Just Discovered OpenVi

Since I moved to NixOS from Arch Linux as my daily driver last year, I missed having traditional vi available on my systems. Having the minimal vi around always felt good, because I could leverage its awesome power (packed in but a couple hundred kilobytes) and snappy startup time to do some edits here and there.

But, alas, it is not available on nixpkgs, and I had not found the time to build it from scratch myself.

The venerable port has received no updates since 2005, and it is kept sea-worthy by out-of-tree patches that address drift from current C compiler standards, including some security issues. Besides, the code lives on ye olde freshmeat, on a CVS repo.

So, last week I took another approach, namely to search for alternate sources of vi goodness. And I hit the jackpot with OpenVi (check the Overview for its ancestry), which is apparently well maintained, as well as available on nixpkgs. Not too shabby, eh?

I’ve tweaked my flake to make use of it, and quite happy with the result. Had to jump through some hoops, though, because when generating its .exrc config file, OpenVi wouldn’t accept it as a symlink to a pre-cooked config file on the Nix store (perceived ownership mismatch), so I had to leverage Home Manager’s activation stage to produce a plain file instead.

Tags NixOS homeManager vi
pancho horrillo
I do things with computers.