Vi / Vim Save And Quit The Editor Command

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I am a new vi / vim text editor user. How do I quit the vi editor and save my changes under a Linux or Unix like operating systems? Can you tell me command to save and quit file in vim?

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vi or vim (Vi IMproved) is text editor or a programmers text editor. You can edit programs or configuration files on the Linux/Unix server. Vim is upwards compatible to Vi. This page explains how to save a file in Vim or vi and quit the editor under Linux or Unix-like systems.

Vim Save And Quit The Editor Command

The procedure to save a file in vim / vi and quit the editor is as follows:

  1. Open the terminal application in Linux or Unix
  2. Next, open a file in vim / vi, type: vim filename
  3. To save a file in Vim / vi, press Esc key, type :w and hit Enter key
  4. One can save a file and quit vim / Vi by pressing Esc key, type :x and hit Enter key

Let us see all commands and examples in details.

How to open a file in Vim / Vi

You can start vi/vim by typing the following command:
vim file
vi file
vim [options] filename
vim helloworld.sh

Understanding vim modes

When we start vim/vi text editor, we are in normal mode. This mode allows use to use vim commands and navigate around the file as per our needs. In order to edit text, you need to enter the insert mode by pressing i key. This way, we can edit our program or configuration files such as /etc/nginx/nginx.conf.

Of course, you can go back to normal mode by pressing Esc key again.

How to save and quit the vi or vim text editor

To save and quit the vi or vim editor with saving any changes you have made:

  1. If you are currently in insert or append mode, press Esc key.
  2. Press : (colon). The cursor should reappear at the lower left corner of the screen beside a colon prompt.
  3. Enter the following command (type :x and press Enter key):
    :x

    OR

    :x!

    OR

    :wq!
  4. Press ENTER key
  5. This will quit the editor, and all changes you have made to the document will be saved to the file.

Use x to save a file and exit:

Fig.01: Vi / vim save and quit demo.
Fig.01: Vi / vim save and quit demo.

How to trash all changes in vi/vim

If you do not want to save any changes, first press Esc key. To exit Vim without saving changes press :q! followed by ENTER key.

Getting more help about vim commands

Want to learn vim text editor? Start the vim tutor by typing the following command at the Linux, macOS, and Unix-like system:
$ vimtutor
$ vimtutor it
$ vimtutor fr

How to Save a File in Vim or Vi and Quit the Editor
vimtutor in action

Summary of vim/vi commands

CommandDescription
Press the ESC key
Type :q!
Press the ENTER key
Exit vim without saving changes i.e. discards any changes you made.
Press the ESC key
Type :wq
Press the ENTER key
Save a file and exit.
Press the ESC key
Type :x
Press the ENTER key
Save a file and exit.

Conclusion

You learned how to save a file in vim and exit the text editor using various vim commands. See the vim site or the following pages for more information.

This entry is 3 of 4 in the Exit From Linux and Unix "app" Tutorial series. Keep reading the rest of the series:
  1. How To Exit From top Command In Linux / Unix / BSD / OS X
  2. How To Exit Vim Text Editor Command
  3. Vi / Vim: Save And Quit The Editor Command
  4. How to reload .vimrc file without restarting vim on Linux/Unix

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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.

Notable Replies

    1. I press Escape key
    2. Type :
    3. To save and exit vim, enter wq!

    :wq! is forceful save and exit vim command.

Continue the discussion www.nixcraft.com

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Historical Comment Archive

11 comment

  1. To save and quit:
    If you are currently in insert or append mode, press Esc key.
    Press: (semi-colon) The cursor should reappear at the lower left corner of the screen beside a colon prompt.
    Enter the following command (type wq! and press Enter key).
    :)

    1. Press: (colon) The cursor should reappear at the lower left corner of the screen beside a colon prompt.
      colon is right.

    1. Hit the ‘esc’ key and it will take you out of the cursor mode and give you a cursor at the lower left hand of the screen. Now enter wq! and it will save and quit.

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