Vim 8.0 Is Released After 10 Years – Install on Linux Systems

Vi has been around for a long, developed in around 1976, it offered users traditional yet powerful features such as an effective editing interface, terminal control and many more.

However, it lacked certain captivating features for example multiple screens, syntax highlighting, multiple undo functionality and so on, that many Unix/Linux users where looking for in a complete text editor.

Suggested Read: 12 Best Open Source Text Editors (GUI + CLI) I Found in 2015

Therefore, Vim (Vi Improved) was developed to bring users a fully featured, advanced and complete text editor. Vim is a powerful, highly configurable, popular and cross-platform text editor that runs on Unix-like systems such as Linux, OS X, Solaris, *BSD and MS-Windows.

It is feature-rich and highly-extensible as well, using several community developed plugins, you can turn Vim into more than a simple text editor.

Vim Features

A number of its notable features include:

  1. Persistent, multi-level undo tree
  2. Supports multiple screens
  3. Highly extensible using multiple plugins
  4. Offers users a powerful and reliable search tool
  5. Supports several programming languages and file formats
  6. Supports and integrates with numerous tools and many more

Ten years since major changes were made to Vim, a new and improved release, Vim 8.0 is now out as in this announcement. It comes with some important improvements, several bug fixes and new features as listed below:

Suggested Read: Learn Vi/Vim as a Full Text Editor – Beginner Guide

New Features in Vim 8.0

  1. Jobs
  2. Asynchronous I/O support, channels, JSON
  3. Timers
  4. Supports partials, lambdas, and closures
  5. Enables new style testing
  6. Viminfo merged by timestamp
  7. Supports GTK+3
  8. Support for MS-Windows DirectX

How To Install Vim 8.0 on Ubuntu 16.04/Linux Mint 18

Although Vim 8.0 is out, it will may take a good amount of time before it gets into official software repositories for the different Linux distributions. Luckily, users of Ubuntu and its derivatives can use thi unofficial and untrusted PPA to test it.

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonathonf/vim
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install vim

After installation, you can launch vim from the commandline and view information about it as shown:

$ vim
Running Vim 8.0 in Ubuntu 16.04

Running Vim 8.0 in Ubuntu 16.04

To uninstall it and move back to the older version in Ubuntu repository, run the following commands to purge the PPA:

$ sudo apt install ppa-purge
$ sudo ppa-purge ppa:jonathonf/vim

For other Linux distributions, it will may take some time to include it into official software repositories, but you can try the latest Vim 8.0 by compiling it from source on your own as shown.

On Debian/Ubuntu and Mint

$ sudo apt install ncurses-dev
$ wget https://github.com/vim/vim/archive/master.zip	
$ unzip master.zip
$ cd vim-master
$ cd src/
$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install
$ vim 

On RHEL/CentOS and Fedora

# yum  install  ncurses-devel
# wget https://github.com/vim/vim/archive/master.zip	
# unzip master.zip
# cd vim-master
# cd src/
# ./configure
# make
# sudo make install
# vim

Arch users, can install latest Vim using pacman as shown:

# pacman -S vim

For other Linux distributions, you can download and build it on your own:

Download Vim 8.0

If you like Vim, please consider helping poor kids in the Uganda: http://iccf-holland.org

Last but not least, if you have installed Vim 8.0, try it out and get back to us by using the feedback section below. Make any suggestions or share your experience with us and much more. We shall be delighted to get vital remarks from you.

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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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11 Responses

  1. Jan says:

    Hello,
    Why do you suggest to use
    # make install
    while debian documentation strongly suggest to not use it like that?

  2. Sathish says:

    Hello, everyone, I install vim using this repository, this vim installs using this repository doesn’t support python. So better install from:

    $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pi-rho/dev
    $ sudo apt-get update
    
  3. jjjjjb says:

    Correction, for other Linux distributions such as Arch, you can just pacman -S vim :D

  4. Carl J Hirner says:

    Abhishek Soni, try doing something like this:

    mkdir $HOME/vim-build ; cp $WHERE_EVER_YOU_DOWNLOADED_IT_TO/master.zip $HOME/vim-build
    mkdir $HOME/vim-bin
    ./configure –prefix=$HOME/vim-bin
    make
    make install
    cd $HOME/vim-bin/bin
    ./vim –version | head -n 1
    ## you should see the version as being 8.0
    ## if you do not see the version you compiled, check to see if your distro’s repo’s have the same version as what you are seeing, and if so, then it is possible that you are using the command provided by the distro’s repo’s and not the one you have installed. Hope this helps.

  5. Abhishek Soni says:

    I compiled vim 8 successfully on rhel 6.7 but it still showing version 7.4. Please help.

    • Ravi Saive says:

      @Abhishek,

      During compilation have you received any missing package or module error? how was your installation went? could you share the screen shot?

    • Aaron Kili K says:

      @Abhishek

      You may try out the solution provided by @Carl J Hirner above:

      mkdir $HOME/vim-build ; cp $WHERE_EVER_YOU_DOWNLOADED_IT_TO/master.zip $HOME/vim-build
      mkdir $HOME/vim-bin
      ./configure –prefix=$HOME/vim-bin
      make
      make install
      cd $HOME/vim-bin/bin
      ./vim –version | head -n 1
      ## you should see the version as being 8.0
      ## if you do not see the version you compiled, check to see if your distro’s repo’s have the same version as what you are seeing, and if so, then it is possible that you are using the command provided by the distro’s repo’s and not the one you have installed. Hope this helps.

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