vile retains the "finger-feel", if you will, of vi, while adding the multiple buffer and multiple window features of emacs and other editors. It is definitely not a vi clone, in that some substantial stuff is missing, and the screen doesn't look quite the same. The things that you tend to type over and over probably work. Things done less frequently, like configuring a startup file, are somewhat (or very, depending on how ambitious you are) different. But what matters most is that one's "muscle memory" does the right thing to the text in front of you, and that is what vile tries to do for vi users.

See the vile FAQ


This is a never-ending project. I originally began in late 1992, after deciding that I was dissatisfied with the original vi limitation of 2 buffers. Looking around, I found only a few vi clones that addressed this limitation (the other was xvi, which wasn't sufficiently portable).

Paul Fox's vile was just what I wanted to use. However, there were a few minor problems with the display of lines shifted left/right. One thing led to another, and I found myself working on vile. Well, it's still what I want to use. Moreover, it's more portable (and reliable) than ever.

The latest version of vile requires an ANSI C compiler. However, you can build this with a K&R compiler combined with unproto.

Requests to be put on the announcement list should go to
Other lists (to which you're encouraged to subscribe) include (developers) (users)
Report bugs to
These are links to the current release version of vile: Additional files, are available via ftp. The mirror at contains binaries for VMS and OS/2 EMX in addition to the more commonly requested ones:

Also: Brian Moore's web page