vi survival guide

Posted by Libervis on May 21, 2006 5:17 AM EDT; By "free-zombie"
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This is a comprehensive guide to "survival" in using a famous text editor vi, written in vi itself.

If you are trying to work at a command line in pretty much any Operating System, no matter if it is a GNU/Linux brand such as Ubuntu or Fedora Core, another UNIX-like system like Mac OS X or FreeBSD or even Microsoft Windows, you will most definately need a text editor sooner or later. If you are using a UNIX-like system, like GNU/Linux variants, there are many text editors that may or may not be installed. Luckily there is one de-facto standard:

vi is included in almost every GNU/Linux or UNIX distribution. "vi" is a truncation of the word "visual" and has, contrary to popular belief, nothing to do with the Roman number 6. Many people are not too fond of vi, but are, alas, often forced into using it when it is the only known option. You may prefer easier editors like gedit (Gnome), kate (KDE), emacs or ne (command line), but these may not be present when working at the command line.

Therefore, it is best to know at least the basics of vi and to understand it a little better; the basics of survival in vi, which you will learn in this guide. Unlike what you may have heard about the invention of the language C, the vi editor was not the idea of some kind of sick joke. It was for real and it served a real purpose. I am writing this in vi.


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