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VI Basics📜

VI Lab: Get familiar with vi (Terminal Text Editor)📜

Why use VI?📜

  • We want you to have basic familiarity with vi
  • Some tools in the Kubernetes/Linux Ecosystem default to vi or only support vi
    Mozilla SOPS is one example

VI basics📜

Create/Edit a file📜

If you did not create the ~/.aws/config before in the AWS Section in Pre-Install Prep, do so now

The cli section will have you use vi to create a ~/.aws/config file, copy and paste the following data into that file
vi ~/.aws/config

region = us-gov-west-1
s3 =
    max_concurrent_requests = 40
    max_queue_size = 10000
    multipart_threshold = 8MB
    multipart_chunksize = 8MB

Make sure that you are not currently the root user, run these commands as your normal user.

mkdir -p ~/.aws
vi ~/.aws/config

If the file ~/.aws/config doesn’t exist, this will start a session to create the file. If the file ~/.aws/config does exist, this will start a session to edit the file.

Save and exit vi📜

[Inside of vi cli text editor]
 Press: escape
 Type:   :wq!   #w means write, q means quit, ! means don't prompt for unsaved changes
 Press: enter

Exit vi without saving📜

[Inside of vi cli text editor]
 Press: escape
 Type:   :q!
 Press: enter

Switch to insert mode📜

[Inside of vi cli text editor]
 Press: escape
 Press: i

Think of insert mode as normal text editing mode, arrow keys, backspace, enter, delete, work as expected.


esc will take you out of insert mode

Delete an entire line📜

[Inside of vi cli text editor]
 Press: escape   #If you were in insert mode this will take you out of it, if not extra escapes don't hurt
 Use the up down arrow keys to navigate to the line you want to delete
 Press: dd     #This will delete the line

A Nuance Around Copy Pasting into VI📜

You’ve stored a block of text from ../Manually_Created_Prereqs/Example_Laptop_Config.txt into your clipboard
You open vi and go to paste the text
Sometimes the first ~6 characters of what you paste will be cut off during the paste operation

What’s happening is if vi isn’t in insert mode, and you start typing, it will assume you want to be in insert mode and automatically switch; however the first ~6 characters of the paste were eaten up by vi thinking you wanted to switch to insert mode.

This won’t always happen, some implementations detect the paste fine and will never eat the first ~6 characters, but because they will be eaten in some cases, it’s best practice building a habit of always doing the following when pasting in vi: Press: escape Press: i Press: control+v Press: :wq to save and quit then from the command line run head <filename> to check that the first few characters didn’t get chopped off the top of the file.