Jonathan Polansky

A pretty good webpage.

vi/vim issues with Ubuntu 11.04, Eterm, and screen

I’ve been using vi/vim for a number of years and it’s always worked “out of the box” which is why I was surprised when vi didn’t work as it usually does on a brand new install of Ubuntu 11.04. I was having many issues with the backspace key not working properly as well as the directional arrow keys in insert mode. This was even after I added my modest .vimrc file. The issue was that Ubuntu 11.04 ships with a package called “vim-tiny” as the default vim (using alternatives). This is a stripped down version of vim without some bells and whistles: “This package contains a minimal version of vim compiled with no GUI and a small subset of features in order to keep small the package size.” Unfortunately for me “small subset of features” translated to “unusable set of features”.

Luckily, the solution is simple. Install the “vim” package (using Software Center, or apt) which will install a binary called “vim.basic” and will configure alternatives to point “/usr/bin/vi” to it. Instantly vi began to work as I expected it to. Glorious. Now, back to work.


Categorized as Tech

2 Comments

  1. Jonathan, thank you for sharing this post. I was stuck for days without vim. Now I’m all set with apt-get install vim Cheers!

  2. Excellent – thanks for that – works perfectly.

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  1. Mat Collins

    Jonathan, thank you for sharing this post. I was stuck for days without vim. Now I’m all set with apt-get install vim Cheers!

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    1. Will

      Excellent – thanks for that – works perfectly.

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