From Fedora Project Wiki

Vim is an open-source (licensed under its own "charityware" license), modal text editor written in C and its own Vim script (or VimL) language. It traces its origins to the 1970s when Bill Joy developed his vi text editor as the visual mode of the ex line editor. The original vi text editor was a modal text editor that had no syntax highlighting, was written in C and only had a command line interface (CLI). Later, in the 1980s, the Stevie text editor was released as a clone of the vi text editor for the Atari ST family of personal computers. Then, in 1991, Bram Moolenaar tried to port Stevie to the Amiga family of personal computers and Vim (abbreviated from Vi IMproved) was born. Vim eventually gained a graphical user interface (along with its CLI) which is called gVim, syntax highlighting, its own scripting language (for customizing and extending it) and support for far more computing platforms.

It is one of the most popular text editors for Linux, and has been ported to every major operating system, including: AmigaOS, Linux, macOS, Windows NT and the BSDs. Being a modal text editor, it is designed to be a more efficient text editor, allowing users to do everything without ever leaving the home row (on their keyboard). It is in the official repositories of Fedora.

On Fedora, Vim (specifically the vim-minimal package) is also used to provide /bin/vi. This vi command provides no syntax highlighting for opened files, by default, just like the original vi editor. The vim-minimal package comes pre-installed on Fedora.


To install Vim via DNF, merely run:

sudo dnf install vim

This will install command line version of Vim which is build without GUI features. To install GUI version of Vim, run:

sudo dnf install vim-X11

This will install gVim, which has GUI features like +clipboard. This package also includes command line version of Vim which is build with clipboard support. You can run it with vimx command.


If, for some reason, one would rather not install Vim with DNF, one can use an AppImage to launch gVim. One can download the gVim AppImage from tagged repository releases. Instructions on how to run an AppImage can be found on its own article on this Wiki.


On Fedora, Vim comes with out-of-the-box syntax highlighting (or coloring) support for most (if not every) popular computer language. It even has syntax highlighting support for RPM spec files (which are used for building RPM packages).

Using Vim

To start using Vim, run vimtutor, or gvimtutor if you prefer GUI version, and follow the instructions. Don't get overwhelmed by vast amount of features Vim offers, start small and learn as you go. You will learn basic editing and navigation commands (and how to quit Vim) after you finish vimtutor for the first time. It has a comprehensive help system which can be accessed with :help command inside the Vim, use it as much as you can to become a competent Vim user.