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


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
cd vim

Configure the build environment


Install ncurses development library.

sudo apt install ncurses-dev

sudo yum  install  ncurses-devel

Compile the source code


Install it

sudo make install

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

vim --version | head -n 1


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.



How to Use Vim Text Editor – the Basics

Type vim to start the text editor in the terminal.


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.


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.

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