I've very recently started trialing VIM, and I like what it can do, but its unfamiliar keybindings and modes of operation are daunting.

I want that sort of power in a Text-Editor... but if I don't need to change my keyboard habits so drastically, I'd be happier.

I read that CREAM is built directly onto a VIM base, so I tried it.
CREAM feels a bit more like the type of Text-Editor I am used to; Notepad++
Notepad++ is Windows-only, and is too buggy in Wine, and I'd rather a cross-platform solution...

but... Can CREAM do everything that VIM can?
Is CREAM restricted in any way by tweaking VIM so far out of its natural shape?


Cream is just a collection of configurations & macros (or plugins or addins or scripts or whatever you want to call them) for vim. If you have too much time you can make vim do the same by tweaking you own vim configuration files.

So if you run "cream", it actually just starts vim with a different default configuration:

$ cat `which cream`
# This wrapper script is part of the "cream" Debian GNU/Linux package
# maintained by Christoph Haas <haas@debian.org>.

# Exit on error
set -e

export CREAM

# Due to limitations of text consoles/terminals cream can only run
# as a GUI variant.
if [ "$DISPLAY" = "" ] ; then
        echo "Sorry. 'cream' can only be run in an X environment."
        exit 10;

# Run kvim or gvim - whichever is available.
if [ -x /usr/bin/gvim ] ; then
    exec /usr/bin/gvim --servername "CREAM" -U NONE -u "\$VIM/cream/creamrc" "$@"
        echo "You need 'gvim' installed to run 'cream'."
        exit 10;
  • Thanks for the info, JanC. I'm starting to think that I should just run with VIM.. VIM has regex searches by default, but Cream doesn't, and I would need to tweak Cream to provide something it removed. Abstractions upon abstractions aren't really my thing.. I was originally going to use LinuxMint because it was more "familiar" to me, but I chose Ubuntu, and I've been customizing it to suit my tastes... I'm not interested in Mint now.. I've adapted quite happily to Ubuntu, and learnt a lot along the way.. I think it will be the same for VIM.. and VIM skills will come in handy at the terminal. – Peter.O Oct 19 '10 at 4:24
  • I'm sure you can use regex searches with Cream too, it probably just changes the defaults to something easier to use for new users (which is the whole point why Cream exists). And if you don't want to use Cream, you might also want to check whether you prefer gvim or evim. – JanC Oct 19 '10 at 4:35
  • Cream is looking better...I had another look at it (based on your comment), and found that Expert Mode allows VIM-style command line RegEx... and the found text is automatically highlighted, which is something I definitely want... I've posted another specific questoon about the possibility of the Find/Replace dialogs allowing RegEx, but even this Expert Mode with its highlighted finds is quit okay for me.. My new queston is here: askubuntu.com/questions/8238/… – Peter.O Oct 19 '10 at 9:27

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