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Apparently Ubuntu 11.10 uses Vim when I type

vi filename

How do I force Ubuntu to use Vi instead?

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up vote 22 down vote accepted

You need to install the actual vi package, which is nvi on Ubuntu.

sudo apt-get install nvi

You might also need to run the line below if nvi isn't picked up automatically as the default provider for vi.

sudo update-alternatives --config vi

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I think you want sudo update-alternatives --config editor – rfay Apr 7 '13 at 22:01

man update-alternatives

vi even get special mention as an example.

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A very useful man page. They say it's better to teach someone how to fish than to just give him a fish... probably the down-voter didn't agree with that. I upvoted you to cancel it :) – Chan-Ho Suh Mar 8 '12 at 2:48
This answer doesn't really answer the question, does it? – jokerdino Mar 9 '12 at 6:21

Check out:

Decide which vi-compatible tool you want to use.

vim, elvis, nvi, vigor (etc). You may want to study the output of apt-cache search editor |grep vi and look for other alternatives. nvi claims to be "bug for bug" compatible with vi.

Once you've done that, install the package:

apt-get install $YOURCHOICE

then run

update-alternatives --config vi

and choose $YOURCHOICE as the one to set as "vi".

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If by any chance you just want to get rid of Vim specific features, you can also make sure that Vim runs in compatible mode.

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vim is set as your default editor. Put this as your default editor by setting this environment variable--> export EDITOR=vi

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This won't work if the vi symlink is still pointing to vim. – Leon Nardella Mar 8 '12 at 16:59

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