Installing Vim

Installation of Vim

If you don't like vim to be installed as an editor on the LFS system, you may want to download an alternative and install an editor he prefers. There are a few hints how to install different editors available at

Both the vim-rt and vim-src packages need to be unpacked to install Vim. Both packages will unpack their files into the vim-5.7 directory. This won't overwrite any files from the other package. So it doesn't matter in which order it is done. Install Vim by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr &&
make &&
make install &&
cd /usr/bin &&
ln -s vim vi

If you plan on installing the X Window system on his LFS system, you might want to re-compile Vim after he has installed X. Vim comes with a nice GUI version of the editor which requires X and a few other libraries to be installed. For more information read the Vim documentation.

FHS compliance notes

The FHS says that editors like vim should use /var/lib/<editor> for their temporary state files, like temporary save files for example. If you wish vim to conform to the FHS, you should use this command set instead of the one presented above:

./configure --prefix=/usr --localstatedir=/var/lib/vim &&
make &&
make install &&
cd /usr/bin &&
ln -s vim vi &&
mkdir /var/lib/vim


The Vim package contains the ctags, etags, ex, gview, gvim, rgview, rgvim, rview, rvim, view, vim, vimtutor and xxd programs.



ctags generate tag files for source code.


etags does the same as ctags but it can generate cross reference files which list information about the various source objects found in a set of language files.


ex starts vim in Ex mode.


gview is the GUI version of view.


gvim is the GUI version of vim.


rgview is the GUI version of rview.


rgvim is the GUI version of rvim.


rview is a restricted version of view. No shell commands can be started and Vim can't be suspended.


rvim is the restricted version of vim. No shell commands can be started and Vim can't be suspended.


view starts vim in read-only mode.


vim starts vim in the normal, default way.


vimtutor starts the Vim tutor.


xxd makes a hexdump or does the reverse.