How To Exit Vim In Linux

If you are a Linux user, you might have come across the Vim editor. Vim, which stands for Vi Improved, is a highly configurable text editor built to enable efficient text editing. It’s difficult to learn but incredibly powerful once mastered. However, if you are a newbie, the first problem you might encounter would likely be: How do I exit Vim?

In this blog post, we’ll take you through the necessary steps to exit Vim, regardless of your current mode, and offer some tips for making your Vim sessions a bit more user-friendly.

Exiting Vim

Exiting Vim is not as intuitive as with other text editors. This fact has resulted in a running joke in the developer community about people getting stuck in Vim. The reason for this is because Vim operates in modes.

When you first open Vim, you are in “Normal” mode, which lets you navigate and make commands but not edit text. To exit Vim from this mode, you need to switch to “Command” mode. You can do this by pressing the : (colon). Your cursor should move to the bottom of your window.

After that, you can type q to quit. However, if you have unsaved changes, Vim won’t let you quit and will instead warn you about this. If you want to quit without saving changes, you can type q!. If you want to save changes and then quit, type wq. Then, press enter.

:q # quit
:q! # quit without saving changes
:wq # write/save changes and quit

Remember, each of these commands must be preceded by a colon “:” which puts Vim into command-line mode.

Exiting Vim using ZZ

Another handy way to exit Vim is with the ZZ command. In command mode, if you type ZZ (in uppercase), Vim saves the current file (if changes have been made) and then exits.

ZZ # save and quit if the file was altered, just quit if there were no changes.


Exiting Vim isn’t as difficult as it first appears. All you need to do is remember to switch to command mode using the colon, then use a command like :q, :q!, :wq or the ZZ command. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll have no trouble at all!

Happy Vimming!