How to Save a File in Vi / Vim Editor in Linux

It is true that learning Vi/Vim – a well-known text editor in the Linux ecosystem, is not as easy as learning Nano or Emacs, as it requires a little effort which is worthwhile.

Many people are afraid of learning it, but seriously, for no important reasons. In this short article, intended for Vi/Vim text editor newbies, we’ll learn a few basic commands; how to save a file after writing or modifying its content.

Suggested Read: 10 Reasons Why You Should Use Vi/Vim Text Editor in Linux

In most of the today’s Linux distributions, Vi/Vim editor comes with pre-installed, if not install the full version of Vim (Debian systems provide vim-tiny with less features), simply run this command:

$ sudo apt install vim          #Debian/Ubuntu systems
$ sudo yum install vim          #RHEL/CentOS systems 
$ sudo dnf install vim		#Fedora 22+

Note: To use it’s latest features, install Vim 8.0.

To open or create a file using Vim, run the following command, then press i to insert text into it (insert mode):

$ vim file.txt
OR
$ vi file.txt
Press 'i' to Insert Mode in Vim Editor

Press ‘i’ to Insert Mode in Vim Editor

Once you have modified a file, press [Esc] shift to the command mode and press :w and hit [Enter] as shown below.

Save File in Vim

Save File in Vim

To save the file and exit at the same time, you can use the ESC and :x key and hit [Enter]. Optionally, press [Esc] and type Shift + Z Z to save and exit the file.

Save and Exit File in Vim

Save and Exit File in Vim

To save the file content to a new file named newname, use :w newname or :x newname and hit [Enter].

From here, you can now move over to learn common Vi/Vim tips and tricks, understand the different modes and so much more:

  1. Learn Useful ‘Vi/Vim’ Editor Tips and Tricks to Enhance Your Skills
  2. 8 Interesting ‘Vi/Vim’ Editor Tips and Tricks for Every Linux Administrator

That’s it! In an upcoming article, we’ll show you how to exit Vim text editor with simple commands. Remember to drop your comments via the feedback form below.

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Aaron Kili

Aaron Kili is a Linux and F.O.S.S enthusiast, an upcoming Linux SysAdmin, web developer, and currently a content creator for TecMint who loves working with computers and strongly believes in sharing knowledge.

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19 Responses

  1. falelalili says:

    Hi, it was very helpful. I don’t know what I would do without this site.

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