Vim on Ubuntu is compiled without clipboard and xterm_clipboard support

Bug #837882 reported by Garnet on 2011-08-31
This bug affects 11 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
vim (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

vim --version output:

VIM - Vi IMproved 7.3 (2010 Aug 15, compiled Mar 24 2011 07:07:02)
Included patches: 1-35
Modified by <email address hidden>
Compiled by buildd@
Huge version without GUI. Features included (+) or not (-):
+arabic +autocmd -balloon_eval -browse ++builtin_terms +byte_offset +cindent
-clientserver -clipboard +cmdline_compl +cmdline_hist +cmdline_info +comments
+conceal +cryptv +cscope +cursorbind +cursorshape +dialog_con +diff +digraphs
-dnd -ebcdic +emacs_tags +eval +ex_extra +extra_search +farsi +file_in_path
+find_in_path +float +folding -footer +fork() +gettext -hangul_input +iconv
+insert_expand +jumplist +keymap +langmap +libcall +linebreak +lispindent
+listcmds +localmap -lua +menu +mksession +modify_fname +mouse -mouseshape
+mouse_dec +mouse_gpm -mouse_jsbterm +mouse_netterm -mouse_sysmouse
+mouse_xterm +multi_byte +multi_lang -mzscheme +netbeans_intg -osfiletype
+path_extra -perl +persistent_undo +postscript +printer +profile +python/dyn
+python3/dyn +quickfix +reltime +rightleft -ruby +scrollbind +signs
+smartindent -sniff +startuptime +statusline -sun_workshop +syntax +tag_binary
+tag_old_static -tag_any_white -tcl +terminfo +termresponse +textobjects +title
 -toolbar +user_commands +vertsplit +virtualedit +visual +visualextra +viminfo
+vreplace +wildignore +wildmenu +windows +writebackup -X11 -xfontset -xim -xsmp
 -xterm_clipboard -xterm_save

Notice “-clipboard” and “-xterm_clipboard”. This also causes + and * registers not to work.

Garnet (thanksgarnet) on 2011-08-31
summary: - Vim on Ubuntu is compiled without clipboard and xterm_clipboard support.
+ Vim on Ubuntu is compiled without clipboard and xterm_clipboard support
Garnet (thanksgarnet) wrote :

Temporary solution.

I just removed vim package and compiled vim myself. I used the following configure command to get +clipboard and +xterm_clipboard:

./configure --with-features=big --enable-cscope --enable-gui=gtk2 --enable-multibyte

The following development packages are required (most installed in Ubuntu by default):


Changed in vim (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed

I think this bug is invalid.
Actually you can use either the vim-gtk or vim-gnome packages which are compiled with both option flags active instead of the default vim package.

Garnet (thanksgarnet) wrote :

> I think this bug is invalid.
> Actually you can use either the vim-gtk or vim-gnome packages

vim-gtk and vim-gnome packages are GUI Vim packages and I need a pure console Vim. I'm much more comfortable like that.

The bug is valid and annoying.

Garnet (thanksgarnet) wrote :

Or wait, do you mean vim-gtk and vim-gnome also contain proper console versions? If so, it makes sense then, but still, judging from screenshots, they also install full GUI version which I don't want:

Garnet (thanksgarnet) wrote :

I just recently reset my system to reinstall everything properly.

While recompiling vim I noticed that it actually installs GUI too. Go figure.
It's probably due to gtk2 in my configure line.

So here's my summary on this bug and the way Vim is packaged in Ubuntu.

I think the reason for this problem is "vim" package because it seems redundant
and confuses users being just pumped up version of vim-tiny package with little
integration into desktop. I never knew vim-gtk and vim-gnome existed
in the first place, so "vim" always sounded like a "full, desktop version" to me.

Thus, the bug now doesn't affect me but all in all it's still a bug on it's own.
The resolution in my opinion is either to rename this package to vim-console
or simply remove it. As far as I understand it exists only for those who don't
use any desktop environment or even X but still need more features than
vim-tiny. Frankly, a hard to imagine situation for me.

Hats off to Gonzague Reydet for pointing me to vim-gtk and vim-gnome!

Will Gray (graywh) wrote :

A hard to imagine situation? Plenty of people use Ubuntu for GUI-less servers and want the "huge" feature set.

Changed in vim (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Invalid
ivanxuu (ivanxuu) wrote :

By default, Ubuntu installs the vim-tiny package, which is a ultra-light version of the console "vim" only.

Most people should simply install the vim-gtk (or vim-gnome) package. This package will provide both the graphical "gvim" and the console "vim", but in a "huge" configuration that includes support for the clipboard. It is not necessary to uninstall vim-tiny first.

If you really don't want any gui support (i.e. you have no X libraries installed), then you should install the vim package, which is the full "huge" configuration for the console "vim".
message from margo in

Sparhawk (sparhawkthesecond) wrote :

@ivanxuu I already had "vim" installed, and this had no support for clipboard. Only when I installed "vim-gtk" did it support the clipboard.

Leyli Cecil (leycec-3) wrote :

I fully agree with Garnet. Vim's current package nomenclature is counter-intuitive, counter-productive, and arguably constitutes a bug. While there do exist use cases for a headless Ubuntu, I'd contend that those are largely edge use cases. For Ubuntu and like-minded GUI-centric Linux distros (e.g., Mint), non-headless desktop, laptop, and touch devices predominate.

Given that, the average user has every expectation of a package named "vim" installing a fully featured CLI-specific version of Vim supporting the average working environment: the X11-based desktop metaphor, complete with clipboard and mouse integration. Since this is currently not the case, the current "vim" package should ideally be renamed as Garnet suggests (e.g., to "vim-console") and a new "vim" package providing a fully featured CLI-specific version of Vim instated in its place.

Thanks for your continued efforts, Ubuntu developers. It's gratefully appreciated.

Peter Cordes (peter-cordes) wrote :

If you want full-featured vim in a terminal, install vim-gtk and run it as "vim".

It only opens a new window if you run it as gvim, or vim -g.

To post a comment you must log in.
This report contains Public information  Edit
Everyone can see this information.

Other bug subscribers