Readline vi Mode (Bash Reference Manual)
8.5 Readline vi Mode
While the Readline library does not have a full set of
vi editing functions, it does contain enough to allow simple editing of the line. The Readline
vi mode behaves as specified in the POSIX standard.
In order to switch interactively between
vi editing modes, use the ‘
set -o emacs’ and ‘
set -o vi’ commands (see The Set Builtin). The Readline default is
When you enter a line in
vi mode, you are already placed in ‘insertion’ mode, as if you had typed an ‘
i’. Pressing ESC switches you into ‘command’ mode, where you can edit the text of the line with the standard
vi movement keys, move to previous history lines with ‘
k’ and subsequent lines with ‘
j’, and so forth.