vim ubuntu install with code examples

Vim is a powerful, efficient, and highly customizable text editor that is widely used by a large number of programmers. It provides a variety of features to help you write and edit code more efficiently and can be used on a variety of platforms, including Ubuntu.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to install Vim on Ubuntu and explain some of the basic commands and features you can utilize in Vim.

Step 1: Update Your System

Before installing any new software or package on your Ubuntu system, it’s always a good idea to update your package manager and the system itself by issuing the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

By doing this, you ensure that all of the packages and dependencies are up-to-date.

Step 2: Install Vim

To install Vim on Ubuntu, you need to use the apt package manager. To install Vim, run the following command:

sudo apt-get install vim

This will retrieve the latest version of Vim from the Ubuntu repositories and install it on your system.

Once the installation is complete, you can open Vim by typing the following command in the terminal:


Step 3: Understanding Vim Modes

One of the unique things about Vim is that it operates in different modes, each with its own set of commands and functions.

To begin, Vim operates in normal mode, which is used for navigating and manipulating text. To enter normal mode, press the “Esc” key.

We also have the insert mode, which is used for inserting text into the document. To enter insert mode, simply press the “i” key.

Vim also has additional modes such as visual mode, command-line mode, and more, which we will discuss in more detail later.

Step 4: Basic Vim Commands

Now that we have installed Vim on our system and have a basic understanding of Vim modes let’s explore some fundamental Vim commands.

To begin, we’ll look at how to navigate within the document.

  1. Moving the Cursor

In normal mode, you can navigate the cursor with the following keys:

h – move left
j – move down
k – move up
l – move right

  1. Searching Text

Searching text is an essential task that you need to perform quite often while working with text. Vim provides a simple yet powerful search feature that allows you to search for any text within the document.

To search for text in Vim, simply use the following command in normal mode:


Here, “word” is the text that you want to search for. Once you enter the word, press “Enter” to search for it within the document.

  1. Inserting Text

When working with text, you often need to add or edit content within the document. To insert text in Vim, you need to switch to the insert mode.

To switch to insert mode, press the “i” key in normal mode. Once you’re in insert mode, you can type any text you want.

  1. Saving and Quitting Vim

Once you’re done with your editing and want to save and close the document, use the following command:


This will save the changes and close the document.

If you want to exit Vim without saving changes, use the following command:


This will quit Vim without saving any changes.

Step 5: Advanced Vim Commands

While the basic Vim commands mentioned above are sufficient for most users, Vim provides a wide range of advanced features and functionalities.

Here are some advanced Vim commands you can use:

  1. Copy and Paste

To copy and paste text in Vim, use the following commands:

yy – copy the current line
p – paste the copied text

  1. Undo and Redo

You can undo and redo your changes in Vim with the following commands:

u – undo
Ctrl + r – redo

  1. Multiple Windows

You can use Vim to open multiple windows and edit multiple files simultaneously. Here are some commands to help you:

:new – create a new window
:split – split the current window into two
:close – close the current window

  1. Macros

Macros are a powerful feature in Vim that lets you record and save a series of commands that can be replayed at any time to quickly perform repetitive editing tasks.

To record a macro in Vim, use the following command:

qa – enter macro recording mode
– perform the commands you want
q – exit macro recording mode

To replay a macro, use the following command:

@a – execute the macro


Now that you have a basic understanding of how to install and use Vim on Ubuntu with code examples, you can start exploring its powerful features. Vim is an incredibly powerful and efficient text editor that can boost your productivity and help you write code faster.

However, mastering Vim takes time and practice, so keep practicing and experimenting with different commands to see what works best for you.

I would be happy to provide more information on the previous topics, including installing Vim on Ubuntu and basic and advanced Vim commands.

Vim Installation on Ubuntu

In addition to the steps we covered in the previous section, there are a few more options and considerations you may want to keep in mind when installing Vim on Ubuntu.

For example, you can install the graphical version of Vim by installing the vim-gtk or vim-gnome package. This can be helpful if you prefer a more user-friendly interface with a mouse and menus.

You can also customize your Vim installation by adding plugins and configuring its settings. There are many plugins available for Vim that can add new features and functionality, such as syntax highlighting, file browser, and Git integration.

To install a plugin in Vim, you can use a plugin manager such as Vundle or Pathogen. These tools make it easy to install and manage multiple plugins.

Basic Vim Commands

In addition to the basic navigation, search, insert, and save/quit commands we covered in the previous section, there are many other commands you can use in Vim to make your editing tasks faster and more efficient.

For example, you can use the “d” command to delete text, the “c” command to change text, and the “y” command to yank or copy text. You can also use the “r” command to replace a single character, and the “f” command to find the next occurrence of a character on the current line.

In visual mode, you can select text by highlighting it with the cursor and then use commands such as “d”, “c”, or “y” to perform actions on the selected text.

You can also use the “:%s” command to perform a search and replace operation throughout the entire document. For example, “:%s/foo/bar/g” will replace all occurrences of “foo” with “bar” in the document.

Advanced Vim Commands

In addition to the advanced commands we covered in the previous section, such as copy and paste, undo and redo, multiple windows, and macros, there are many other commands and features in Vim that can help you edit text more efficiently.

For example, you can use the “gq” command to reformat or wrap lines of text to a specified width, or use the “:sort” command to sort lines of text alphabetically or numerically.

You can also use the “registers” feature in Vim to store and retrieve snippets of text and commands. Registers are designated by letters, and you can use the “” command followed by a letter to access the register, such as “”a” to paste from register “a” or “”q” to record a macro into register “q”.

You can also use the “command-line mode” in Vim to enter complex commands and operations, such as running external scripts or filters on the current document.


Vim is a powerful and versatile text editor that can be used on a wide range of platforms, including Ubuntu. By installing Vim and learning some basic and advanced Vim commands, you can become more productive and efficient when editing text. With practice and experimentation, you can discover new and creative ways to use Vim and customize it to your needs and preferences.

Popular questions

Q1. What is the first step to installing Vim on Ubuntu?

A1. The first step is to update your system and package manager by using the command "sudo apt-get update" followed by "sudo apt-get upgrade".

Q2. How can you open Vim after installing it on Ubuntu?

A2. You can open Vim by typing the command "vim" in the terminal.

Q3. What are the basic Vim modes?

A3. The basic Vim modes are normal mode, which is used for navigating and manipulating text, and insert mode, which is used for inserting text into the document.

Q4. How do you search for text within a document in Vim?

A4. To search for text in Vim, use the "/" command followed by the word you want to search for. For example, "/word".

Q5. What are some advanced Vim commands?

A5. Advanced Vim commands include copy and paste, undo and redo, multiple windows, macros, and more. You can also use Vim to search and replace text, sort lines of text, and enter complex commands.



I am a driven and diligent DevOps Engineer with demonstrated proficiency in automation and deployment tools, including Jenkins, Docker, Kubernetes, and Ansible. With over 2 years of experience in DevOps and Platform engineering, I specialize in Cloud computing and building infrastructures for Big-Data/Data-Analytics solutions and Cloud Migrations. I am eager to utilize my technical expertise and interpersonal skills in a demanding role and work environment. Additionally, I firmly believe that knowledge is an endless pursuit.

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