When I type vim to open Vim, it says the command is not found. Then I try vi. This opens Vim. (I don't find a problem with that, but it just shows that Vim is installed.)

Why? If Vim is installed why doesn't vim open it?

1 Answer 1


You most likely have the package vim-tiny installed which can be executed with the commands vi or vim.tiny as shown in the package description. Also you probably have pre-installed the package vim-common (it has some configuration files according to the description) which may be shown as Vim in the ubuntu software center. There is a separate package vim which can be installed with the command sudo apt-get install vim. There are not many differences between vim and vim-tiny (which has a smaller subset of features).

  • This may be what's happening. I'll try vim.tiny tonight and see if that opens Vim. Also I didn't notice anything saying tiny on the splash screen, but I'm not positive I didn't not. Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 15:28
  • 1
    @CaptainMan Both vi and vim.tiny commands will open the same program and yes it will be shown as Vim, but it really is vim.tiny. To verify it you can open your file manager and see that /usr/bin/vi is a link for /etc/alternatives/vi which is a link for /usr/bin/vim.tiny. Or run the command update-alternatives --get-selections. If you want to use the full vim with all the features, then install the package vim and use it with the vim command (or make it default for the vi command by executing sudo update-alternatives --config vi). Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 15:41

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