Vim Syntax Highlighting In Ubuntu

Spending a lot of time on the command line lately I noticed that Ubuntu does not come with Vim syntax highlighting by default. Apparently it installs a version of Vim called vim-tiny which doesn’t include any syntax highlighting.

There are two packages that you can install to get syntax highlighting to work in Vim: vim-full and vim-common. Because I didn’t have gnome installed vim-full was a very large download (like 50MB) and it errored out anyway. vim-common is definitely the way to go.


sudo apt-get install vim

The above line will replace vim-tiny with vim-common and will allow for syntax highlighting. A lot of the time you will have to enable syntax highlighting by editing the vimrc config file either in /etc/vim or in yur home directory. You will need to uncomment the line “syntax on”.

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