Last Update: Mar 25, 2023
Like most “hardcore” Linux/Unix hackers I love Vi/Vim, and I’ve found there is no end to the things you can learn about Vim so I decided to add a few command line tricks that I just learned recently.
I’m going to use “file.txt” as our example file.
Here are some cool Vim command line tricks:
1. Open at the end of a file
vi **+** file.txt
The plus sign added before the file name opens up the file with the cursor at the end of the file. This can be handy if you have a huge text file you and you don’t want to scroll down.
2. Open file at specific line
vi **+_n_** file.txt
If you add a number (replace n with a number in case you hadn’t guessed) the cursor will go exactly to that line number. Extremely handy for large text files or error messages that specify a line number in a config or source file.
3. Open file at a pattern
vi **+/_pattern_** file.txt
This will open the file on the same line as the pattern you specify (first instance of it). This is great if you have a specific phrase to search for.
4. Recover a file after a crash
vi **-r** file.txt
Use -r to open a file and recover it after a crash. This could save your butt someday.
5. Run a script against a file
vi **-s** file.txt < script.sh
This trick could be super powerful, but also dangerous. This allows you to run a script against the file while opening, usually a search or something of that sort.
I hope this helps, I’m going to post more stuff as I learn it, there’s a reason they’ve written whole books about Vim, it has a ton of features. If people enjoy these tips, I’ll add some more later.
Want to learn more about Linux? Of course you do. Check out this Linux Fundamentals course. You can sign up for a free trial here and take it today!