FreeBSD Install VIM Editor Without X11 GUI

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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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Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

6 comment

  1. Alternate:

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

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

  2. 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
  3. I found this post when looking for a terminal only version of vim. However there seems to be a simpler approach: just install vim-lite with pkg install vim-lite
    This is what I found in the nixCraft blog.

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