Set your default (preferred) editor in Unix

To set your default (preferred) editor on your Unix account, you must define the VISUAL and EDITOR environment variables. When you have done this, most Unix programs that use text editors (for example, trn, tin, and nn) will use the editor you have set.

The way to set these environment variables depends upon which Unix shell you use.

If you use csh or tcsh, at the shell prompt, enter:

 setenv VISUAL editor setenv EDITOR editor

Replace editor with the editor you want to use (such as Emacs, Pico, or vi).

If you use sh, ksh, or bash, at the shell prompt, enter:

 VISUAL=editor; export VISUAL EDITOR=editor; export EDITOR

Replace editor with the editor you want to use (such as Emacs, Pico, or vi). You may want to include the full path to the editor (for example, /usr/local/bin/emacs, /usr/local/bin/pico, or /bin/vi), rather than simply the name.

By following the commands above, you will set the default editor for the current computing session only. To make these changes permanent, you will need to place the appropriate commands described above in your .login or .cshrc files (for csh or tcsh users) or your .profile file (if you use sh, ksh, or bash).

At Indiana University, for personal or departmental Linux or Unix systems support, see Get help for Linux or Unix at IU.

This is document acnc in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-11-16 14:33:03.

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