doug wrote:
On Mon, 11 Jun 2007, Scott Mayo wrote:

I am not on any VI list, but thought I would post this here to see if anyone had any ideas.

This is my first FreeBSD server, so I am still learning.

I got my backspace and delete working the shell after a few adjustments, but they still act odd in VI. I have checked setting with my linux boxes (the backspace and delete work fine there) and everything looks the same. I did an stty -a | grep erase and it tells me that erase is Contral-? and erase2 is control-H. I have changed both around to make them either Ctrl-? or Ctrl-H, but that has not helped.

If I hit backspace it just backs up on the line until were input-mode was started during this input-mode session. If I hit delete then it capitalizes the charcter behind the cursor and throws me into command-mode.

I am not sure if there are anymore settings to change in FreeBSD or if it is a setting in VI.

Any help would greatly be appreciated.

Scott, my stty -a:

cchars: discard = ^O; dsusp = ^Y; eof = ^D; eol = <undef>;
        eol2 = <undef>; erase = ^H; erase2 = ^@; intr = ^C; kill = ^U;
        lnext = ^V; min = 1; quit = ^\; reprint = ^R; start = ^Q;
        status = ^T; stop = ^S; susp = ^Z; time = 0; werase = ^W;

IMO redefining keys is not a good thing if you are learning UNIX and vi. In the default setup (I use tcsh for an interactive shell) ctrl-h is a backspace and functions on the command line like the backspace key, i.e., deletes the char to the left of the cursor. In vi the delete-key == x in command mode (by default). The [del] key does not work on the command line.

I would advise getting comfortable with the default settings before branching out. Key bindings and /etc/termcap changes have lots of ramifications. vi is as it is because it was written when systems were line oriented. The 'hjkl' are where your fingers sit if you are a touch typist, and hence were chosen for that purpose. As late as 1995 vi on BSDI (where I start on the BSD trail) did not support the cursor keys very well.

I have attached a vi cheat sheet that I found years ago. This is a pretty good starter set of commands for vi.

vi is not even as bad as it gets. vi is in /usr/bin so if your system is really broken and you must edit something ed is the tool available in FreeBSD.

Thanks for the info Doug. A friend of mine set me on the right path. I have been using vi in linux, except it was not vi. Vi was aliased to vim. I had installed vim on my FreeBSD server the other day, but that did not fix it. I found out that it has to be run with 'set nocp' so that it does not run in vi compatibility mode.

I did this and now my backspace and delete work like I want them to. :)

I appreciate the replies.

Scott Mayo
System Administrator
Bloomfield Schools
PH: 573-568-5669
FA: 573-568-4565
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Duct tape is like the force, it has a light side and a dark side and it
holds the universe together.
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