I am using Ubuntu 14.04

i compiled vim and installed in /usr/local/bin

i uninstalled the earlier versions of vim installed.

why is bash looking for vim in /usr/bin ?

vimal@Tardis:~/VIM/vim$ which -a vim
vimal@Tardis:~/VIM/vim$ vim
bash: /usr/bin/vim: No such file or directory

vimal@Tardis:~/VIM/vim$ ls -al /usr/local/bin/
total 3216
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root    4096 Aug 10 11:39 .
drwxr-xr-x 11 root root    4096 Aug  9 11:51 ..
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root  972502 Aug  9 12:33 ctags
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root       3 Aug  9 22:24 ex -> vim
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root       3 Aug  9 22:24 rview -> vim
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root       3 Aug  9 22:24 rvim -> vim
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root       3 Aug  9 22:24 view -> vim
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root 2284512 Aug 10 11:39 vim
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root       3 Aug  9 22:24 vimdiff -> vim
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root    2084 Aug 10 11:39 vimtutor
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root   18896 Aug 10 11:39 xxd
vimal@Tardis:~/VIM/vim$ id
uid=1001(vimal) gid=1001(vimal) groups=1001(vimal),4(adm),27(sudo),108(lpadmin),124(sambashare)
vimal@Tardis:~/VIM/vim$ echo $PATH 
  • 6
    Run hash -r and then try again.
    – John1024
    Aug 10 '16 at 6:24
  • Show output of echo $PATH. In general, you just need to move in the variable the /usr/local/bin to be earlier than /usr/bin. But I'm asking the output because in my $PATH it is like this. But I can assume, though, that I swapped the order at some point of time, and just don't remember.
    – Hi-Angel
    Aug 10 '16 at 6:52
  • added echo $PATH output
    – weima
    Aug 10 '16 at 6:54
  • 2
    Why did you compile vim? Why not install it a normal way?
    – Pilot6
    Aug 10 '16 at 6:55
  • \vim also returns the same result?
    – techraf
    Aug 10 '16 at 7:24

Quoting the bash manual:

Bash uses a hash table to remember the full pathnames of executable files. A full search of the directories in PATH is performed only if the command is not found in the hash table.

Here, what happened is that you:

  1. removed the original /usr/bin/vim, and
  2. created a new /usr/local/bin/vim.

In this case, bash's path hash table was never updated, so when you call vim after 1 and 2, it finds the old hashed path. To force a path hash update, use hash -r.

AFAICT, bash has a strange and undocumented behavior, in that:

If you call vim between 1 and 2 (leading to a legitimate "command not found"), then the hashed path is automatically removed, so when you call vim again after 2, it works just fine.

What I don't understand is why bash doesn't automatically remove the path when vim is called after 1 and 2 (as in your case), and the wrong path is found. But that's what's happening.

  • I have encountered the same problem and this answer solved my problem. Did it solve your's too? If yes than mark it as best answer. @weima May 11 '19 at 15:52

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