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Vim is a full-featured text editor. It is basically a clone of vi with a lot of features.

Vim is a modal editor: in different modes of vim, the same keystroke is interpreted differently.

{i} You can open vim from the command line by typing 'vim'. If you want to learn more, then type ':vimtutor' for a relatively quick (~30 min) interactive introduction. For help type ':help' or press 'F1'.

Small tips to survive in Vim

To insert text (and be in the insert mode): press 'i' then edit your text. To come back to the command mode press "ESC".

To save text (in command mode): press ':w'

To quit vim (in command mode): press ':q'

To quit vim without saving (in command mode): press ':q!'

To delete the line where the cursor is (in command mode): press 'dd'

Syntax highlighting

Vim supports syntax highlighting. To activate it open up


and uncomment the line

" Vim5 and later versions support syntax highlighting. Uncommenting the next
" line enables syntax highlighting by default.
syntax on

Other text editors

You can use a GUI version (gvim) provided by the vim-gtk, vim-gnome or vim-athena packages.

If you don't know anything about vi, it is better to use nano.

See Also