Vim stands for "Vi IMproved". It used to be "Vi
IMitation", but there are so many improvements that a name
change was appropriate. Vim is a
text editor which includes almost all the commands from the UNIX
program vi and a lot of new ones.
Commands in the vi editor are entered
using only the keyboard, which has the advantage that you can keep
your fingers on the keyboard and your eyes on the screen, rather
than moving your arm repeatedly to the mouse. For those who want
it, mouse support and a GUI version with scrollbars and menus can
We will refer to vi or vim throughout this book for editing files, while you
are of course free to use the editor of your choice. However, we
recommend to at least get the vi basics in
the fingers, because it is the standard text editor on almost all
UNIX systems, while emacs can be an optional
package. There may be small differences between different computers
and terminals, but the main point is that if you can work with
vi, you can survive on any UNIX system.
Apart from the vim command, the
vIm packages may also provide
gvim, the Gnome version of vim.
Beginning users might find this easier to use, because the menus
offer help when you forgot or don't know how to perform a
particular editing task using the standard vim commands.