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The difference between vim-gtk and vim-gnome has been discussed here.

Ubuntu usually offers more than these two options for vim :

  • vim-nox
  • vim-athena
  • vim-*

It is not clear which vim package have which dependecies and which one one should prefer on one's system. I keep my vim configuration files (~/.vim folder) on GitHub and clone it on any system I have to work on. They work on vim-gnome but they Will work on any of these distribution?

Can we have major differences listed out between all possible vim candidate available on Ubuntu so one can make a informed choice?

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Re: Can we have major differences listed out between all possible vim candidate, the FAQ opines that "You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face". I'm not sure that asking for a list of all possibilities is an actual problem. Of course, how one interprets and implements the FAQ is another matter. –  user25656 Apr 16 '13 at 2:34
    
You are going to have to explain, in detail, what you mean by "especially when one has a fixed configuration in ~/.vim folder." as it makes no sense as a general statement. –  Kevin Bowen Apr 16 '13 at 9:36
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1 Answer

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Besides the vim package, there appear to be at least six "vim-variants"(not including available documentation, or plugin packages) to be found within the main and universe repositories.

Below is a brief summary of each(links go to package description and dependencies):

  • jvim-canna - Japanized VIM (Canna version)

    This package allows the entering of Kanji from the console.

    In order to install this package, run sudo apt-get install jvim-canna

    Depends upon the libcanna1g library

    Does not appear to support Perl, Python, Ruby, or TCL scripting.

  • vim-athena - enhanced vi editor - compiled with an Athena GUI

    This package is compiled with the Athena GUI as opposed to GTK+ or Gnome.

    See this askubuntu answer for additional details.

    In order to install this package, run sudo apt-get install vim-athena

    Supports Perl, Python, Ruby, and TCL scripting.

  • vim-gnome - enhanced vi editor - compiled with a GNOME2 GUI

    In order to install this package, run sudo apt-get install vim-gnome

    Depends upon the libgnome2 library

    Supports Perl, Python, Ruby, and TCL scripting.

  • vim-gtk - enhanced vi editor - compiled with the GTK2 GUI

    Used in KDE/Kubuntu-like environments

    In order to install this package, run sudo apt-get install vim-gtk

    Supports Perl, Python, Ruby, and TCL scripting.

  • vim-nox - enhanced vi editor

    Like vim-tiny, vim-nox is a minimal vim installation and does not have a GUI. It comes with mouse support, but no clipboard support, IIRC.

    In order to install this package, run sudo apt-get install vim-nox

    Supports Perl, Python, Ruby, and TCL scripting.

  • vim-tiny - enhanced vi editor - compact version

    vim-tiny is included as the default vim on Ubuntu distributions and comes with many optional features disabled(e.g. multi-level undo).

    See this askubuntu answer for details on its feature set(or lack thereof).

    In order to install this package, run sudo apt-get install vim-tiny

    Does not support Perl, Python, Ruby, or TCL scripting.

    As close to being vi without being vi.


Locally, to see which features are supported in a particular installed vim package, running the following command: vim --version will provide a list of features included(or excluded) in the particular package.

For example, on my system I can run either vim --version, vim.tiny --version, or vim.athena --version to see the differences in their respective supported features.

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vim.nox does not look like a minimal vim installation but rather a classic vim with support for extra scripting languages: vim.nox --version shows the same set of features as vim.basic but with +tcl +ruby +lua +perl. Python is supported in both versions. –  cbliard Jul 26 '13 at 9:15
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