[SATLUG] vi editor and insert mode as regular user

John D Choate jdchoate at gmail.com
Thu Jul 23 21:29:14 CDT 2009

I have often used 'vi' for editing files, all as root. I am familiar with pressing the 'insert' key to get into insert mode and 'esc' to return to command mode. The letter 'i' can do the same thing.
I recently tried to edit a file as my regular user and found that I cannot enable the insert mode by either pressing the 'insert' key or the 'i' key. I have not found any documentation to explain this.
Can anyone explain this?
A couple of requests:
1. I have Googled this and found nothing specifying any difference between using 'vi' as root or as a user (so please don't reply with "google it"). All results seem to indicate that pressing either 'insert' or 'i' will simply do what it is supposed to.
2. I am interested in a solution to this particular problem, so please don't waste your keystrokes to tell me to use emacs. :) <<<--- friendly smile. I am not being grumpy, I just want this thread to stay on topic.

John C.

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