I am using vim-gtk on Ubuntu 16.04 and use exuberant-ctags to generate a tags file in the root directory of my project. My instance of vim would randomly freeze in insert mode, usually after inserting a full stop (.) and the only thing I could do is close that terminal and open a new instance of vim in a new terminal. I was able to narrow the problem down to something with ctags by removing things from my .vimrc file. When I remove set tags=tags;, vim works fine and never freezes. I have also noticed that if I remove the tags file in my root directory, it no longer freezes even though set tags=tags; is in the vimrc.

Things I have tried:

  • other questions mentioned Ctrl+S and Ctrl+Q. When it freezes in insert mode Ctrl+Q has no effect and I am sure I am not accidentally typing Ctrl+S since I have tried pressing it intentionally and then Ctrl+Q does work.
  • Uninstalling and reinstalling vim, vim-gnome, vim-gtk, etc...
  • Uninstalling and reinstalling exuberant-ctags

Neither of these fix the problem. Has anyone encountered this problem before? If there is no obvious fix, can anyone recommend an alternative to exuberant-ctags that can be used with vim without making it freeze on my machine?

1 Answer 1


Vim was freezing because my tags file was too large. I added several directories and filetypes to .agignore and then reran ctags using ctags -R [email protected] which resulted in a much smaller tags file (19MB instead of 2GB) and now vim no longer freezes

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