Not sure if this is the appropriate place to ask, but at work I use a laptop to SSH into a remote Linux server and do some work from there.

I want to use the server's .vimrc file for my own laptop as well but can't find any Vim-related files. If it helps it seems like the server's running on a Docker container?

Does anyone know how I would get access to the Vim configuration info?


Here's the output when I type :version within Vim:

VIM - Vi IMproved 8.2 (2019 Dec 12, compiled Jan 11 2023 23:53:12)
Included patches: 1-3995, 4563, 4646, 4774, 4895, 4899, 4901, 4919
Modified by [email protected]
Compiled by [email protected]
Huge version without GUI.  Features included (+) or not (-):
+acl               -clipboard         -dnd               +gettext           +listcmds          -mouse_sysmouse    +postscript        -sound             +termresponse      +visualextra
+arabic            +cmdline_compl     -ebcdic            -hangul_input      +localmap          +mouse_urxvt       +printer           +spell             +textobjects       +vreplace
+autocmd           +cmdline_hist      +emacs_tags        +iconv             -lua               +mouse_xterm       +profile           +startuptime       +textprop          +wildignore
+autochdir         +cmdline_info      +eval              +insert_expand     +menu              +multi_byte        -python            +statusline        +timers            +wildmenu
-autoservername    +comments          +ex_extra          +ipv6              +mksession         +multi_lang        +python3           -sun_workshop      +title             +windows
-balloon_eval      +conceal           +extra_search      +job               +modify_fname      -mzscheme          +quickfix          +syntax            -toolbar           +writebackup
+balloon_eval_term +cryptv            -farsi             +jumplist          +mouse             +netbeans_intg     +reltime           +tag_binary        +user_commands     -X11
-browse            +cscope            +file_in_path      +keymap            -mouseshape        +num64             +rightleft         -tag_old_static    +vartabs           -xfontset
++builtin_terms    +cursorbind        +find_in_path      +lambda            +mouse_dec         +packages          -ruby              -tag_any_white     +vertsplit         -xim
+byte_offset       +cursorshape       +float             +langmap           +mouse_gpm         +path_extra        +scrollbind        -tcl               +vim9script        -xpm
+channel           +dialog_con        +folding           +libcall           -mouse_jsbterm     -perl              +signs             +termguicolors     +viminfo           -xsmp
+cindent           +diff              -footer            +linebreak         +mouse_netterm     +persistent_undo   +smartindent       +terminal          +virtualedit       -xterm_clipboard
-clientserver      +digraphs          +fork()            +lispindent        +mouse_sgr         +popupwin          +sodium            +terminfo          +visual            -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/share/vim"
Compilation: gcc -c -I. -Iproto -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -Wdate-time -g -O2 -ffile-prefix-map=/build/vim-XHiCvL/vim-8.2.3995=. -flto=auto -ffat-lto-objects -flto=auto -ffat-lto-objects -fstack-protector-strong -Wf
ormat -Werror=format-security -D_REENTRANT -U_FORTIFY_SOURCE -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=1
Linking: gcc -Wl,-Bsymbolic-functions -flto=auto -ffat-lto-objects -flto=auto -Wl,-z,relro -Wl,-z,now -Wl,--as-needed -o vim -lm -ltinfo -lselinux -lsodium -lacl -lattr -lgpm -L/usr/lib/python3.10/config-
3.10-x86_64-linux-gnu -lpython3.10 -lcrypt -ldl -lm -lm

  • Do you know which distro this is?
    – Friedrich
    May 10, 2023 at 9:08
  • 1
    Yes. It's Ubuntu 22.04.
    – Sean
    May 10, 2023 at 12:27
  • According to Google, Ubuntu features a vimrc template at /etc/vimrc. Anyway, please edit and share the output of :version. Might not hurt to see which vim is actually launched with ls -l /etc/alternatives/vim
    – Friedrich
    May 10, 2023 at 13:46
  • See :scriptnames
    – balki
    May 10, 2023 at 14:45
  • What is the configuration that you are missing in your laptop? Could you compare your server configuration with your laptop configuration? May 11, 2023 at 4:55

1 Answer 1


I would do:

:echo $MYVIMRC

You'll get also some information about what Vim consider when starting using:


Here is what I get:

   system vimrc file: "$VIM\vimrc"
     user vimrc file: "$HOME\_vimrc"
 2nd user vimrc file: "$HOME\vimfiles\vimrc"
 3rd user vimrc file: "$VIM\_vimrc"
      user exrc file: "$HOME\_exrc"
  2nd user exrc file: "$VIM\_exrc"
  system gvimrc file: "$VIM\gvimrc"
    user gvimrc file: "$HOME\_gvimrc"
2nd user gvimrc file: "$HOME\vimfiles\gvimrc"
3rd user gvimrc file: "$VIM\_gvimrc"
       defaults file: "$VIMRUNTIME\defaults.vim"
    system menu file: "$VIMRUNTIME\menu.vim"

The :scriptnames command will tell you what file has been loaded by Vim.

  • What if :echo $MYVIMRC doesn't return anything?
    – Sean
    May 10, 2023 at 12:29
  • Did you perform the command within Vim? May 10, 2023 at 12:32
  • 1
    Yes, I performed it within Vim (never knew comments had a minimum character requirement).
    – Sean
    May 10, 2023 at 12:53
  • 1
    What is the version of Vim you are using (what is result of the :version command)? May 10, 2023 at 13:02
  • I believe it's version 8.2. I edited the full output when I type :version into the OP.
    – Sean
    May 10, 2023 at 21:31

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