Vem, a Vim-inspired command line text editor

about Vem

In the next article we are going to take a look at Vem. This is a Free and open source command line text editor. It includes a command layout to provide full keyboard support over the Vim text editor and make it as intuitive as possible.

In general terms it is a set of configuration files. These change the way Vim works by reducing and simplifying the command set, which are linked to unique keystrokes. These commands are assigned through the keyboard, to optimize their position according to their frequency.

Vem presents users with two main modes: command and insert. As with Vim, each keystroke in Vem performs an action when in command mode and inserts text when in insert mode. We can enter the command mode pressing Ctrl + A and insert mode simply by pressing the i key. To exit each of these modes, we will only have to press the key Esc.

querty basic vem

As many users know, Vim is an improved version of vi, with support for syntax highlighting, multilevel undo, and autocomplete, but it still has a steep learning curve. The purpose of Vem is to optimize the user experience, removing command grammar that can scare potential users.

Vem assigns its commands to the distribution of the QWERTY keyboard by default. We can change this configuration to QERTZ o QWERTY at their configuration file. Users can find a complete list of basic and advanced actions for different keyboard layouts on the project website.

basic vem keys

In the above screenshot you can see the commands that users will need to know to be able to do a minimal edition in a file, but of course, there are many more. This can be consulted in the tutorial to learn more about the basic concepts by Vem.

General characteristics of Vem

search with vem

  • It is a free and open source program.
  • Since Vem is just a configuration on top of Vim, we are going to be able to enjoy many of the features that Vim offers.
  • Its source code can be found available at GitHub under the MIT license.
  • Vem is fast and light.
  • We can use the same editor both locally and via SSH.
  • Es extremely configurable. We will have hundreds of configuration options.
  • We will have available large number of add-ons available to find the appropriate point for the use we want to give it.
  • It has two main modes: command and insert.
  • We can open multiple windows.
  • It has syntax highlighting.
  • Admits plugins and color themes.
  • It also has Regex support.
  • Users can consult your complete documentation and online tutorials to make us use it.

These are just some of the features of this program. They can know all of them in detail from the project website.

Install Vem on Ubuntu 20.04

To install Vem in Ubuntu we will have to have the tool git installed. With her we will clone the source from GitHub from terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T):

clone repository

git clone

Once the cloning is finished, we will get into the directory that has just been created and run make install:

vem installation

cd vem

sudo make install

After the installation, to run Vem We will only have to use in a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) a command like the following:

vem screen

vem nombre-del-archivo

To get started with Vem, we can start by taking a look at the User's guide, where all its aspects are described. While Vem interacts with many Vim functions, it is still relatively simple and we can read these pages or use them for reference.

Once installed, we will get a different editor, strongly focused on the user experience, which strives to be as simple as possible while at the same time giving the user full control using only the keyboard. Vem was not created especially to compete with Vim, but to make it accessible to more users.

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