What I want (which is possible in PuTTY):

1) Login to a machine (using PuTTY)

2) $ cat /some/file

[contents of the /some/file shown on screen]

3) $ vim

4) Press Shift + Page Up

Result: I can see [contents of the /some/file ] and everything else that was shown on the screen before I entered vim.

Now if I try the same thing in Mobaxterm, which is another terminal application on Windows, I don't get to see the output of the previous commands; it only scrolls the file that I opened in vim which is not what I want.

I tried to echo $TERM from both PuTTY and Mobaxterm, and they both show xterm as the output, so I'm not sure what's different in PuTTY.

  • Can someone please add mobaxterm to the list of tags? It seems I need 300+ points for it.
    – Srikanth
    Jul 7, 2015 at 13:33

2 Answers 2


A simple solution is to suspend the running command, usually by typing control-Z. You should then be back in the shell. Give the fg command to return and bring the command back to the foreground again.

  • I've had bad experiences when doing this. My advice: Never background Vim; just use :shell.
    – Wildcard
    Feb 15, 2016 at 7:37

I think that another way is to send the command ":!" to vim. Then, you will view back the terminal, and would be able to see previous commands, until you type "enter" or a new VIM command. Then vim would come back. Enjoy ! Gilles.

  • Or just run :shell, which is more readable. Are those equivalent?
    – Wildcard
    Feb 15, 2016 at 7:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.