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I want to install vim on my FreeBSD machine, and this other site suggests installing from FreeBSD ports like this:

# cd /usr/ports/editors/vim-lite/
# make install clean

This is all great, and I intend to install from the FreeBSD ports. However, I notice that there is also this other directory on my machine:

/usr/ports/editors/vim/

What is the difference between vim and vim-lite? And why would I want one versus the other? Obviously, vim-lite is "lighter"; but what am I sacrificing to have a lighter version?

  • Compile options most likely, things such as gtk gui, x11 clipboard, check any readme or makefiles the port has for further information. – zer0rest Apr 17 '15 at 15:37
  • That's it exactly - you should turn your comment into an answer! – D_Bye Apr 17 '15 at 15:38
  • Yes, please do. And I would like to know which compile options. Or rather, what the net effect of those different options is. Obviously vim-lite will be "lighter". But what am I sacrificing to make it lighter? – Sildoreth Apr 17 '15 at 15:41
  • Take a look in editors/vim/Makefile and look for the LITE knob. You'll see it turns off X, prevents embedded interpreters for perl, python, ruby, etc, as well disabling certain other features. – D_Bye Apr 17 '15 at 15:53
  • 1
    One thing I miss and that I need most of the time is syntax highlighting. So one of the first things after installing a new distribution is replace vim (which is vim-lite) my the full version. – ott-- Apr 17 '15 at 18:40
5

/usr/ports/editors/vim-lite/Makefile sets a variable (LITE=yes) and then includes /usr/ports/editors/vim/Makefile which does the following if LITE is set:

OPTIONS_EXCLUDE=ATHENA CSCOPE EXUBERANT_CTAGS GNOME GTK2 LUA MOTIF NLS PERL PYTHON RUBY TCL X11 XTERM_SAVE OPTIONS_SLAVE=  CONSOLE MAKE_ARGS+=     CONF_OPT_GUI="--enable-gui=no --without-x" \
                CONF_OPT_LUA=--disable-luainterp \
                CONF_OPT_PERL=--disable-perlinterp \
                CONF_OPT_PYTHON="--disable-pythoninterp --disable-python3interp" \
                CONF_OPT_RUBY=--disable-rubyinterp \
                CONF_OPT_TCL=--disable-tclinterp
3

Usually *BSD provides different options for compiling a program, these are usually called flavours, this is also true for most Linux distributions.

Read the Makefile in the directory of the port to see what options are available.

Vim can be compiled with many features, for example, you may be in an environment where X11 isn't installed, so you have no need for X11 clipboard or GTK2 support, or you may want to use python3 for scripting instead of python2.

You can see what your vim version was compiled with issuing the command vim --version

  • The Makefile isn't too helpful in the case of vim-lite: – Andrew Sep 2 '15 at 6:24

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