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How to terminate Vim / Vi

I've opened and modified a vim or vi that I don't normally use when editing a configuration file, but I can't get back to the terminal from vim/vi.
How to terminate vim/vi (hereafter referred to only as vim) in such cases

First, press the escape key [Esc].

This will put Vim in neutral mode and allow you to enter commands

Enter the exit command.

You should see the command you're typing in the lower left corner of the screen.

When exiting a saved file from an open vim


Exiting vim without saving the file


If you save the file and then exit the vim



I'm an uncle of emacs, so I must have forgotten how to terminate Vi.

Top comments (3)

confusednerd profile image
confused-nerd • Edited on

I have been using these for a while with some very basic usage with vi/vim. I have recently learnt a few alternatives are slightly different:

ZZ - Write current file, if modified, and close the current window (same as :x).
ZQ - Quit without checking for changes (same as :q!).


konyu profile image
@kon_yu Author

Thanks for your information. I didn't know those commands.

aadavthomas profile image

To save a file and exit Vi/Vim simultaneously, use the :wq command and hit. best tantrik in Jamshedpur

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