FreeBSD Install VIM Editor Without X11 GUI

by on January 16, 2009 · 5 comments· LAST UPDATED January 16, 2009

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Q. I'm running FreBSD on an old PC and find that all the visual bells and whistles in FreeBSD X11 are really slowing things down. How do I install vim text editor under FreeBSD without using GUI (gvim) version? How do I build vim port without X11 GUI?

A. You can easily build VIM without X11 under FreeBSD. First, update your ports tree, using portsnap command, enter:
# portsnap fetch update
Install vim without X11, enter:
# cd /usr/ports/editors/vim
# make WITHOUT_X11=yes install clean

Optional: vim configuration

Copy /usr/local/share/vim/vimXY/vimrc_example.vim to /usr/local/share/vimrc, enter:
# cp /usr/local/share/vim/vim72/vimrc_example.vim /usr/local/share/vimrc
Create your ~/.vimrc file, enter:
$ vi ~/.vimrc
Add customization:

set nocompatible
filetype on
filetype indent on
filetype plugin on
set laststatus=2
syntax on

Save and close the file. Set bash alias, enter:
$ echo "alias vi='vim'" >> ~/.bashrc
Setup INPUTRC for bash, enter:
# echo 'export INPUTRC=/usr/local/etc/inputrc' >> /etc/profile
Finally, create /usr/local/etc/inputrc, enter:
# cat >> /usr/local/etc/inputrc
Append config:

set meta-flag on
set input-meta on
set convert-meta off
set output-meta on
"\e[1~": beginning-of-line
"\e[4~": end-of-line
"\e[5~": beginning-of-history
"\e[6~": end-of-history
"\e[3~": delete-char
"\e[2~": quoted-insert
"\e[5C": forward-word
"\e[5D": backward-word
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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kusal January 17, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Thank you


2 Mel January 27, 2009 at 7:22 pm


# echo 'WITH_VIM_OPTIONS=yes' >>/etc/make.conf

You can now choose vim options using the standard configuration dialog.


3 gooonmunster March 8, 2009 at 8:41 pm

Is it possible to get firefox to run on Freebsd without X11, KDE or GNOME?


4 nixCraft March 8, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Noop, you cannot install Firefox without X11.


5 ub3rst4r April 9, 2014 at 5:06 am

I was having troubles pasting text via PuTTY (by using the right mouse button), it turns it out it’s because the mouse is enabled. I commented out the following code in /usr/local/share/vim/vimrc:

if has('mouse')
 set mouse=a

Should be:

" if has('mouse')
"  set mouse=a
" endif


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