vim Keybindings

Chuck Robey chuckr at
Sun Nov 1 03:45:49 UTC 2009

Drew Tomlinson wrote:
> I'm experiencing an annoying problem with vim on FBSD 8 that I don't
> have on FBSD 7.  Whenever I start vim, if I press the down arrow as the
> first key, it deletes the first line of my file and enters insert mode. 
> All the other keys work fine and even the down arrow works fine after
> the first press.
> I've searched for help but haven't turned up anything relevant.  Any
> ideas on what I can check?

Hmm.  Don't know if your machine is exactly set up as mine, so 1st, does hitting
the escape key as the first key fix things?  And, on a shell, hit control-V (the
common shell escape key for control keys), then the down arrow, what does it
print?  Not sure I would be able to help, but there is often a timing issue on
special function key decoding (like all of the arrow keys, or the function keys,
etc) and this may tell what your down key is set for in Vim.  Beyond that, Vim's
environment is extremely programmable, so one would really have to look
carefully through all of your environment files, beginning with vim's ~/.vimrc.
 If you are using any of vim's huge store of extensions, your .vimrc probably
has statements to include subdirectories (perhaps of your homedir).  Those files
are also candidates for trouble sources.

Are you having this problem on ttys, or under X11?  Tried both?

It's most likely *something* dealing with Vim, because it's unreported on
FreeBSD (I know, I love vim and been using it on FreeBSD-current for years).
Vim's IRC channel ("vim") is extremely good about helping on problems, like bad
keymapping, they are just as good as we here on this mailing list are, but they
obviously concentrate on vim.  Anyways, if you answer these questions on the
list or channel, folks are far more likely to be able to help you here (or on
the vim channel).

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