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I am on the verge of doing alias less='vim -R' for the convenience of being able to scroll with my multitouchpad.

However, I like that less -f can view even files like /dev/random that are not regular files.

How do I hack vim -R so it can read-only non-regular files too?

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What terminal do you use? I can use the scrollwheel in less (Ubuntu 10.10 / Gnome Terminal). – romainl Jan 8 '12 at 12:53
iTerm 2 on Lion – AlcubierreDrive Jan 10 '12 at 10:14
On the Mac, I have a SIMBL plugin called MouseTerm that allows to use the scrollwheel in less or vim in iTerm2 is supposed to support the mouse but I see no mention of the scrollwheel. It looks like an iTerm2 limitation. – romainl Jan 10 '12 at 10:37
up vote 0 down vote accepted
head -c 10 /dev/random | vim -b '+set bt=nowrite' -
  • -b binary mode
  • +set bt=nowrite no warning when quit without save
  • - read stdin

To get 100 bytes, you can change 10 to 100.

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Which part of this passes the non-regular file as an argument to vim? – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jan 8 '12 at 2:59
The - at the end makes vim accept input from stdin. I often do things like grep pattern file.txt | vim -R - so that I can then use vim's search on my grep results. – MikeSep Jan 9 '12 at 13:20

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