Chapter 7. Working with Editors


  • Working with the vim editor

  • Understanding emacs

  • Getting comfortable with KDE

  • The GNOME editor

Before you can start your shell scripting career, you'll need to know how to use at least one text editor in Linux. The more you know about how to use these fancy features such as searching, cutting, and pasting, the quicker you'll be able to develop your shell scripts. This chapter discusses the main text editors you'll see in the Linux world.

The vim Editor

If you're working in command line mode, you may want to become familiar with at least one text editor that operates in the Linux console. The vi editor is the original editor used on Unix systems. It uses the console graphics mode to emulate a text-editing window, allowing you to visually see the lines of your file, move around within the file, and insert, edit, and replace text.

While it may quite possibly be the most complicated editor in the world (at least in the opinion of those who hate it), it provides many features that have made it a staple for Unix administrators for decades.

When the GNU Project ported the vi editor to the open source world, they chose to make some improvements to it. Since it no longer resembled the original vi editor found in the Unix world, they also renamed it, to vi improved, or vim.

Almost all Linux distributions create an alias name (see Chapter 5) vi to point to vim:

$ alias vi
alias vi='vim'

This section walks you through the basics of using the vim editor to ...

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