The /etc/vimrc and ~/.vimrc Files

The LFS book installs Vim as its text editor. At this point it should be noted that there are a lot of different editing applications out there including Emacs, nano, Joe and many more. Anyone who has been around the Internet (especially usenet) for a short time will certainly have observed at least one flame war, usually involving Vim and Emacs users!

The LFS book creates a basic vimrc file. In this section you'll find an attempt to enhance this file. At startup, vim reads the global configuration file (/etc/vimrc) as well as a user-specific file (~/.vimrc). Either or both can be tailored to suit the needs of your particular system.

Here is a slightly expanded .vimrc that you can put in ~/.vimrc to provide user specific effects. Of course, if you put it into /etc/skel/.vimrc instead, it will be made available to users you add to the system later. You can also copy the file from /etc/skel/.vimrc to the home directory of users already on the system, such as root. Be sure to set permissions, owner, and group if you do copy anything directly from /etc/skel.

" Begin .vimrc

set columns=80
set wrapmargin=8
set ruler

" End .vimrc

Note that the comment tags are " instead of the more usual # or //. This is correct, the syntax for vimrc is slightly unusual.

Below you'll find a quick explanation of what each of the options in this example file means here:

More information on the many vim options can be found by reading the help inside vim itself. Do this by typing :help in vim to get the general help, or by typing :help usr_toc.txt to view the User Manual Table of Contents.

Last updated on 2007-10-16 15:02:24 +0200