Vim 8.0 Released, the First Major Update Since 2006

Vim, which stands for Vi IMproved, is a free, open-source and advanced command line text editor based on vi. Vim 8.0 was released on September 12, 2016. It’s the first major update since 2006.

Vim 8.0 New Features:

  • Asynchronous I/O support, channels, JSON
  • Jobs
  • Timers
  • Partials, Lambdas and Closures
  • Packages
  • New style testing
  • Viminfo merged by timestamp
  • GTK+ 3 support
  • MS Windows DirectX support

How to Install Vim 8.0 on Linux

The easiest way to install Vim 8.0 is through its Github repository. First install Git on your Linux system.

Debian/Ubuntu/Linux Mint

sudo apt install git

Fedora

sudo dnf install git

CentOS/Red hat

sudo yum install git

Arch Linux/Manjaro/Apricity OS

sudo pacman -S git

Then clone the Vim repository from Github

git clone https://github.com/vim/vim.git
cd vim

Configure the build environment

./configure

Install ncurses development library.

sudo apt install ncurses-dev

sudo yum  install  ncurses-devel

Compile the source code

make

Install it

sudo make install

Once it’s installed, you can check Vim version using the following command.

vim --version | head -n 1

vim-8-0-check-version

The vim --version command will output the Vim version number, its features, configuration files and the compilation, linking command used. The head -n 1 command will only display the first line of the output.

You will also see the version number when you start Vim text editor in the terminal.

vim

vim-8-0-text-editor

How to Use Vim Text Editor – the Basics

Type vim to start the text editor in the terminal.

vim

To enter text, you need to let Vim enter edit mode by pressing i.  You will see

-- INSERT --

at the bottom left corner indicating that Vim is in edit mode. To start a new line, press Enter.

When you finished editing and want to exit out of Vim editor, press the ESC key to return to command mode. Then enter :wq to save the file and quit.

:wq

w stands for write. q stands for quit. You can also give the file a name like below:

:wq demo.txt

Vim will write your content to disk as demo.txt file and quit.

To view the details about Vim 8.0 new features, type

:help version8

While vim is running.

Rate this tutorial
[Total: 0 Average: 0]