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Minimal VI Newbie Survival Guide


If you find yourself ssh:ing into a server where VI is the only text editor available, here is a minimal survival guide to get your editing job done:

  • Open your file in VI, for example vi /path/to/your/file
  • Move the cursor to the position where you want to start editing using the arrow keys
  • Trigger insert mode by pressing i
  • Do your editing
  • Exit insert mode by pressing Esc
  • Exisd and save your changes by executing the command :wq (write and quit)
  • If you want to exit without saving any changes execute the command :q! instead

For the advanced newbie:

  • Copy (yank) a line by executing the command yy
  • Paste the yanked line by positioning the cursor and executing the p or P command
  • Go to end of file: G
  • Go to end of line: $
  • Go to beginning of line: 0
  • Go to end of word: e
  • Go to beginning of word: b
  • Go to next word: w
Written by Erik Öjebo 2016-05-25 20:19