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Questions about the different options that vim can take from the shell and the different commands to start the editor.

A first reading about Vim's command line options should be man vim.

Vim can be started from the shell in different ways, e.g.:

  • vim The "normal" way, everything is default.
  • ex Start in Ex mode. Go to Normal mode with the :vi command.
  • view Start in read-only mode. You will be protected from writing the files.
  • gvim/gview The GUI version. Starts a new window.

Also some common options are:

  • -u allows to specify a file to use as configuration file other than the .vimrc
  • -c allows to specify an ex mode command to be executed after the first file was read.
  • -w allows to record in a file every keystrokes issued in Vim.