VIM editor

ViM is one of the best editor for Linux. It's often criticize because of its learning curve - quite hard at first - but it's super powerful!


ViM by default is powerful. ViM-Nox add some language coloring. :)

sudo apt-get install vim vim-doc vim-nox vim-scripts


Edit the configuration file

sudo vim /etc/vim/vimrc


  • Syntax coloring
  • Open to where you left last time
  • Indentation rules and plugins
  • Edit options
    • Show command line
    • Show matching brackets
    • Do case insensitive matching
    • Do incremental search
    • Hide buffers
    • Show line numbers
    • Enable ruler

Your configuration file should look liḱe that:

" All system-wide defaults are set in $VIMRUNTIME/debian.vim and sourced by
" the call to :runtime you can find below.  If you wish to change any of those
" settings, you should do it in this file (/etc/vim/vimrc), since debian.vim
" will be overwritten everytime an upgrade of the vim packages is performed.
" It is recommended to make changes after sourcing debian.vim since it alters
" the value of the 'compatible' option.

" This line should not be removed as it ensures that various options are
" properly set to work with the Vim-related packages available in Debian.
runtime! debian.vim

" Uncomment the next line to make Vim more Vi-compatible
" NOTE: debian.vim sets 'nocompatible'.  Setting 'compatible' changes numerous
" options, so any other options should be set AFTER setting 'compatible'.
"set compatible

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

" If using a dark background within the editing area and syntax highlighting
" turn on this option as well
set background=dark

" Uncomment the following to have Vim jump to the last position when
" reopening a file
"if has("autocmd")
"  au BufReadPost * if line("'\"") > 1 && line("'\"") <= line("$") | exe "normal! g'\"" | endif

" Uncomment the following to have Vim load indentation rules and plugins
" according to the detected filetype.
if has("autocmd")
  filetype plugin indent on

" The following are commented out as they cause vim to behave a lot
" differently from regular Vi. They are highly recommended though.
set showcmd		" Show (partial) command in status line.
set showmatch		" Show matching brackets.
set ignorecase		" Do case insensitive matching
"set smartcase		" Do smart case matching
set incsearch		" Incremental search
set autowrite		" Automatically save before commands like :next and :make
set hidden		" Hide buffers when they are abandoned
"set mouse=a		" Enable mouse usage (all modes)
set nu                  " Show line numbers
set ruler               " Show ruler

" Source a global configuration file if available
if filereadable("/etc/vim/vimrc.local")
  source /etc/vim/vimrc.local

Color scheme

List of available color themes:

ls /usr/share/vim/vim74/colors/

One time change

Open a file

Type the following command in VIM:

:colorscheme industry


:colorscheme desert

Permanent change

vi ~/.vimrc
colo desert
syntax on


Just google for vim shortcuts to get the exhaustive list. Here are the main ones:


Nearly all commands can be preceded by a number for a repeat count. eg. 5dd delete 5 lines

<Esc> gets you out of any mode and back to command mode

Commands preceded by : are executed on the command line at the bottom of the screen. eg. :help help with any command


Cursor movement: ← ↓ ↑ →

Go to line XX :320 to reach line number 320

Line navigation:

  • 0 start of line
  • $ end of line


u undo; ^R redo


All insertion commands are terminated with <Esc> to return to command mode.

i insert text at cursor; I insert text at start of line

o open new line below; O open new line above


D delete to end of line

dd delete whole line

Cut and paste

yy copy line into paste buffer

cc cut line into paste buffer

p paste buffer below cursor line; P paste buffer above cursor line


:%s/foo/bar/g substitute all occurrences of "foo" to "bar"


/ search forward; ? search backward

/foo to search for "foo" forward from cursor

n next match in same direction; N next match in opposite direction


:w write file to disk

:q quit editing a file; :q! quit editing without saving changes