The Haus

Useful vi Resources and Tutorials

November 3, 2000 -- by J.t.Qbe

Like it or don't, vi is the standard Unix text editor, included with practically every form of Unix in existence. Although this may partially be an accident of history, vi does have features which merit its popularity and widespread use:

One feature lacking in vi, some feel, is user-friendliness (or maybe vi is just being selective about who its friends are). Below you will find links to several tutorials on vi which will help you understand, well, as much about vi as you wish to understand. Give vi a try! Like mold, it may just grow on you.

General information on vi

A good general reference is The VI Pages. Here you will find all sorts of general vi information, including links to versions of vi for every operating system you can imagine.

Another good site is the VI Lovers Home Page, with links to many versions of vi, tutorials and references.


Who said that learning vi needs to be drudgery? DevShed has produced some fun tutorials on vi: Vi 101 and Vi 201. These will get you moving very quickly.

Don't miss The UnixWorld vi tutorial, which covers many of the more advanced features of vi.

If these are too fun and user friendly for you, you can always take the drudgery route and use the Purdue University vi tutorial. You can also learn vi from this tutorial by Bill Joy, the creator of vi.

If you just need to get going and use vi as quickly as possible, check out An Extremely Quick and Simple Introduction to the Vi Text Editor.

On the other hand, if you prefer a book, the book to have is Learning the vi Editor, 6th Edition by Linda Lamb and Arnold Robbins. This one will cover everything you need to know and much more.

vi References

Maybe you just need a vi reference, such as a list of commands. You can find a nice reference list at Another fairly complete reference is at