vim isn't working as expected

Nicolas Galler beanie at
Sun May 4 05:14:46 PDT 2003

On Sat, May 03, 2003 at 09:08:31PM -0400, William O'Higgins wrote:
> I am a new user of FreeBSD migrating from Red Hat Linux.  There are a
> few differences that I am having trouble with.
> vi - my editor of choice, and it doesn't work in the ways I expect it
> to.  I am used to vi being aliased to vim (which I have done in FreeBSD)
> and having syntax highlighting, arrow keys, and a tell-tale line at the
> bottom of the xterm to remind me which mode I'm in, which line and
> position, and how much file I'm looking at.  All these things are gone in
> FreeBSD.  Could someone tell me what I'm missing?  Thanks.
> -- 
> yours,
> William

vim might work in 'compatibility mode' if it's launched as vi and you don't
have a .vimrc, so make sure to create one with at least
set nocompatible

There should be a sample in /usr/local/share/vim.
If the status line is not showing try 
set laststatus=2
otherwise vim might decide not to show it.

The proggy works the same as on linux, it's just a matter of default config.
It might be easier to find the (global, I guess) configuration file on linux
and copy it to ~/.vimrc on freebsd.

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