I have two Ubuntu Linux 18.04.3 LTS systems, both have vim identify itself as "VIM - Vi IMproved 8.0 (2016 Sep 12, compiled Jun 06 2019 17:31:41)"

One of the systems supports the vim -x option, the other one does not.

How is that possible?

1 Answer 1


On one system, vim is a symbolic link to vim.basic, on the other it is a symbolic link to vim.tiny.

vim.basic supports the -x option. vim.tiny doesn't.

Problem solved.

  • This answer could be improved by indicating how to manage the symlinks. I believe it's using update-alternatives, but I don't recall the exact arguments and don't have a system where I can easily test this right now... If you could fill in the details, that would be awesome. Thanks!
    – filbranden
    Commented Aug 30, 2019 at 14:37

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