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I know that there's a command line option to tell vim (or in my case gVim) to output its own log to a file. Unfortunately I can't remember it. Can anybody help?

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What do you mean by "its own log"? You can send debug information to a file, but I don't know of any way to log keystrokes, for example, except to record a macro. – garyjohn Oct 19 '10 at 20:32
The log contains messages from processing the vimrc file, where it searches for vim files and which files are executed during startup. – Christoph Metzendorf Oct 20 '10 at 6:51
up vote 5 down vote accepted

It is the "verbose" option that can be set on startup:

-V[N]       Verbose.  Sets the 'verbose' option to [N] (default: 10).
        Messages will be given for each file that is ":source"d and
        for reading or writing a viminfo file.  Can be used to find
        out what is happening upon startup and exit.  {not in Vi}
        Example: >
            vim -V8 foobar

        Like -V and set 'verbosefile' to {filename}.  The result is
        that messages are not displayed but written to the file
        {filename}.  {filename} must not start with a digit.
        Example: >
            vim -V20vimlog foobar
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