I got to know commands like ls -la | vim - can be used to open Linux command output in vim.

  1. What does - mean after vim?
  2. Is it some kind of special switch?
  3. Why doesn't simply using ls -la | vim works ?

1 Answer 1


from help -- :

Start editing a new buffer, which is filled with text that is read from stdin.

ls | vim doesn't work, because vim reads it's commands from the terminal (as opposed to the content of a buffer)

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