Working with an Editor

For your day-to-day management tasks from the command line, you will need to work with an editor often. Although many editors are available for Linux, perhaps the most common is vi. Although some consider vi to be tedious to learn, it has the advantage of being practically ubiquitously available, no matter what Linux or Unix system you are hacking. The good news is that it is even available for Windows under the names of winvi and vim for Windows, so you don't need to use the Notepad editor in that operating system. Another important reason why you should get used to working with vi is that some other commands are based on it. For example, to edit a user's quota, you would use edquota, which is just a macro built on vi, and if you want to set permissions for the sudo command, use visudo, which as you can guess, is another macro that is built on top of vi. If you think vi is hard to use, there is some good news. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is actually using the user-friendly version of vi called vim (vi improved). To start vim, you can just use the vi command. In this section, I will provide the bare minimum of information that is needed to work with vi. The goal of this section is not to provide you with complete information but with minimal information that will help you work with vi.

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