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Question Beginner Vim on Pop!_OS - what is going on here

Adam Kadmon

Member
Jul 25, 2020
40
4
6
G'day Everyone,

Tl;dr: I'm under the impression that I need to install a more fully-featured version of Vim than the Pop!_OS default. Which one should I go for (vim-runtime?) and should I remove the current one afterwards - and if so, how?

I'm trying to get into learning Vim (which I plan on using to edit CSS and config files as well as drive Qutebrowser), but I'm a little confused as to what's installed on Pop!_OS.

'Vim' doesn't work in the CLI, but 'vi' opens 'Vim'. Ferreting about with the locate cmd, I've come to the tentative conclusion that I have vim-tiny installed by default. Reading the output from the 'vi' cmd, I see that vim-tiny is in vi compatibility mode by default. Using the ':set nocp' cmd works, but doesn't survive a restart of 'vi'/'vim-tiny'. Also the promised ':help cp-default' cmd brings up an error along the line of 'there are no help files for this cmd'.

What I really wanted to do first and foremost was complete the vimtutor a couple of times. Also, the behaviour of 'vi'/'vim-tiny' isn't what I expected from the tutorials I've seen (e.g. undo/redo behave differently).

So, finally, my question part one: what should I install to get Vim in a reasonably fully-featured, 'vanilla' state that would include vimtutor... and that is also somewhat ricable - e.g. I'd like to have line numbers running down the LHS and a status bar at the bottom.

The Pop Shop has:

- Vim (installed, so it's probably vim-tiny)
- GVim (a fork? - I'd rather not start with a fork but something more vanilla)
- Neovim (as above).

A quick apt search reveals:

- vim-runtime (which is where vimtutor is to be found, according to the output of 'vimtutor' now)
- vim-gtk
- the above mentioned ones from the Pop Shop and a tonne of themes, etc.

And my question part two: should I then remove 'vi'/'vim-tiny' from my system? I don't want to bloat and duplicate things, but I also don't want to delete something that might be set as a default in a recovery situation or something. Also, since the 'vim' cmd doesn't do anything now, there mightn't be any harm in leaving 'vi' alongside 'vim.

Thanks for reading this far!

Cheers

Edit: After practicing the 'apt show' cmd on some vim candidates (yes, I'm that new to this), I now realise that 'sudo apt install vim' seems to be the most obvious choice and that 'vim-runtime' is something you add to an install of Vim if it's lacking. My original questions stand, though - any help would be much appreciated!
 
Last edited:

derpOmattic

Pop!_Muse
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Founding Member
Nov 23, 2018
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Run apt policy vim

It should return

Code:
❯❯ apt policy vim
vim:
  Installed: 2:8.1.2269-1ubuntu5
  Candidate: 2:8.1.2269-1ubuntu5
  Version table:
*** 2:8.1.2269-1ubuntu5 500
        500 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal/main amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
If not, you can install vim with sudo apt install vim.

This is a great site to learn about Vim.

You're also welcome to use anything from my Vim config.

In regard to line numbers, I usually just use:set number when I want them. Actually, I've got my config to use the F2 key to toggle :set number Learn more about line numbers here.
 
Last edited:
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Adam Kadmon

Member
Jul 25, 2020
40
4
6
Thank you, @derpOmattic! I've added the apt policy command to my bag of tricks and yes, mine came up with 'Installed: none" and the same candidate.

Is there any harm / significant benefit in removing vim-tiny first? (sudo remove vim-tiny) In my ignorance I'm not sure if it has some kind of special status as a default system application. Also, maybe it's useful to have both vim-tiny (aliased as vi) and fully-fledged Vim, I don't know. Maybe these are such tiny, benign apps that my question is ridiculous - better safe than sorry, though.

Thanks also for the Vim Wiki link (it wasn't among the resources I found, strangely) and your config. I think I'll just make sure nocompatible is set for now and slowly build up from there.

I'll post a beginners' resource list etc. once I make some progress.
 

SteveM

Member
Aug 24, 2019
25
8
9
Beaverton, OR
According to Debian vim-tiny exists for one purpose, to provide a vi binary for base installations. If vim is desired they recommend installing vim, vim-nox, vim-athena, vim-gtk, or vim-gtk3.

It is a shame that the Pop Shop shows vim installed when all you have is vim-tiny.
 
Last edited:

derpOmattic

Pop!_Muse
Trusted User
Founding Member
Nov 23, 2018
1,410
235
30
www.patreon.com
Yes, you'll need to install vim on every new installation of Pop. It's one of the very first things I do, along with Alacritty, Autojump and Zsh.
 

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