Install Vim to /bin?

Robert Connolly robert at
Mon Mar 26 03:49:24 PDT 2007

Okay. There's one small problem when moving vim to /bin. The /etc/vimrc we, 
and LFS, creates sets "syntax on". So when /usr is not mounted 'vim' will 
complain that '/usr/share/vim/syntax/syntax.vim' 
(aka /usr/share/vim/vim70/syntax/syntax.vim) does not exist. vi/vim will 
still work despite missing syntax.vim, but it will complain on startup.

/usr/share/vim/vim70/syntax is 4.4 megs. I don't like the idea of installing 
it to /etc/vim because of that size, but it is an option. It would be the 
largest sub directory in /etc by far.

The other option is to create shell scripts for /bin/vi and /bin/vim to search 
for the syntax directory and use or not use /etc/vimrc accordingly, but this 
would do exactly what vim already does except it would do it slower (and 
twice in total).

Another idea is to install /bin/vim-foo, symlinked to /bin/vi, using /etc/virc 
which does not set "syntax on", while having another vim in /usr/bin 
using /etc/vimrc. This installation would be confusing to shell users on the 
box, and ~/.vimrc would supercede.

And another option is installing Elvis as /bin/vi, but it's a clone of a 
package we already have.

Or, install Elvis in place of Vim. The Elvis script files are 132KB, so it's 
no big deal to install them to /etc.

I like the idea of installing just Elvis, but if the majority prefers Vim then 
I think installing the syntax files to /etc would work best... I just don't 
want to make a habit of installing data files to /etc and end up with a 
900MB /etc directory.


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