As the name implies, Vi Improved (Vim) is an implementation of the classic vi editor that includes various extra features from window splitting and macros to an extensive plugin system. Ubuntu ships with vim-tiny which only provides the vi command. This means you can use Vim by default, but it’ll only be a barebones version. If you want access to all the features of Vim, you’ll have to manually install an appropriate vim version. Install Vim from Ubuntu Repo There are a number of Vim variants available in the Ubuntu repo (vim, vim-athena, vim-gtk3, vim-nox, vim-tiny, etc). The main difference between these is that they’re compiled with different GUIs, have different dependencies, and are intended for slightly different environments. For instance, vim-tiny is a minimal build with only 12 basic features enabled out of 120. vim-nox includes more features but doesn’t have a GUI. vim-gtk3 is compiled with a GNOME GUI, while vim-athena is compiled with the Athena GUI. In our case, we’ll install the vim package as it’s compiled with a standard set of features. Keep in mind that this version doesn’t provide a GUI or scripting language support though. So, if you need those features, install another appropriate vim variant; the process is the same. sudo apt install vim You can verify the installation by checking the vim version. vim --version Similarly, you can launch vim in command mode, or open a specific file to edit like so vim vim /path/to/file Build Vim from Source It’s also possible to build Vim yourself with the set of features that you want. You should first check the list of features from the Vim documentation on SourceForge. In the feature-list section, the features are prefixed by certain letters. TTinyMinimal features onlySSmallBasic set of featuresNNormalStandard set of featuresBBigMost features enabledHHugeAll features enabledmManualManually enabled features Install Required Dependencies Most required dependencies for a standard install will be already installed on your system. In case they aren’t, the following command should cover most of them. sudo apt install libncurses5-dev libgnome2-dev libgnomeui-dev libgtk2.0-dev libatk1.0-dev libbonoboui2-dev libcairo2-dev libx11-dev libxpm-dev libxt-dev Obtain Source and Compile Vim Clone the git repo and navigate to the src directory. git clone https://github.com/vim/vim.git cd vim cd src Now, configure your Vim build. You can check the full list of configuration options with ./configure --help. In our case, we’ll use the Huge set of features from earlier to enable all features. ./configure --with-features=huge Finally, use make to compile Vim. make sudo make install After compiling it, you can launch vim with vim This’ll launch the binary from /usr/local/bin/vim. If you have another vim version installed using apt, you can launch by entering the full path (/usr/bin/vim).