How many times have you had a situation when you open a file for editing, make a bunch of changes, and discover that you don't have the rights to write the file?
It usually goes like this.
You open a file and you forget to use
$ vim /etc/apache/httpd.conf
You make many changes and then you type:
And you get an error:
"/etc/apache/httpd.conf" E212: Can't open file for writing Press ENTER or type command to continue
And then what do you do?
Usually, you exit vim:
And open the file again with sudo:
$ sudo vim /etc/apache/httpd.conf
And make all the changes again.
So much time wasted!
If you're an intermediate vim user, then you save the file to
And then you sudo move the
/tmp/foo to the right location:
$ sudo mv /tmp/foo /etc/apache/httpd.conf
That works but here's another method that you can use without quitting vim:
:w !sudo tee % >/dev/null
Here's how it works. The first part:
Means – write currently open file to stdin of command
In this case the command is
sudo tee % >/dev/null. The special symbol
% means the filename of currently open file.
What happens here is vim spawns
sudo tee FILENAME and pipes the contents of the file to its stdin. The
tee command now runs in a privileged environment and redirects its stdin to
>/dev/null part discards
tee's stdout as you don't need to see it in vim.
If anyone asked me to write this command, I wouldn't be able to. It's too long and complicated to remember.
Instead, create a vim alias for this command. Put this in your
cnoremap sudow w !sudo tee % >/dev/null
Now the next time you're in this situation, just type:
See you next time!