Linux Vi and Vim Command Line Text Editor Tutorial


Linux provides a lot of useful tools from command line. Vi or Vim is one of the very popular text editor used in Linux , Unix and BSd operating systems. In this tutorial we will look different usage examples of the Vim. From up to now we will call Vim which is improved version of Vi.

Open with File Name

We can open a file by giving its name to the Vim. In this example we want to open file named test.txt . If this do not exist it will created after save operation.

Command Mode

Vim mainly works with commands. Vim have command mode which these commands can be issued. We can use Escape and : to enter command mode.

Exit From Vim

For beginners exiting from vim is very hard job. Vim have commands to manage Vim behaviour. We can exit from Vim with the following commands.


Exit Without Saving

Move Cursor In The Vim Editor

Cursor can be moved with given direction keys. But  Vim provides more shortcuts for this.

Down Single Line

Up Single Line

Left Single Character

Right Single Character

Start Of The Current Line

End Of The Current Line

First Line Of File

Last Line Of File

Move Cursor To The Given Line Number

One of the most popular command for Vim is moving cursor to the given line. We will use :n for this but we will also provide line number. In this example we want to move cursor to the line number 500.

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Insert/Edit Mode

Insert/Edit mode is the situation where all given keystrokes are interpreted as text input. We will look how to enter insert/edit mode below.

Add Text

We generally need to add some text to the files. There are different ways to use insert mode. Here some of them.



Copy Text

Copy operating will operate at the given lines. Copy operation will copy lines to the buffer.

Copy Current Line

Copy Given Range

Paste Text

Copied text will be pasted from buffer.

Undo Last Change

We can revert changes easily with the following command

Delete Text

We can delete lines with the following command. Deleted lines also copied to the buffer where we can use this buffer to paste. This is same as moving.

Current Line

Given Line Range

Search Test

We can search given string, text in current file.

Forward Search

Backward Search

Next Occurrence

Previous Occurrence

Show Current Line Number

We can show current line number in the bottom with the following command.

Show Total Lines Number

If we need the total lines count we can use following

Save File

Current file can be saved with the following command.This will save to the same file.

Save File with Different Name

We have also option to save into different file name. We will provide the file name to the :w command like below.

Save and Close

We can save and close  current file easily with the following command.

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