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Mastering vi and vim editors for efficient coding

Introduction to vi and vim Editors in Linux

If you’re a Linux user, you’ve probably heard of vi and vim editors. They are popular CLI (Command Line Interface) text editors used by programmers and system administrators alike.

These editors come pre-installed with most Linux distributions, making them a valuable tool that can be used to create and edit any type of text file. In this article, we will be discussing how to use vi and vim editors in Linux.

We will provide an overview of both editors and highlight their unique features. Additionally, we will walk you through the process of creating and modifying a file using these editors.

Overview of vi and vim editors

vi is a classic Linux text editor that was first released in 1976. It is a POSIX-compliant editor that was originally developed as part of the Unix Operating System.

vi editor has a steep learning curve, but it is a versatile editor that can perform a wide array of text editing tasks. vi editor has the command mode and the insert mode.

The user has to switch between these two modes to execute different commands. This makes vi editor complex and hard to use for beginners.

vim, on the other hand, is an improved version of vi. vim stands for “Vi IMproved.” It was released in 1991 and has become more popular than its predecessor because it is easier to use and has more features.

vim has a GUI (Graphical User Interface) version and a console version. It is also compatible with POSIX systems.

Features of vim editor

vim has several unique features that are not available in vi editors. One of the key features of vim editor is the compatibility with different operating systems.

vim is available on various platforms, including Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Additionally, it has an undo feature that allows the user to undo previous actions.

Syntax highlighting is another feature of vim that enables the user to differentiate between different portions of the text file. This makes it easier to read and understand the file.

Creating and Modifying a File with vi or vim Editors

Creating a new file with vi or vim

To create a new file using a vi editor, enter the command “vi ” in the terminal. This will create a new file with the specified name and open it in the vi editor.

To create a new file using vim editor, run the command “vim .”

Inserting text into a file and saving modifications

To insert text into a vi editor, you need to switch to insert mode by pressing the “i” key. This will allow you to enter text into the file.

Once you are done entering text, you need to switch back to command mode by pressing the “Esc” key on your keyboard. To save changes made to the file, run the command “:w” in the vi editor.

This will save the changes to the file. To insert text into a vim editor, you need to switch to insert mode by pressing the “i” key.

Once you are done entering text, you need to switch back to command mode by pressing the “Esc” key on your keyboard. To save changes made to the file, enter the command “:w” in the vim editor.

Conclusion

In conclusion, vi and vim editors are powerful text editors that are widely used in the Linux community. vim editor is an improved version of vi that has more features and is easier to use.

vi editor, on the other hand, is a classic Linux text editor that is POSIX-compliant. To create and edit text files using these editors, you need to switch between the command mode and the insert mode.

Understanding the basic commands for these editors can help you get the most out of them.

3) Opening a File at a Specific Line Number in vi or vim

For programmers and system administrators, text editors are essential tools that they use every day to create, edit and debug code. When working on larger files, it can be challenging to locate specific lines of code that need to be edited or debugged.

In such cases, opening the file directly to the line number saves time and effort. In this section, we will discuss how to open files at a specified line number in vi and vim editors.

Need for opening a file at a specific line

Opening a file at a specific line number can save time and effort, especially when debugging code. Suppose you are working on a program with thousands of lines of code, and you need to locate an error in a specific line.

In that case, opening the file and searching through thousands of lines of code to locate the error can be time-consuming. Opening the file to the specific line where the error is can help you quickly isolate the problem and make the necessary changes.

Syntax for opening a file at a specific line number in vi or vim

Opening a file at a specific line number in vi and vim is easy, and there are several methods you can use to achieve this. The most straightforward method involves specifying the line number when opening the file from the command line.

To open a file directly to a specific line number in vi editor, use the following command:

“`

vi +

“`

For example, to open a file called “file.txt” at line number 25, the command would be:

“`

vi +25 file.txt

“`

When you run the above command in the terminal, the vi editor will open, and the cursor will be placed at line number 25 of the file. To open a file directly to a specific line number in vim editor, use the following command:

“`

vim +

“`

For example, to open a file called “file.txt” at line number 50, the command would be:

“`

vim +50 file.txt

“`

When you run the above command in the terminal, the vim editor will open, and the cursor will be placed at line number 50 of the file.

Another method for opening a file at a specific line number in vi and vim editors is by using the colon (:) command within the editor. Once you have opened the file in the editor, you can use the colon command to specify the line number you want to open.

Type a colon followed by the line number, and press Enter. The cursor will be placed at the specified line number.

For example, to go to line number 100 in vi editor, type the following command:

“`

:100

“`

The cursor will be placed at line number 100. Similarly, to go to line number 75 in vim editor, type the following command:

“`

:75

“`

The cursor will be placed at line number 75.

Conclusion

In this article, we have discussed how to open files at a specified line number in vi and vim editors. We have demonstrated two methods for opening a file at a specific line number: by using a command line argument and by using the colon command.

Opening a file at a specific line number can save time and effort, especially when working on large files. vi and vim editors are powerful tools that come pre-installed with most Linux distributions.

By using the tips and tricks we have discussed in this article, you can take advantage of the many features and functionalities of these editors to improve your programming and system administration skills. In this article, we covered the essential information about the vi and vim editors in Linux.

We provided an overview of both text editors, highlighting their unique features and functionalities. We also discussed how to create and modify files using both editors and how to open files at a specific line number.

These tips are essential for programmers and system administrators who need to navigate and edit large files efficiently. Understanding the commands and functionalities of these editors can improve productivity and make coding a lot easier.

As you continue to practice, you will become more proficient and discover other useful features that these editors offer.

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