Check tutorial of How to Quit VIM: 10 Ways to Exit VI
So after a lot of requests from our users here is a guide about How to Quit VIM: 10 Ways to Exit VI.
VIM is a very powerful command line text editor that is loved by experts and often hated by beginners, mainly because it has quite a steep learning curve that may seem unintuitive to those unfamiliar with it. Even something as simple as quitting VIM can seem like a challenge to those unfamiliar with VI, and often results in Crushing Control + C Control + X! Q! Q Enter Escape Control + Z until eventually something happens and maybe interrupt or stop the process who knows for sure, so just follow that up with a “killall vim” and on, back to reopen the same text file in nano, right?
OK, that’s not ideal, but we’ve all been there. That’s what we want to avoid from now on, because even if you don’t want to use vi, at least you can know how to exit it correctly. This tutorial will show you exactly how to shut down VIM / VI properly, it actually shows you several different ways to exit VI!
10 ways How to Quit VIM / VI
This is a question that appears quite often in our comments on command line articles … how on earth can I stop using VIM? As it turns out, there are literally 10+ ways to leave VIM, which may be an indication of why VI baffles so many users. Let’s get to the easiest methods first:
Quit VIM without saving with ZQ
Press the ESCAPE key and then press SHIFT + ZQ
This will immediately exit VIM without saving, basically the same as: q! order.
Quit VIM quickly with Write and Save to File
Press the ESCAPE key and then press SHIFT + ZZ
For me personally, these are the two fastest ways to get out of VIM, but everyone here has their own opinion and many prefer to type a command the more traditional way.
Close VIM with: q
Press the ESCAPE key, then type: q and press RETURN
To be clear, pressing the “Escape” key enters command mode. Then type: q is literal, as in a colon and not a semicolon, so it would be Shift +; followed by q and pressing the Return key gives the command to stop.
This will only work if no changes have been made to the document, so to quit if any changes have been made, do a little adjustment and at the end:
Press the ESCAPE key and then type: q! and press RETURN
Quit VIM and write changes with: wq
Press ESCAPE and type: wq and press RETURN
This saves (writes) changes to the active file and exits. You can force this by adding a bang if necessary:
Press ESCAPE and type: wq! followed by the RETURN key
This should help avoid this situation:
However, we could be a bit more thorough and cover every possible way to get out of VIM (at least I know that from the courtesy of the man page, call in the comments with more ways if there are others we missed here), which we will go to the following:
Any possible way to get out of VIM
Press the ESCAPE key to enter command mode first, then use one of the following:
- : q – stop
- : q! – stop without saving, even if this has been changed
- : or – always stop without writing
- : wq – write / save the current file and exit
- : wq! – write the current file and always close it
- : wq (name) – write to file (name) and exit
- : wq! (name) – write to the file (name) and always exit, even if it has been modified
- ZZ – save the current file if modified and exit
- ZQ – exit and exit without saving
- Start a new terminal and type ‘killall vim’ – this is a joke many will understand, and while it’s not a good way to quit vim, it does work
So that is how to escape VIM, less confused? Maybe not, and that’s okay, we’ll generally stick with using nano for walkthroughs here because it’s more user-friendly. And there’s nothing wrong with that, even though I’ve gotten more comfortable with VIM over time, I still prefer nano out of convenience and maybe old stubborn habits.
For those interested in learning VIM or at least becoming more comfortable with it, you can always try the vimtutor command, use this excellent online interactive VIM tutorial, and just practice using it often on any terminal. You can even get vim on your iPad or iPhone if you are really dedicated. And at least you know it how to stop vi now, right?
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