I've installed the vim by homebrew, current version and installation information is as below:

VIM - Vi IMproved 8.1 (2018 May 18, compiled Feb 19 2019 11:57:49)
macOS version
Included patches: 1-950
Compiled by Homebrew
Huge version without GUI.  Features included (+) or not (-):
+acl               +extra_search      +mouse_netterm     +tag_old_static
+arabic            -farsi             +mouse_sgr         -tag_any_white
+autocmd           +file_in_path      -mouse_sysmouse    -tcl
+autochdir         +find_in_path      +mouse_urxvt       +termguicolors
-autoservername    +float             +mouse_xterm       +terminal
-balloon_eval      +folding           +multi_byte        +terminfo
+balloon_eval_term -footer            +multi_lang        +termresponse
-browse            +fork()            -mzscheme          +textobjects
++builtin_terms    +gettext           +netbeans_intg     +textprop
+byte_offset       -hangul_input      +num64             +timers
+channel           +iconv             +packages          +title
+cindent           +insert_expand     +path_extra        -toolbar
-clientserver      +job               +perl              +user_commands
+clipboard         +jumplist          +persistent_undo   +vartabs
+cmdline_compl     +keymap            +postscript        +vertsplit
+cmdline_hist      +lambda            +printer           +virtualedit
+cmdline_info      +langmap           +profile           +visual
+comments          +libcall           -python            +visualextra
+conceal           +linebreak         +python3           +viminfo
+cryptv            +lispindent        +quickfix          +vreplace
+cscope            +listcmds          +reltime           +wildignore
+cursorbind        +localmap          +rightleft         +wildmenu
+cursorshape       +lua               +ruby              +windows
+dialog_con        +menu              +scrollbind        +writebackup
+diff              +mksession         +signs             -X11
+digraphs          +modify_fname      +smartindent       -xfontset
-dnd               +mouse             +startuptime       -xim
-ebcdic            -mouseshape        +statusline        -xpm
+emacs_tags        +mouse_dec         -sun_workshop      -xsmp
+eval              -mouse_gpm         +syntax            -xterm_clipboard
+ex_extra          -mouse_jsbterm     +tag_binary        -xterm_save
   system vimrc file: "$VIM/vimrc"
     user vimrc file: "$HOME/.vimrc"
 2nd user vimrc file: "~/.vim/vimrc"
      user exrc file: "$HOME/.exrc"
       defaults file: "$VIMRUNTIME/defaults.vim"
  fall-back for $VIM: "/usr/local/share/vim"
Compilation: clang -c -I. -Iproto -DHAVE_CONFIG_H   -DMACOS_X -DMACOS_X_DARWIN  -g -O2 -U_FORTIFY_SOURCE -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=1       
Linking: clang   -L. -fstack-protector-strong -L/usr/local/lib -L/usr/local/opt/libyaml/lib -L/usr/local/opt/openssl/lib -L/usr/local/opt/readline/lib  -L/usr/local/lib -o vim        -lncurses -liconv -lintl -framework AppKit  -L/usr/local/opt/lua/lib -llua5.3 -mmacosx-version-min=10.13 -fstack-protector-strong -L/usr/local/lib  -L/usr/local/Cellar/perl/5.28.1/lib/perl5/5.28.1/darwin-thread-multi-2level/CORE -lperl -lm -lutil -lc  -L/usr/local/opt/python/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.7/lib/python3.7/config-3.7m-darwin -lpython3.7m -framework CoreFoundation  -lruby.2.6

After I mapped some key to Escape key like :inoremap qq <Esc>, when I pressed qq, text <Esc> input, instead of quiting insert mode.

Also, when I followed the guide of :help keycodes, pressing Ctrl+K to complete keycode while setting the key map, nothing happened if I pressed Escape key (however worked for backspace, turned into <BS>).

  • I can't reproduce your test case behavior. Ensure that the problem persists with vim -u NORC
    – 3N4N
    Mar 5, 2019 at 3:54
  • @klaus tried vim -u NORC, same result.
    – chrisyue
    Mar 5, 2019 at 6:29
  • I have no idea what is going on. I think you could try another terminal emulator, then a previous version of vim, just to see if the problem persists. I can't help you, but I am on Linux, so it might be a problem with Mac specifically. File a bug report maybe?
    – 3N4N
    Mar 5, 2019 at 6:35

1 Answer 1


OK, it turns out to be the default option compatible of my homebrew installed vim is compatible, and somehow this option has impact with this <Esc> thing.

It's working well when nocompatible is set

  • It's way past time with this compatible rubbish to be removed from vim. Anyway, glad you could fix it!
    – 3N4N
    Mar 5, 2019 at 6:37
  • 1
    @klaus :shakehands:
    – chrisyue
    Mar 5, 2019 at 6:37
  • 2
    As soon as you create a $HOME/.vimrc or $HOME/.vim/vimrc, Vim will automatically switch to nocompatible. See :help 'compatible'.
    – Ralf
    Mar 5, 2019 at 8:16

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