I have no vi customizations at all and really like the default behavior where on a search using / the cursor immediately jumps to the match without having to hit enter

Problem is once I create file ~/.vimrc and add anything like

set ts=4
set ic

the desired default behavior mentioned above goes away. How to keep the system defaults yet make the slightest customization ?

version 8.1.2269

$ vi --version
VIM - Vi IMproved 8.1 (2018 May 18, compiled Feb 18 2020 06:30:35)
Included patches: 1-2269
Modified by team+vim@tracker.debian.org
Compiled by team+vim@tracker.debian.org
Huge version without GUI.  Features included (+) or not (-):
+acl               -farsi             -mouse_sysmouse    -tag_any_white
+arabic            +file_in_path      +mouse_urxvt       -tcl
+autocmd           +find_in_path      +mouse_xterm       +termguicolors
+autochdir         +float             +multi_byte        +terminal
-autoservername    +folding           +multi_lang        +terminfo
-balloon_eval      -footer            -mzscheme          +termresponse
+balloon_eval_term +fork()            +netbeans_intg     +textobjects
-browse            +gettext           +num64             +textprop
++builtin_terms    -hangul_input      +packages          +timers
+byte_offset       +iconv             +path_extra        +title
+channel           +insert_expand     -perl              -toolbar
+cindent           +job               +persistent_undo   +user_commands
-clientserver      +jumplist          +postscript        +vartabs
-clipboard         +keymap            +printer           +vertsplit
+cmdline_compl     +lambda            +profile           +virtualedit
+cmdline_hist      +langmap           -python            +visual
+cmdline_info      +libcall           +python3           +visualextra
+comments          +linebreak         +quickfix          +viminfo
+conceal           +lispindent        +reltime           +vreplace
+cryptv            +listcmds          +rightleft         +wildignore
+cscope            +localmap          -ruby              +wildmenu
+cursorbind        -lua               +scrollbind        +windows
+cursorshape       +menu              +signs             +writebackup
+dialog_con        +mksession         +smartindent       -X11
+diff              +modify_fname      +sound             -xfontset
+digraphs          +mouse             +spell             -xim
-dnd               -mouseshape        +startuptime       -xpm
-ebcdic            +mouse_dec         +statusline        -xsmp
+emacs_tags        +mouse_gpm         -sun_workshop      -xterm_clipboard
+eval              -mouse_jsbterm     +syntax            -xterm_save
+ex_extra          +mouse_netterm     +tag_binary        
+extra_search      +mouse_sgr         -tag_old_static    
   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/share/vim"
Compilation: gcc -c -I. -Iproto -DHAVE_CONFIG_H   -Wdate-time  -g -O2 -fdebug-prefix-map=/build/vim-3deAkt/vim-8.1.2269=. -fstack-protector-strong -Wformat -Werror=format-security -D_REENTRANT -U_FORTIFY_SOURCE -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=1       
Linking: gcc   -Wl,-Bsymbolic-functions -Wl,-z,relro -Wl,-z,now -Wl,--as-needed -o vim        -lm -ltinfo -lnsl  -lselinux  -lcanberra -lacl -lattr -lgpm -ldl     -L/usr/lib/python3.8/config-3.8-x86_64-linux-gnu -lpython3.8 -lcrypt -lpthread -ldl -lutil -lm -lm    

I am on linux ubuntu

  • 1
    @D.BenKnoble yes it does answer this question, however I did not see it while googling about Feb 20 '20 at 3:18

Add these two lines to the top of your newly created .vimrc:

unlet! skip_defaults_vim
source $VIMRUNTIME/defaults.vim

For details, see :help defaults.vim:

If Vim is started normally and no user vimrc file is found, the $VIMRUNTIME/defaults.vim script is loaded. This will set 'compatible' off, switch on syntax highlighting and a few more things. See the script for details.

NOTE: this is done since Vim 8.0, not in Vim 7.4. (it was added in patch 7.4.2111 to be exact).

This should work well for new Vim users. If you create your own .vimrc, it is recommended to add these lines somewhere near the top:

unlet! skip_defaults_vim
source $VIMRUNTIME/defaults.vim

Then Vim works like before you had a .vimrc.

You might want to take a look inside the defaults.vim file shipped with Vim, the comments in the file might be helpful as well.

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