This page is a basic tutorial for vi or vim.
vi is one of unix's fsckup. Sometimes in a emergency situation you are forced to deal with vi, and fscking unix admins refuse to install emacs. Here's your help.
- To open a file named “myfile.txt”, type in the shell prompt:
- To quit without saving, press: Escape : q ! Enter
- To save current file, press: Escape : w Enter
- To quit vi, type: Escape : q Enter
- Use arrow keys to move cursor.
- page up: Ctrl+b
- page down: Ctrl+f
To insert text, move cursor to the right place, then press i, then type your text. After you are done, type Escape to exit the insertion mode.
To delete text, move cursor to the right place and press x. (if x is inserted, that means you forgot to exit the insert mode. Type Escape to exit insertion mode. Type u to undo.)
When something doesn't work, or if you accidentally typed something and have no idea what is going on, try press Escape, then type u for undo. If a cat jumped onto your keyboard and you cannot exit vi, type the shell suspend command Ctrl+z, which should get you back on the unix command prompt, then you can kill. (by first find out the pid by
ps auwwx | grep vi, then
kill -9 pid).
Congratulation! You've learned emergency vi.
It may be confusing, but with the above you can edit any text files with vi.
By default, the vi in Ubuntu 12.04 (as of ) is “vim.tiny”, a very basic vi-like vim. You should install full vim.
For how to install and other detail, see: Ubuntu Linux: vim Location and Versions.
What's the difference between vi and vim?
“vi” was the original editor from 1976. “vim” is “Vi IMproved”, a enhanced version started in 1991.
Basic vi Commands
Remember, in vi, it has modes. At any one time, you are either in command mode or text insertion mode. To go to the command mode, just press Escape. To go into editing mode, press i.
Goto Insertion Mode
- 【i】 → go to insert mode. (position before cursor)
- 【a】 → go to insert mode. (position after cursor)
- 【o】 → go to insert mode and insert a line. (position after current line)
Undo and Redo
- 【u】 → undo
- Ctrl+r → redo
- 【j】 → down
- 【k】 → up
- 【h】 → left
- 【l】 → right
- 【w】 → next word
- 【b】 → prev word
- 【0】 → beginning of line
- 【$】 → end of line
- 【:8】 → line 8
- 【:$】 → end of file
- Ctrl+f → page down
- Ctrl+b → page up
- 【x】 → delete char
- 【8x】 → delete 8 chars
- 【dw】 → delete word
- 【8dw】 → delete 8 words
- 【D】 → delete from cursor to end of line
- 【dd】 → delete current line
Copy and Paste
How to copy?
press 【v】 at the beginning of copy/cut position, then move cursor, then press 【d】 to cut, 【y】 to copy.
- 【yy】 → copy current line
- 【3yy】 → copy 3 lines
- 【p】 → paste after the cursor.
- 【P】 → paste before the cursor.
Note that when you delete a word or many words, the word is automatically put into the clipboard.
- 【/aa】 → search forward for text “aa”
- 【n】 → next occurrence
- 【N】 → previous occurrence
- 【*】 → find next occurrence of current word
- 【:s/aa/bb/g】 → find and replace ALL “aa” by “bb” in CURRENT LINE. “g” (global) means do it for all occurrences.
- 【:%s/aa/bb/gc】 → find and replace ALL “aa” by “bb” in whole file. “c” means ask for confirmation before each replacement.
- 【:20,30s/aa/bb/gc】 → find and replace “aa” by “bb” in line 20 to 30.
How to comment/uncomment a text block?
press Ctrl+v (called “visual block”), move cursor to select, then press I # Escape to insert
# to all lines in the block.
To uncomment a block, do the same except just press 【x】 to kill a char.
- 【:syntax on】 → Turn on syntax coloring
- 【:syntax off】 → Turn off syntax coloring
- 【:set number】 → Turn on line numbers
- 【:set nonumber】 → Turn off line numbers
- 【gg】 → beginning of file
- 【G】 → end of file
- 【dG】 → delete from current line to end of file
- 【:tab path】 → opening file
- 【gf】 → open path under cursor
Vim Init Files
default vim init file path:
vim -u filename→ start vim with a different init file.
vim -u NONE→ start vim without init.
vim -u NORC→ start vim without init but with plugin.
How to Remap the Escape Key?
Vim: How to Remap the Escape Key?
How to refresh buffer?
Ctrl+s Freezes vi
Linux: Ctrl+s Freezes vi and Terminal Key History ⌨