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?


According to http://www.vim.org/download.php, Sun Solaris Vim is included in the Companion Software: http://wwws.sun.com/software/solaris/freeware/.

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

  • :ve did exist in the very first vi version already, released on January 1st, 1978. See github.com/n-t-roff/ex-1.1 for the source code the original documentation. – user3224237 Aug 12 '16 at 19:48

The command to show the version is


which can be abbreviated to


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

pkginfo | grep -i vi 


pkginfo '*vi*'
  • 1
    And for Solaris 11, pkg list vim – bahamat Aug 4 '12 at 21:16

You can simply open the editor by typing


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

  • This might work for vim but does not work for Joy's vi. – crw Feb 28 '17 at 13:52

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

vi --version 

should do this job :)

  • Please someone explaining what's wrong with this answer. Thanks. – Paolo Oct 27 '11 at 18:25
  • 1
    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. – MetaEd Jun 26 '12 at 15:56

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