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?
You should add it to your shell’s configuration file. For Bash, this is
~/.bash_profile (see detailed comparison). You should also set
$VISUAL, as some programs (correctly) use that instead of
EDITOR). Additionally, unless you know why, you should set it to
vim instead of
TL;DR, add the following to your shell configuration (probably
On Ubuntu and other Ubuntu/Debian-based Linux systems, you can explicitly set the default text editor at the system level by providing its path to
sudo update-alternatives --set editor /usr/bin/vim.basic
sudo update-alternatives --set vi /usr/bin/vim.basic
If your distro doesn't call it
/usr/bin/vim.basic, you can find out which path to use with the
sudo update-alternatives --list editor
Or, to see all options and choose interactively:
sudo update-alternatives --config editor
In recent versions of Ubuntu you use the alternatives system to manage the default, editor, e.g.:
update-alternatives --set editor /usr/bin/vim.basic
To see which editors are available for use:
update-alternatives --list editor
Some UNIX distributions might provide a
And it will ask you which editor to use.
Make sure you actually have
vim installed before trying to set it as your default editor.