vim is doing something that I can't quite figure out. When I leave insert mode, and navigate with j/k/h/l within a second of doing so, vim appends the contents of the ". buffer.

On a tip from How to start vim without executing /etc/vimrc? I am starting vim with vim -u NONE testfile, which should mean I've disabled any weird configuration I might have.

Here is what I do to show the problem:

  1. Open up a new, empty file with with vim -u NONE testfile.

  2. iTEST<esc>. I've just inserted the text TEST and exited insert mode.

  3. :reg will show, among other things, ". TEST. <enter> will close the register view.

  4. A<enter>Now I type this<esc>k and TEST is inserted at the end of the line I just typed! My document now looks like:

    TEST Now I type thisTEST

    and :reg shows ". ^@Now I type thisTEST

But If I had let 2 seconds pass between the <esc> and the k, the extra text would not have been inserted. What is going on?

edit: This was a GNU screen issue. I've posted my solution below.

1 Answer 1


It turns out this is a GNU screen issue. See https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/8439/gnu-screen-makes-vim-esc-key-slow

Within screen, C-a : maptimeout 0 solves this. I'll be adding it to my .screenrc.

Sanity preserved.

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