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I want vim 7.3 on my server. I don't want to do a full distro upgrade just yet. Is it possible to pull the next version of vim from an updated version of the repositories with out performing the full upgrade?

share|improve this question – Anonymous Nov 16 '11 at 22:24

You could get the package from the repository yourself and install it, but you need to be careful.

sudo dpkg -i <package.deb>
sudo apt-get -f install

What I would be concerned about is there may be reasons why the package maintainer didn't backport it.

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It would be nice if package maintainers would make those reasons public, as it is, I am only left package less. The way I solved this was simply changing over my sources.list file to include all the natty repositories, and then pulled it using Apt. Seems to have worked fine. – Daniel Bingham Nov 16 '11 at 21:18

You can install vim from a PPA. There's a list of vim-related PPAs here. A PPA is a small archive where users can put a handful of packages. You can subscribe to that PPA and track that the same as a full distro. It's the only good way to get new releases of packages on old distros.

Choose the most appropriate one for you (stable/bleeding edge/whatever), and follow the install instructions on its page.

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You can download the latest sources and compile it yourself (you will need libncurses5-dev and common build tools). This approach is more complicated than installing a .deb, but is more secure:

hg clone vim
cd vim & ./configure --prefix=/opt/vim
sudo make install

In the end, add a symlink to new vim:

sudo ln -s /opt/vim/bin/vim /usr/local/bin/vim

Please note: you should remove vim package or give the symlonk a different name (/usr/local/bin/vim73, for example)

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