Struggling with the basics

James O'Gorman james at
Wed Jun 28 20:04:38 BST 2006

Stephen Allen wrote:
> I would prefer to use FreeBSD rather than Linux - if nothing else, for
> simplicity (different Linux flavours are just too different).  However,
> I'm struggling to keep interested because I can't get the basics set up
> correctly.
> All this... at the console itself:
> a) vi/vim doesn't display the info bar at the bottom of the screen
> b) vi/vim doesn't seem to do syntax highlighting

Are you using vi(1) from the base, or vim from ports/editors/vim?
If you installed the vim port, you need to copy the default vimrc either
into your homedir or into the global share location:

# cp /usr/local/share/vim/vimXX/vimrc_example.vim /usr/local/share/vim/vimrc


% cp /usr/local/share/vim/vimXX/vimrc_example.vim ~/.vimrc

(where XX is the vim version)

> c) bash doesn't seem to do color highlighting, eg. ls

In your .bashrc, put:

alias ls="ls -FG"

(ls is a system command - /bin/ls - not a bash command)

> d) Shift+3 gives a hash+newline, instead of a pound symbol

Edit /etc/login.conf and add these two lines to the default class:


Then cap_mkdb /etc/login.conf

> e) Still can't type a euro symbol despite trying ISO-8859-15 from kbdmap
> f) The 'Delete' key operates as the 'Backspace' key instead of normal
> delete-right

In the shell, vim, or generally? (Although saying that, I just noticed
that using delete from putty just puts a ~. I tend to use Esc-D to
backwards-delete words)

> I realise the answer is probably more to do with the configuration of
> each package, but I don't get the same problems in Linux.  They all look
> so simple, but they're playing havoc with my ability to work properly on
> FreeBSD.

Sometimes these things just take a bit of digging :-)


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