Vim 8

How-To: Debianize vim 8 and install it from source

So, fellow insane penguins, after 10 years we get a new vim release, specifically vim 8. It is the first major version after all these years and we have a lot of goodies and features packed up. As vim is considered one of the best terminal based text editors in linux, i am sure a lot of people will be happy to get their hands on it.
But enough with the chit-chat and let’s see what new features vim 8 brings with it:

– Asynchronous I/O support, channels, JSON
– Jobs
– Timers
– Partials, Lambdas and Closures
– Packages
– New style testing
– Viminfo merged by timestamp
– GTK+ 3 support
– MS-Windows DirectX support

If you would like to see all the changes and new features added, you can check the CHANGELOG.

Anyhow, the purpose of this article is to describe the fastest way to make a .deb package from vim 8 sources and have it installed on your Debian. I’m using Debian 8.5 (Jessie) so if you are trying to do it on a different system make sure you know what you are doing.

First of all, we need to install the pre-requisites. We need checkinstall in order to build the .deb packages and also, the ncurses libraries (i chose ncurses but you can use any other terminal handling libraries)

ANother step we need to take is to clone the vim git repository therefore, we switch to ‘/usr/src’ and clone it there, then we switch the working directory to ‘vim’

While in the ‘vim’ directory, we first need to configure it, so it detects the system and see if we miss any dependency. If there’s anything missing the ‘./configure script will spit out a nice error that will tell you what is missing. On my end i had everything installed. Usually checkinstall should also install it’s dependencies when you install it. But, back to the scope of this article.

After ‘./configure’ script is done you will simply need to issue the ‘checkinstall’ command. Here you will be presented with 13 options that you can edit as it follows:

Finally, feel free to edit each of these options as you may see fit. Upon successful completion, ‘checkinstall’ will generate the .deb package from vim 8 sources and also install it automatically.

If this article probably helped you, please do share it so other people will benefit as well. vim 8 is a great text editor, and even tho sometimes i also use nano, vim 8 will become one of my favorite choices.
Below you can find a recording of the commands issued in this howto.

Thank you

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