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Original draft of [Getting Vim with `+clipboard` support]( Shows what I know!


On OS X Mavericks, Apple ships Vim version 7.3 with -clipboard. Here's the gist from running /usr/bin/vim --version on Mavericks (and the same on Mountain Lion). Shame on you Apple!

If you use Homebrew, you can get Vim with +clipboard by running:

brew install vim

Here's a gist from running /usr/local/bin/vim --version.

Alternatively, you could download MacVim. Look inside /Applications/, and you'll see that the app provides two binaries: MacVim, which launches the GUI, and Vim, which runs in the Terminal with the same feature set. Both versions include the +clipboard feature. Here's a gist from running /Applications/ --version.

On Linux

If your Linux distribution ships Vim with the +clipboard feature, leave a comment saying which distribution you use. If not, read on.

I don't run a desktop Linux environment, so I ran some tests against Ubuntu 12.04 inside Vagrant. The default vi binary has -clipboard (gist of vi --version). If you attempt to run vim, it prompts you to install a package:

vagrant@precise32:~$ vim --version
The program 'vim' can be found in the following packages:
 * vim
 * vim-gnome
 * vim-tiny
 * vim-athena
 * vim-gtk
 * vim-nox
Try: sudo apt-get install <selected package>

I tried installing each of these and found that vim-gnome, vim-athena, and vim-gtk each included the +clipboard feature. I've created a gist from running vim --version for each of these packages: vim-gnome, vim-athena, and vim-gtx. The vim and vim-nox packages both had -clipboard. Shame!

Robin Skahjem-Eriksen wrote to me with a tip: you can run GVim inside the terminal by launching it with the gvim -v command. That could be handy if your distribution ship vim with -clipboard, but also ships gvim with +clipboard.

If you have any more tips on how to obtain Vim with the +clipboard feature, please share them in a comment.

Can we fix this?

Being able to access the system clipboard from Vim is essential. It's a nuisance that so many systems ship Vim without the +clipboard feature! I'd like to see that change. Please make the information in this article obsolete by campaigning to have +clipboard enabled by default on your system.

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