I tried doing the following command on a new install of Ubuntu and got a "Sorry, command not supported on this version message":

:echo @%

How could any version of vim not support echo? The reported version is 7.4 Small version without GUI.

  • Go to command line. Press ctrl and R and then %. Did you see the file name inserted?
    – SibiCoder
    Jul 21, 2016 at 5:48
  • @SibiCoder That's what I did as a workaround until I was able to install the full version. Jul 21, 2016 at 12:25

3 Answers 3


Ubuntu comes packaged with a tiny version of vim. It is nearly vi. To install the real version of vim, run

sudo apt-get install vim

Personally, I prefer:

sudo apt-get install vim-gnome

since this comes with things like python and clipboard support, and gvim, but installing the default vim version should be enough to get echo working.

I don't remember exactly what the difference between the two is, and I don't have Ubuntu set up so I can't test it right now, but apt-get install vim should come with the sane defaults and apt-get install vim-gnome should get you the full features.

  • Worth noting is that installing vim-gnome also gives you a full-featured console vim. It is a somewhat puzzling and misleading package name for someone looking for a console vim that's not been gimped.
    – pipe
    Jul 21, 2016 at 1:53

you got a small version of Vim installed. That means, many functions are not supported, you can read about, what each flavor supports at :h +feature-list (link).

So among the features not supported are multibyte, eval (plugins), diff, folding and quickfix.

The easiest solution to get a better full-working Vim is to install vim-gtk (full version with GTK Gui), vim-nox (full version without gui support) or vim-gnome (full version with Gnome Support)


The echo command depends on the eval feature. The eval faeture is compiled in only in models normal and larger.

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