Published: October 3, 2017
by Tobias Pleyer
Tags: vim

Building Vim from source


For a quick self reference. More details can be found on the original wiki page.

Install pre-requisites

sudo apt-get install libncurses5-dev libgnome2-dev libgnomeui-dev \
    libgtk2.0-dev libatk1.0-dev libbonoboui2-dev \
    libcairo2-dev libx11-dev libxpm-dev libxt-dev python-dev \
    python3-dev ruby-dev lua5.1 lua5.1-dev libperl-dev git

Remove old version

sudo apt-get remove vim vim-runtime gvim

Build it


  • Only compile with either Python2 or Python3 support
  • Make sure you have the correct Python config dir! In my case: /usr/lib/python3.5/config-3.5m-x86_64-linux-gnu for Python3
cd ~/Git
git clone
cd vim
./configure --with-features=huge \
            --enable-multibyte \
            --enable-rubyinterp=yes \
            --enable-pythoninterp=yes \
            --with-python-config-dir=/usr/lib/python2.7/config-x86_64-linux-gnu \
            --enable-python3interp=yes \
            --with-python3-config-dir=/usr/lib/python3.5/config-3.5m-x86_64-linux-gnu \
            --enable-perlinterp=yes \
            --enable-luainterp=yes \
            --enable-gui=gtk2 \
            --enable-cscope \
make VIMRUNTIMEDIR=/usr/local/share/vim/vim80
sudo make install

Install as default on the system

sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/editor editor /usr/local/bin/vim 1
sudo update-alternatives --set editor /usr/local/bin/vim
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/vi vi /usr/local/bin/vim 1
sudo update-alternatives --set vi /usr/local/bin/vim