Busybox vi tutorial

Vim is my editor of choice. I love it, I use it everywhere I can. Problem is, It’s quite heavy and I spend quite a lot of time working on embedded devices where it’s not available. Fortunately, I have busybox on all of the devices and this means I have access to busybox vi command.

Busybox vi is very simple implementation on vi editor which Vim is based on. So it uses the same editing philosophy as Vim but it just have much less features. Still, I like to use it to the fullest. There is no documentation about busybox vi that I’m aware of but since its code is short, I could easily find out what is available. I will start from the basics so that you should be able to use the editor even if you never used vi before. I will also provide some tips on how to use it more effectively.

Since busybox vi is so simple, this tutorial is aiming to document all of its possible features (at least as of this writing). If some feature is not documented, please report a bug. All of the things documented here should also work in Vim (I will try to add notes if there are some noticeable differences between the two) so I believe this could be used as a quite good intro to using Vim too.

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Transferring files using serial console

Sometimes I need to send some file to a target system but I don’t (yet) have any network services or clients on the host. Or I may not even have any network at all. Fortunately, there are couple ways of doing this using serial console. I’m presenting two examples on how to achieve that. Both are using different commands on the host side so depending on what’s available on your target device, choose one of them. more ...