Ubuntu Linux: vim Location and Versions

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

On Ubuntu (11.10 and 12.04), vim is not installed, but “vim.tiny” instead. “vim.tiny” doesn't support command history!

Also: vi is a redirect to vim.tiny, thru the update-alternatives mechanism.

$ ls -al `which vim.tiny` `which vi`

lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root     20 2012-04-10 10:06 /usr/bin/vi -> /etc/alternatives/vi
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 713312 2012-02-28 05:53 /usr/bin/vim.tiny

so, sudo apt-get install vim. Once installed, “vi” points to “vim.basic”, again by the alternatives mechanism.

# /usr/bin

lrwxrwxrwx  1 root   root          20 2012-10-12 00:37 vi -> /etc/alternatives/vi
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root   root          21 2012-10-12 00:37 vim -> /etc/alternatives/vim
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root   root     1883196 2012-02-28 05:53 vim.basic
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root   root          25 2012-10-12 00:37 vimdiff -> /etc/alternatives/vimdiff
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root   root      713312 2012-02-28 05:53 vim.tiny
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root   root        2084 2012-02-28 05:51 vimtutor
# /etc/alternatives/

lrwxrwxrwx   1 root root    18 2012-10-12 00:37 vi -> /usr/bin/vim.basic*
lrwxrwxrwx   1 root root    18 2012-10-12 00:37 vim -> /usr/bin/vim.basic*
lrwxrwxrwx   1 root root    18 2012-10-12 00:37 vimdiff -> /usr/bin/vim.basic

in summary:

also, the whole vim install (which includes docs) is now a whopping 29 MB. Ha, still only 1/5 of emacs! 〔➤see Xah Emacs Tutorial

For a basic vim tutorial, see: vim Basics