How to Work with vi Editor – Ubuntu

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Working with Unix environment provides several editors which we can use via Terminal or Shell. Inside this article we will see about VI Editor of Unix.

The VI editor is the most popular and classic text editor in the Linux family.

It will be interesting to know How to work with vi Editor. To understand the things in a very clear way. We will create a .php file and work with vi editor for Insert, Save, Search, View operations.

This article will give you the following concepts –

  • Create file from terminal
  • Insert data into file
  • Search for any specific keyword
  • View file
  • Quit from vi editor panel

Let’s get started.

Create File from Terminal

Open your directory path in terminal and type this command.

$ touch test.php

It will create a test.php file at your specified location.

To create a folder

$ mkdir <folder-name>

Insert data into File

Open file (test.php) to work in vi editor by this command.

$ vi test.php

We can see, there are ~ signs. It indicates the unused lines in that file. Let’s insert some data into it.

To insert data into file – type ‘i’

After pressing i button, it will now allow to insert data into it.

Write some content like

This is sample content for this file

To save file, press ESC button (exit from insert mode) and then type :wq (save and exit from vi mode)

To see the contents of file, use this command.

$ cat test.php

It will display the contents what the file contains.

Search for Keyword in File

To search any keyword or content. Follow these steps –

  • Open file – vi sample.txt
  • Press ESC (button)
  • Type – /search-keyword & Hit Enter
  • To search all occurrence of /search-keyword, Press “n”

To go to Specific Line number

  • Press ESC
  • Type – :<Line Number>
  • Hit Enter

It will go at line number 10 of file.

View File Contents

Open terminal and type this command

$ cat <file-name>

Example –

$ cat sample.txt

It will display file contents to terminal.

Quit From vi Editor

To quit from vi editor mode.

  • Press ESC
  • Type – :q
  • Hit Enter

It means quit from vi editor mode.

We hope this article helped you to learn How to Work with vi Editor – Ubuntu in a very detailed way.

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