Apparently Ubuntu 11.10 uses Vim when I type

vi filename

How do I force Ubuntu to use Vi instead?


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
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    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".


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.


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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