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The official Vim repository - GitHub

The official Vim repository – GitHub

For translations of this README, see end.

If you find a bug or want to discuss the best way to add a new feature, open a problem. If you have any questions or want to discuss the best way to do something with Vim, you can use StackExchange or one of the mailing lists.

What is Vim?

Vim is a much improved version of the old UNIX editor Vi. Many new features have been added: undo multiple levels, syntax highlighting, command line history, online help, spell checking, file name completion, block operations, scripting language, etc. There is also a graphical user interface (GUI) available. Still, Vi compatibility remains, those who have Vi “on their fingers” will feel right at home. See runtime/doc/vi_diff.txt for differences from Vi.

This editor is very useful for editing programs and other plain text files. All commands are given with normal keyboard characters, so those who can type with ten fingers can work very fast. In addition, function keys can be assigned to commands by the user, and the mouse can be used.

Vim runs under MS-Windows (7, 8, 10, 11), macOS, Haiku, VMS and almost all flavors of UNIX. Migrating to other systems should not be too difficult. Older versions of Vim run on MS-DOS, MS-Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista, Amiga DOS, Atari MiNT, BeOS, RISC OS and OS/2. These are no longer maintained.

For the Vim9 script, see README_VIM9.


You can often use your favorite package manager to install Vim. On Mac and Linux a small version of Vim is pre-installed, you still need to install Vim if you want more features.

There are separate distributions for Unix, PC, Amiga and some other systems. This file comes with the file at run time. It includes documentation, syntax files, and other files that are used at run time. To run Vim you must obtain one of the binaries or a source file. What you need depends on the system you want to run it on and whether you want or should compile it yourself. See for an overview of currently available distributions.

Some popular places to get the latest Vim:

  • Check out GitHub’s git repository
  • . Get the

  • source code as a file
  • .

  • Get a Windows executable from the vim-win32-installer repository.


If you got a binary distribution, you don’t need to compile Vim. If you got a source distribution, all the things to compile Vim are in the src directory. See src/INSTALL for instructions.


See one of these files for system-specific instructions. Either in the READMEdir directory (in the repository) or in the top directory (if you unpack a file):

There are other files README_*.txt, depending on the distribution you used



The Vim tutor is a one-hour training course for beginners. It can often be started as a vimtutor. See :help tutor for more information.

It is best to use :help in Vim. If you don’t already have an executable, read runtime/doc/help.txt. Contains pointers to the other documentation files. The User’s Manual reads like a book and it is recommended to learn how to use Vim. See :help user-manual.


Vim is Charityware. You can use and copy it as much as you want, but we encourage you to make a donation to help orphans in Uganda. Please read the runtime/doc/uganda.txt file for more details (do :help uganda inside Vim).

License Summary: There are no restrictions on using or distributing an unmodified copy of Vim. Parts of Vim can also be distributed, but the license text should always be included. For modified versions, some restrictions apply. The license is GPL compliant, you can compile Vim with GPL libraries and distribute it.


Fixing bugs and adding new features takes a lot of time and effort. To show your appreciation for the work and motivate Bram and others to continue working at Vim, please send a donation.

Since Bram has returned to paid work, the money will now be used to help children in Uganda. See runtime/doc/uganda.txt. But at the same time the donations increase Bram’s motivation to continue working at Vim!

For the latest sponsorship information, visit

the Vim website:



you want to help improve Vim, see the file



If you’re on macOS, you can use


The latest news about Vim can be found on

the Vim homepage: If you’re

having trouble, take a look at

Vim’s documentation or tips: If

you still have problems or any other questions, use one of the mailing lists to discuss them with Vim users and developers: If

nothing else works, report bugs directly

: Bram Moolenaar

Lead Author

Send any other comments, patches, flowers and suggestions to: Bram Moolenaar

This is for Vim version 9.0: Vi IMproved.

Contact US