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I have a Fresh Ubuntu installation. I have no personal dot-files active.

I run unsuccessfully \e file.sql in Psql, when I have the following in my .bashrc, since Nano opens instead of Vim

export VISUAL=/usr/bin/vim
export EDITOR=/usr/bin/vim
export PSQL_EDITOR=/usr/bin/vim

I run the same command when I have vim in place of PATH/vim in .bashrc for the above three commands.

I get vim when I cat $EDITOR, for instance.

The problem is in environmental variables likely. However, I am not sure where.

How can you have Vim as Psql's editor?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I'm not sure about psql, but if something is goofed up with $EDITOR it will probably fall back on the system default as defined through the /usr/bin/editor symlink, which is nano by default. If you have admin access, try

sudo update-alternatives --config editor

and select vim there. I think programs should still respect $EDITOR if it's defined but that will define the fallback. It's the only setting I use and it works just fine.

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Edit the file ~/.selected_editor or run select-editor. Select /usr/bin/vim-basic in either case, /usr/bin/vim on Ubuntu is a symlink to /etc/alternatives/vim, which is a symlink to /usr/bin/vim.basic.

Here's the contents of the file for an Ubuntu system's postgres user:

postgres@ubuntu904test:~$ cat .selected_editor
# Generated by /usr/bin/select-editor
SELECTED_EDITOR="/usr/bin/vim.basic"
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1  
Ah, well if postgres is running as a different user then that would explain the problem with ~/.bashrc too. Looks like SELECTED_EDITOR is yet another way of choosing an editor per-user, with priority between EDITOR and the /etc/alternatives links (though my old Ubuntu 8.04 install doesn't honor it). If you want to set the editor system-wide then use the alternatives command I gave below. –  jtb Aug 3 '09 at 5:16
1  
I suppose Debian has real good reasons for things like "selected editor", "update-alternatives", and all those symlinks chasing themselves around the filesystem, but I remember when Unix meant a simple system you could rap your head around... Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go chase some kids off my lawn. :) –  Richard Hoskins Aug 3 '09 at 6:19
    
I run your command select-editor. However, Emacs is now my default editor for some unknown reason, although I selected Vim. If I run the command again, the list shows that my default editor is Nano. I run the command with sudo unsuccessfully. This suggests me that there is also some file manipulating the editor settings in Ubuntu. –  Masi Aug 7 '09 at 12:29

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