Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Everytime I try to open the .vimrc file I am getting this message .I am using the vimtutor in another terminal but I don't think I have opened up any extra .vimrc file . Why do I see this error and how can I fix this ?

E325: ATTENTION
Found a swap file by the name ".vimrc.swp"
          owned by: subhrcho   dated: Wed Dec 26 05:54:45 2012
         file name: ~subhrcho/.vimrc
          modified: YES
         user name: subhrcho   host name: slc04lyo
        process ID: 26176
While opening file ".vimrc"
             dated: Mon Jan 28 22:45:16 2013
      NEWER than swap file!

(1) Another program may be editing the same file.
    If this is the case, be careful not to end up with two
    different instances of the same file when making changes.
    Quit, or continue with caution.

(2) An edit session for this file crashed.
    If this is the case, use ":recover" or "vim -r .vimrc"
    to recover the changes (see ":help recovery").
    If you did this already, delete the swap file ".vimrc.swp"
    to avoid this message.

Swap file ".vimrc.swp" already exists!
share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The swap file is a month old (Dec 26), so it's probably save to delete it. On that day, you probably killed a Vim instance (or it crashed), leaving behind the swap file. Vim will never clean these up itself, you have to delete it yourself (or choose the delete option when Vim asks you).

BTW, the recover.vim - Show differences for recovered files plugin greatly enhances the swap file experience, e.g. by offering to show a diff of the changes.

share|improve this answer
    
is the sawp file a unix specific thing or is it specific to vim ?? –  Geek Jan 29 '13 at 12:15
3  
Other editors may have similar mechanisms behind the scenes, but swap files are specific (and rather visible) in Vim. See :help swap-file for details. –  Ingo Karkat Jan 29 '13 at 12:50

vi uses a swap file to keep a copy of your edits until you either save or discard them.

You see this error because either:

  • You are editing .vimrc twice (improbable, since you are only using vimtutor).

  • vi was killed while .vimrc was being edited.

In the latter case, vi couldn't clean up the swap file .vimrc.swp, so it nicely asks you whether you want to recover the changes or discard them:

(2) An edit session for this file crashed.
    If this is the case, use ":recover" or "vim -r .vimrc"
    to recover the changes (see ":help recovery").
    If you did this already, delete the swap file ".vimrc.swp"
    to avoid this message.

If you haven't made any changes to .vimrc (for example, you used vi to open the file -- in the future use less instead), simply delete the file:

$ rm .vimrc.swp

If you have made changes to the file, open it with vi and press R. You may get error E309:

E309: Unable to read block 1 from .vimrc.swp

In this case delete the swap file as explained above. If you could open the file, type:

:recover

Review the file and save it with:

:x

Then delete the swap file to get rid of the message.

share|improve this answer

This happens if you, for example, turn off computer while vim is still running. It is safe to delete .vimrc.swp file by hand or press 'd' in vim when asked, after error you have pasted.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.