Running MacVim in your terminal
A recent version of Vim comes with every copy of Mac OS X. When Apple compiled it they didn't link it against Ruby, which means that you can't use
/usr/bin/vi with any Ruby based plugins. MacVim (which includes Ruby support) normally runs with a GUI, but you can run it in a terminal when you type
vi if you prefer.
If MacVim isn't already installed, go and download it now.
When you run MacVim using the application icon it runs a binary inside your Applications folder. MacVim's disk image also contains a script called
mvim that you can put in a folder in your
$PATH so that you can launch that same binary from the command line. If you haven't already done so, install the
mvim script. You can get advice on how to do that by typing
:help mvim inside MacVim; they recommend putting the script in
To get the
vi command to run MacVim without the GUI we can make a symlink to the
mvim script, and call it
vi. Assuming you put the
mvim script in
/usr/local/bin, this should do it (though you might need sudo, depending on how your Mac is setup):
$ ln -s /usr/local/bin/mvim /usr/local/bin/vi
Let's setup a link for
vim too, in case you're ever tempted to run it
$ ln -s /usr/local/bin/mvim /usr/local/bin/vim
We'll also need to tell Bash to clear its cache of where all your programs live, so that it'll search
vi again and find the new script, instead of the file in
$ type vi vi is hashed (/usr/bin/vi) $ hash -r $ type vi vi is /usr/local/bin/vi
If you want to check that you're actually running MacVim, run
vi like this:
$ vi --version
You should see "MacOS X (unix) version" in the first couple of lines of output.
Launching the GUI
When you're running MacVim on the console you can switch to the GUI simply by entering
:gui from within Vim. It can be quite handy; try
help :macvim for more...