Change default Linux / UNIX text editor from VI to Pico

Posted on in Categories , , , , , , , , , last updated August 30, 2007

Q. I find vi hard to use. How do I change my default text editor from vim / vi to Pico under Debian Linux?

A. To use and change an editor to edit your text message, set the variable EDITOR to the pathname of the vi / vim binary file. You need to use export or set command for the same purpose.

Many Linux / UNIX command read shell EDITOR environment variable to determine which editor to use for editing a text file.

Set default text editor to pico

Type the command as follows:
$ which pico


Now setup a new text editor:
export EDITOR=/usr/bin/pico
export EDITOR=pico

Add above line to ~/.bashrc file:
$ vi ~/.bashrc
Append text as follows:
export EDITOR=pico
Close and save the file. There is no no need to reboot system.

Also you can add alias if you want:
alias vi=/usr/bin/pico

FreeBSD install VIM text editor

Posted on in Categories , , , last updated July 8, 2008

Q. Quick question – How do I install VIM text editor for my FreeBSD server? Currently it has old version of vi. I like vim as it is a highly configurable text editor and efficient one.

A. VIM (Vi IMproved ) is not installed by default under FreeBSD. Vim is a text editor that is upwards compatible to Vi. It can be used to edit all kinds of plain text. It is especially useful for editing programs. You can install vim binary package or use FreeBSD’s ports system.

Task: Install vim binary package

Type the following command to install vim lite version:
# pkg_add -r -v vim-lite

You can also use FreeBSD ports system to install vim:
# cd /usr/ports/editors/vim-lite/
# make install clean

To start vim type command:
$ vim

You can also create a alias using alias command:
$ alias vi='vim'

Add above alias to your shell start up file such as ~/.bashrc / ~/.cshrc

Task: Setup global vimrc file

You need to copy default vimrc file from /usr/local/share/vim/vim71/vimrc_example.vim to /usr/local/share/vim:
# cp /usr/local/share/vim/vim71/vimrc_example.vim /usr/local/share/vimrc

Task: Personal ~/.vimrc file

You can customize ~/.vimrc as per your requirements. Here is my own file:
$ cat ~/.vimrc
Sample output:

set nocompatible " must be the first line
filetype on
filetype indent on
filetype plugin on
set laststatus=2
set statusline=%<%f\%h%m%r%=%-20.(line=%l\ \ col=%c%V\ \ totlin=%L%)\ \ \%h%m%r%=%-40(bytval=0x%B,%n%Y%)\%P

Ubuntu Linux Vim Sorry, the command is not available in this version: syntax on

Posted on in Categories , , , , , last updated May 12, 2008

Q. I am using vim under Ubuntu Linux and whenever I type following command:
syntax on

I’m getting an error which read as follows:
E319: Sorry, the command is not available in this version: syntax on

How do I fix this problem?
Continue reading “Ubuntu Linux Vim Sorry, the command is not available in this version: syntax on”