[SATLUG] vi editor and insert mode as regular user

John D Choate jdchoate at gmail.com
Fri Jul 24 15:26:26 CDT 2009

On Friday 24 July 2009 15:19:52 Brad Knowles wrote:
> on 7/24/09 1:06 PM, John D Choate said:
> > OK, but what about 'delete' and 'backspace'? I am not a perfect
> > typist and make errors from time to time and those keys can come in
> > handy for editing.
> Those two are usually okay, but it's good to know the native keys for 
> when nothing else is available.
> Heck, it's good to remember how to edit things with xed, or even ed, 
> because sometimes the terminal settings are screwed up enough (or 
> whatever) that you can't even use vi -- your only choice is to use a 
> line editor.  I ran into this one myself a few weeks ago, and despite 
> the fact that I hadn't used a line editor in twenty years, I was able to 
> fix the problem and get the system back up and running.
> > We are now straying away from my original question which was,
> > basically:
> >
> > Why is there the difference in behavior of vi for the root user and a
> > regular user.
> What you have described sounds like a difference in terminal settings to 
> me, but assuming you're using a graphical interface, I have sometimes 
> found that using a different terminal program (xterm vs. rxvterm, or 
> whatever) will produce different results.
> Sometimes that can happen as a result of having different X settings for 
> the root and regular users -- the X settings affect the xterm, the xterm 
> affects the terminal settings within the window, and that affects vi.
> > I want no more lessons in using the vi commands, tyvm. I can read the
> > man pages and google for that stuff.
> Point taken.  However, let me say that I understood the difference in 
> the question, and I still wanted to point out why it's a bad idea to use 
> non-standard keys with vi.

Thank you for your input. I had learned that 'insert' or 'i' was to enable insert mode. After that I instinctively used the arrow keys to navigate the cursor without knowledge of the default vi commands. I found that easy enough to use, so I never looked for any more info.

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