ex – Start the ex editing mode of the vim editor

The ex command is used to start the ex editing mode of the vim editor. Ex mode is a line-oriented text editor that is used to edit files in a terminal window. It is a powerful tool that can be used for editing, searching, and manipulating text files.


To start the ex editing mode, simply type ex followed by the name of the file you want to edit. For example, to edit a file named example.txt, you would type:

ex example.txt

This will open the file in ex mode, and you can begin editing it. Ex mode is similar to vi mode, but it is more streamlined and easier to use for basic editing tasks.

To insert text into the file, type i to enter insert mode. You can then type in the text you want to add to the file. To save your changes and exit ex mode, type :wq and press Enter.

Ex mode also supports a variety of commands for searching and manipulating text. For example, you can search for a specific string of text by typing / followed by the search term. You can then navigate through the search results using the n and N commands.


The ex command supports a number of options that can be used to customize its behavior. The following table lists some of the most commonly used options:

Option Description
-c <command> Executes the specified command in ex mode before opening the file
-e Starts ex mode in “easy” mode, which disables some advanced features
-n Starts ex mode in “no” mode, which disables automatic printing of lines
-s Starts ex mode in “silent” mode, which suppresses error messages
-V Starts ex mode in “very verbose” mode, which prints debugging information

Troubleshooting Tips

If you are having trouble using the ex command, there are a few things you can try:

  • Make sure you are using the correct syntax for the command. The ex command requires the name of the file you want to edit as an argument.
  • If you are having trouble saving your changes, make sure you are in command mode (not insert mode) and that you have typed :wq to save and exit.
  • If you are experiencing other issues, consult the vim documentation or seek help from an experienced Linux administrator.


  • The ex mode of vim is a powerful tool for editing text files, but it can be difficult to learn for beginners. It is recommended that you spend some time practicing with the command in a safe environment before using it on important files.
  • The ex command is often used in shell scripts and other automation tasks where text files need to be edited programmatically.