How to install full version of Vim on Red Hat / CentOS

CentOS and Red Hat comes with vim-minimal installed by default which lacks support for syntax highlighting and many other features.

To see currently installed version, run vi --version at the command line and note the list of enabled and disabled features.

# vi --version
VIM - Vi IMproved 7.4 (2013 Aug 10, compiled Aug  2 2017 00:45:54)
Included patches: 1-160
Modified by <bugzilla@redhat.com>
Compiled by <bugzilla@redhat.com>
Small version without GUI.  Features included (+) or not (-):
+acl             -farsi           -mouse_sgr       -tag_old_static
-arabic          -file_in_path    -mouse_sysmouse  -tag_any_white
-autocmd         -find_in_path    -mouse_urxvt     -tcl
-balloon_eval    -float           -mouse_xterm     +terminfo
-browse          -folding         +multi_byte      -termresponse
+builtin_terms   -footer          -multi_lang      -textobjects
-byte_offset     +fork()          -mzscheme        -title
-cindent         -gettext         -netbeans_intg   -toolbar
-clientserver    -hangul_input    -path_extra      -user_commands
-clipboard       +iconv           -perl            -vertsplit
-cmdline_compl   -insert_expand   -persistent_undo -virtualedit
+cmdline_hist    +jumplist        -printer         +visual
-cmdline_info    -keymap          -profile         -visualextra
-comments        -langmap         -python          -viminfo
-conceal         -libcall         -python3         -vreplace
-cryptv          -linebreak       -quickfix        +wildignore
-cscope          -lispindent      -reltime         -wildmenu
-cursorbind      -listcmds        -rightleft       +windows
-cursorshape     -localmap        -ruby            +writebackup
-dialog          -lua             -scrollbind      -X11
-diff            -menu            -signs           -xfontset
-digraphs        -mksession       -smartindent     -xim
-dnd             -modify_fname    -sniff           -xsmp
-ebcdic          -mouse           -startuptime     -xterm_clipboard
-emacs_tags      -mouse_dec       -statusline      -xterm_save
-eval            -mouse_gpm       -sun_workshop    -xpm
-ex_extra        -mouse_jsbterm   -syntax
-extra_search    -mouse_netterm   -tag_binary
   system vimrc file: "/etc/virc"
     user vimrc file: "$HOME/.vimrc"
 2nd user vimrc file: "~/.vim/vimrc"
      user exrc file: "$HOME/.exrc"
  fall-back for $VIM: "/etc"
 f-b for $VIMRUNTIME: "/usr/share/vim/vim74"
Compilation: gcc -c -I. -Iproto -DHAVE_CONFIG_H     -O2 -g -pipe -Wall -fexceptions -fstack-protector-strong --param=ssp-buffer-size=4 -grecord-gcc-switches   -m64 -mtune=generic -D_GNU_SOURCE -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 -U_FORTIFY_SOURCE -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=1
Linking: gcc   -Wl,-z,relro  -L/usr/local/lib -Wl,--as-needed -o vim        -lm  -lselinux -lncurses -lacl -lattr -ldl

To use the version of vim with most of the features enabled in CentOS / Red Hat, you'll have to install vim-enhanced. This could be done by following these steps at the command line;

Use administrator account or sudo to perform the installation.

  1. Remove the installed vim-minimal.
    # yum remove -y vim-minimal
    ### snipped
    
    ===========================================================================
     Package          Arch        Version                  Repository     Size
    ===========================================================================
    Removing:
     vim-minimal      x86_64      2:7.4.160-4.el7          @base         896 k
    Removing for dependencies:
     sudo             x86_64      1.8.19p2-14.el7_5        @updates      3.9 M
    
    Transaction Summary
    ===========================================================================
    Remove  1 Package (+1 Dependent package)
    
    ### snipped

    Removing vim-minimal will also remove sudo. Be sure to install sudo again afterwards.

    # yum install -y sudo
  2. Install vim-enhanced and related dependencies.
    # yum install -y vim-enhanced

Running vim --version should produce a more desirable output.

Note that the command is now vim instead of vi.

# vim --version
VIM - Vi IMproved 7.4 (2013 Aug 10, compiled Aug  2 2017 00:45:39)
Included patches: 1-160
Modified by <bugzilla@redhat.com>
Compiled by <bugzilla@redhat.com>
Huge version without GUI.  Features included (+) or not (-):
+acl             +farsi           +mouse_netterm   +syntax
+arabic          +file_in_path    +mouse_sgr       +tag_binary
+autocmd         +find_in_path    -mouse_sysmouse  +tag_old_static
-balloon_eval    +float           +mouse_urxvt     -tag_any_white
-browse          +folding         +mouse_xterm     -tcl
++builtin_terms  -footer          +multi_byte      +terminfo
+byte_offset     +fork()          +multi_lang      +termresponse
+cindent         +gettext         -mzscheme        +textobjects
-clientserver    -hangul_input    +netbeans_intg   +title
-clipboard       +iconv           +path_extra      -toolbar
+cmdline_compl   +insert_expand   +perl            +user_commands
+cmdline_hist    +jumplist        +persistent_undo +vertsplit
+cmdline_info    +keymap          +postscript      +virtualedit
+comments        +langmap         +printer         +visual
+conceal         +libcall         +profile         +visualextra
+cryptv          +linebreak       +python/dyn      +viminfo
+cscope          +lispindent      -python3         +vreplace
+cursorbind      +listcmds        +quickfix        +wildignore
+cursorshape     +localmap        +reltime         +wildmenu
+dialog_con      -lua             +rightleft       +windows
+diff            +menu            +ruby/dyn        +writebackup
+digraphs        +mksession       +scrollbind      -X11
-dnd             +modify_fname    +signs           -xfontset
-ebcdic          +mouse           +smartindent     -xim
+emacs_tags      -mouseshape      -sniff           -xsmp
+eval            +mouse_dec       +startuptime     -xterm_clipboard
+ex_extra        +mouse_gpm       +statusline      -xterm_save
+extra_search    -mouse_jsbterm   -sun_workshop    -xpm
   system vimrc file: "/etc/vimrc"
     user vimrc file: "$HOME/.vimrc"
 2nd user vimrc file: "~/.vim/vimrc"
      user exrc file: "$HOME/.exrc"
  fall-back for $VIM: "/etc"
 f-b for $VIMRUNTIME: "/usr/share/vim/vim74"
Compilation: gcc -c -I. -Iproto -DHAVE_CONFIG_H     -O2 -g -pipe -Wall -fexceptions -fstack-protector-strong --param=ssp-buffer-size=4 -grecord-gcc-switches   -m64 -mtune=generic -D_GNU_SOURCE -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 -U_FORTIFY_SOURCE -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=1
Linking: gcc   -L. -Wl,-z,relro -fstack-protector -rdynamic -Wl,-export-dynamic -Wl,--enable-new-dtags -Wl,-rpath,/usr/lib64/perl5/CORE  -Wl,-z,relro  -L/usr/local/lib -Wl,--as-needed -o vim        -lm -lnsl  -lselinux  -lncurses -lacl -lattr -lgpm -ldl   -Wl,--enable-new-dtags -Wl,-rpath,/usr/lib64/perl5/CORE  -fstack-protector  -L/usr/lib64/perl5/CORE -lperl -lresolv -lnsl -ldl -lm -lcrypt -lutil -lpthread -lc