views

Using VI keys to edit shell commands in UNIX

I used to have a co-worker who was really good at UNIX. He showed me how to use Vi key bindings to edit my shell commands. He placed the command in a file that ran every time I logged in. Since ...
22
votes
3answers
5k views

ESC key causes a small delay in terminal due to its Alt+ behavior

My terminal setup is gnome-terminal + tmux + zsh with vi bindings. In applications like vim or even in the zsh's command line vi editing mode, I need to frequently hit the ESC key but there is a ...
21
votes
3answers
24k views

Comparing two files in Vim

Is it possible to view two files side-by-side in Vim? If so, how can I set up my editor to do this, and is there a way to diff between the two files within Vim? I am aware of the :next and :prev ...
20
votes
7answers
6k views

Advantages of using set -o vi

I have seen many developers using this command to set the option to vi. I never understood the real use of this? When using bash commands, what help does switching to vi provide?
20
votes
2answers
21k views

How do I get the solarized colour scheme working with gnome-terminal, tmux and vim?

There's a lot of questions around this, but it's because there are so many variables. I had to piece together instructions from many sites before I got this working. First, I could not easily set up ...
20
votes
2answers
9k views

What is the difference between vi and vim?

As far as I know vi is more commonly found on out-of-the-box unix systems while vim often has to be installed. Also vim stands for vi improved, but improved how? What are the main differences?
19
votes
9answers
4k views

Bash commands inside vi

Is it possible to type a bash command inside vi and get the stdout? I find it often tedious to close and reopen vi just because I want to look something up in the shell.
19
votes
3answers
14k views

How can I set “vi” as my default editor in UNIX?

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?
18
votes
3answers
12k views

What does the noeol indicator at the bottom of a vim edit session mean?

I open a file using vim in ubuntu, and this is displayed at the bottom of the screen. "file.py" [noeol] 553L, 16620C What does noeol indicate ?
18
votes
3answers
13k views

tmux, TERM and 256 colours support

Introduction My question arises from the necessity of understanding why I have now (after multiple trials) Terminal and tmux supporting 256 colours and tput colors telling me there are only 8 of ...
18
votes
1answer
315 views

Why does exporting vim as EDITOR in zsh disable keyboard shortcuts?

My .zshrc looks like this: export EDITOR="/usr/bin/vim" Now when I open a terminal and enter a keyboard shortcut like ctrla to go to the beginning of the line, it doesn't work. Instead, the string ...
18
votes
3answers
7k views

Buffers or tabs in vim? What are advantages/disadvantages of each approach?

I'm used to modeless editors. Only the past year I've been using vim/gvim, which has a modal approach. I'm used to tabs in all editors, since before vim all of them are used to it. In gvim, you don't ...
17
votes
4answers
16k views

How to select/delete until end of file in vim/gvim?

Accidentally I managed to copy-paste a paragraph in vim a zillion times. How do I select and then delete the text from my current position to the end of file? In Windows, this would be ...
17
votes
8answers
2k views

What are the best general purpose programming tools to complement Vim?

I've been using Vim as my text editor for a little while now and I feel like I'm taking the long way to do anything. I use ctags to tag my code base for navigation and I use grep (although ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Vim interface on web browser input fields?

I am looking for a browser plugin which inputs textin of input boxes with the same keyboard interface of the Vim text editor. I have adopted Vimium which makes general navigation much more effective, ...
17
votes
1answer
3k views

Is it possible to have vim key bindings in terminal?

I'm getting used to vim bindings (like pressing w to go to word, dw to delete a word, and such) and it's modes (insert, normal, visual), and, out of curiosity would like to know: is there some kind of ...
17
votes
1answer
10k views

How to make Vim display colors as indicated by color codes?

In short, I'm in an effort to replace less with vim (vimpager). I have settings for scripts to spit out colors (and bold and everything nice) whenever they can. less understands the color codes and ...
16
votes
6answers
8k views

How to insert the result of a command into the text in vim?

For instance, :echo strftime(%c) will show the current time on the bottom, but how to insert this time string to the text (right after the cursor)?
16
votes
2answers
302 views

How do I save the changes to my vim buffer as a patch file?

Is there a way to save the changes I made to my vim buffer as a patch file for the original file, without saving it as a separate file and using diff?
16
votes
4answers
5k views

How do I make Vim behave like “tail -f”?

I would like to know if there is a way to make Vim behave like tail -f. Even the best Vim plugin I've found so far doesn't do what I expect. I really want to see the file update in real-time. Even ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

Automatically create matching braces in vim

How do I automatically create matching braces in vim? It should work as follows: If I input an open brace the closing one should appear automatically and the cursor should be placed in between. To ...
15
votes
4answers
6k views

How to get vim to work with tmux properly?

I'm trying to figure out how to get vim and tmux play together. My problem is: When I use xterm-256color I get vim to work nicely, but the background doesn't render properly. I fixed this by using ...
15
votes
3answers
6k views

How to fix Ctrl + arrows in Vim?

I am using Putty -> Suse box -> vim 7.2 combo for editing and want to remap Ctrl + arrows combo to a particular task. But for some reason, Vim ignores the shortcut and goes into insert mode and ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

tmux, Vim and Solarized

Premises Browsing around tmux, Vim and Solarized I can find lots of complains about 256 colours and "user experience". Well, I'm having the opposite "problem", i.e. Vim works well with a full ...
14
votes
6answers
30k views

How to comment multiple lines at once? [duplicate]

How can I select a bunch of text and comment it all out? Currently I go to the first line, go to insert mode then type # left-arrowdown-arrow and then I repeat that sequence, perhaps saving a few ...
14
votes
7answers
10k views

Are cygwin vim commands different than normal vim?

I am unable to edit text files using vim in cygwin. I have to press i many times to insert text. Sometimes it works and sometimes doesn't. Whenever I move cursor up down I have to press I many times. ...
14
votes
4answers
40k views

How do I quit from Vi?

I started Vi on my Ubuntu machine. However I don't know Vi, and now I can not quit. I see the editor and I can write text, at the bottom line there is a label "recording". How do I quit from Vi?
14
votes
3answers
4k views

How to enter a tab character in vim with SuperTab plugin enabled?

How to enter a tab character in vim with SuperTab plugin enabled?
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How different is Elvis from Vim?

I've been using Slackware for a while now, which ships with Elvis as its default editor. Most other Linux distributions seem to ship with Vim, instead of Elvis. Having gotten quite used to Elvis, ...
14
votes
8answers
820 views

Suggested setup for an ultra-lightweight text-based programming environment in linux

I am looking for suggestions for a setup for my particular needs. I haven't done much linux since college and want to get back into it as a hobby. I have some not-too-powerful hardware (512 MB ram, ...