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  1. #1

    Replace vi with Putty? Huh?

    I logged into my shell account at my host, to find that vi has been disabled. When I filed a support ticket to find out why (I've never encountered a host disabling vi before), I was told the following:

    "Yes vi was loading server. You will need to download putty.exe and use it instead"

    Ok, what am I missing? One is a text editor and the other is a telnet/SSH client. How does one replace the other?

    Confusedly yours...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Use pico. I hate vi anyways. Pico is awesome! And very, very simple.
    I wish all my traffic went through AS174.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Middle Dearth
    Your host doesn't know what they're talking about, it sounds like. You're correct in that one is a text editor and the other is not.
    Having problems, or maybe questions about WHT? Head over to the help desk!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Don't waste your time looking for comes with the Pine mail program. You can install it yourself by downloading the pine RPM from where ever you need to according to your OS version.
    Most of my VPS's use Centos I download pine from here:

    Of course, you can also compile from source. Pine comes from here:

    Last edited by bryonhost1; 08-23-2005 at 10:57 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Washington, USA
    I'd be inclined to suggest switching hosts.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    I would say the same thing. Find a host that has a clue and get as far away from this one as possible.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Forget vi and pico, it's all about nano.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Originally posted by GideonX
    Forget vi and pico, it's all about nano.
    You can't compare vi to pico and nano.. Vi is the best editor I've ever used.

    Vi has a magic appeal to many users. This is why many users just ask for vi.

    Vi Rulez!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    *cough* emacs *cough*

    Rus Foster - Director of Cloud @ UK2 Group - True Cloud Hosting powered by OnApp and HP SANS
    Tel: +447714137805 | Email:

  10. #10
    Um, instead of recommending alternate editors, how about alternate hosts?

    Your host has his head up his ***. Run away as fast as you can. But don't use running shoes, they cause hemorrhoids. Wear a beenie cap instead.

  11. #11
    Not real happy with the way this is going. I don't want to reveal who the host is, as they are generally regarded as one of the best out there. This incident seems to be WAY out of character for them.

    Some more points in the chain of communication:

    My response.

    I don't understand. vi is a text editor. putty is an SSH client (which I already use to connect). How does one replace the other?

    I have never heard of a host disabling vi.
    Support's reponse:

    Well it is like this Dan, last week we found 4 open vi processes 2 of those being yours and it loaded the server up, the only way to reduce load was to kill vi.

    That is the reason.
    My response:

    You know, you could have at least mentioned something to me about this rather than just killing the capability outright. That would have been nice from a customer service perspective. Had I known I was leaving vi sessions active (due to dropped SSH sessions or otherwise), I definitely would have been more careful. Disabling vi without even so much as a note mentioning it is poor communication, especially since you say that my behavior was the reason why.

    Is there a setting I should be configuring differently in putty to avoid these issues so it kills the vi instance when communication is dropped? If not, is there a configuration option in my shell account?

    Again, I'll restate my previous question to ***'s response: vi is a text editor. Putty is an SSH client. How am I supposed to replace one with the other. They are not the same type of program.

    If not vi, then what text editor am I supposed to use?

    Not happy with the way this was handled.

  12. #12
    Followup question:

    It's been a few years, but I know that with one of my previous hosts, they had things configured so that vi instances/process would either "time out" after a length of inactivity, or the process would be killed upon communication interruption.

    (I don't recall which, I just remember that there were never orphaned vi processes with that host).

    Is there a server-level configuration setting for vi, or for the shell, or is there a flag that can be invoked, such that the process dies if the shell session bites?

    Sorry if I'm being unclear; I'm not sure what the correct terminology is...

    Thanks in advance,


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Middle Dearth
    Do you suppose this 'well known host' has recently begun using outsourced support? This might be a simple matter of a language barrier, or misreading the KB docs that explained what to do...or something.
    They might otherwise be a terrific host.
    Having problems, or maybe questions about WHT? Head over to the help desk!

  14. #14
    If they have been a good host and this is out of character, isn't it possible that Bear is correct and it's a language issue? Pico, Putty? These two words might be close enough to cause a bit of confusion for someone who uses English as a second language.

    If the host has been great I think suggestions to bail on them are some pretty extreme measures to take...

  15. #15
    At this point I'm not planning to switch hosts; that would be overkill IMO.

    I would like to find out if there is a way to configure vi or my SSH client or whatever so that I can continue to use vi, yet the host does not have to worry about server loads.

    I tried pico. It sucks (for me). Far too simplistic. I've been using vi for so many years that the keystrokes are ingrained in my fingers. Plus, I use the multiple save buffers continuously, and don't know that I could deal without that functionality, not to mention the comprehensive search/replace options.

    While I've made the transition to UltraEdit as far as text editing on my PC goes, I'm far too used to the power of vi to give it up now...


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