Change default editor in Debian and debian-like distributions

To check which editor is set as default in your Debian distro you can do two things:

  1. in your favorite shell press CTRL+X+CTRL+E which will launch your default editor or
  2. use command update-alternatives –list-editor to list installed editors and you can expect result similar like this one:
# update-alternatives --list editor

To set for example vim.basic as your default editor you can use following command:

# update-alternatives --set editor /usr/bin/vim.basic
 update-alternatives: using /usr/bin/vim.basic to provide /usr/bin/editor (editor) in manual mode

Now if you again quick launch your editor with CTRL+X+CTRL+E you will notice that vim is invoked.

Set syntax highlighting in Vi/Vim with dark background

I always forget how to do this and I need to write it down:

Turn on syntax highlighting with:

:syntax on

If highlighting looks to dark, then you are probably using dark background, so set it to achieve better readability:

:set background=dark

To make these two changes permanent, edit ~/.vimrc file and enter:

syntax on
  set background=dark

To turn of syntax highlighting do:

:syntax off

To go back to light background do:

:set background=light

or delete the lines from ~/.vimrc file.