I've enabled VIM style editing of bash commands at the bash prompt as default bash setting. On a few occasions I've accidentally opened a blank vim file with some complex bash command I was writing.

Awesome. How do I get the newly written line in vim back into bash? I found another post where the author had the opposite trouble--or so it seems.

What steps put my bash prompt commands into vim and then back again to bash to execute?

  • 1
    In vim, I like to use :x to save and exit. – glenn jackman Jul 11 '12 at 3:28

When you're in normal mode (e.g, when h and l move the cursor left and right), type v to edit the line in vi, or in the editor specified by $VISUAL or $EDITOR. When you're done, just save the buffer as you would after editing any other file, using ZZ or :wq as you prefer.

  • I've tried all your suggestions and marked this version because it worked for me. (^x or ^e didn't do anything...) I would add, upon saving the buffer I'm returned to bash and the command was immediately executed. Adding a hash before the command prevented immediate execution of the command. – xtian Jul 12 '12 at 14:24

Ctrl+X Ctrl+E will insert your bash command into vim.

To exit vim:

If you are editing (--INSERT-- or --REPLACE-- appears at the bottom), press Esc.

Then press:

:wq or ZZ to save and exit.

:q! to quit without saving.


I believe ctrl-x, ctrl-e is what you want. Writing the file as normal should execute it i think. So :wq in vim.

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