FVI — Vim paired with Grep


Ken Kundert





Given a pattern and a list of files, fvi first runs grep on the given files to find which contain the pattern, and then opens only those files in vim. Within vim use n to move to next occurrence of pattern and Ctrl-n to move to next file. vim is run with autowrite set. Any directories, unreadable files, or binary files in the file list are ignored.

If no file list is given on the command line, fvi then uses ack rather than grep to find which files contain the pattern. Generally ack will look at all regular files in the current working directory and all subdirectories, however this can be controlled using .ackrc files.


fvi [options] pattern [file [ file … ]]


-h, --help

Show this help message and exit.

-w, --word

Match a word.

-i, --ignore-case

Ignore case.

-m, --magic

Treat pattern as a vim magic or grep basic regular expression.

-v, --very-magic

Treat pattern as a vim very magic or grep extended regular expression.

-g, --gvim

Open files in gvim.


Runs only on Unix systems. Requires Python 3.5 or later. It also requires Python’s docutils. Also uses ack if available.

Install using:

pip install fvi

Installs both the program an its manpage. Once installed, you can get more information using:

man fvi


The file ~/.config/fvi/settings.nt is read if it exists. This is a NestedText file that can contain four settings: vim, gvim, grep, and ack. These contain the commands used to invoke vim, gvim, grep, and ack. For example:

vim: vimx
gvim: gvim
grep: grep
ack: ag

vimx is used rather than vim so that copy and paste using the X11 works as expected and The Silver Searcher, ag, is used rather than ack. On Ubuntu, ack is installed with a non-standard name, so if you want to use ack use:

ack: ack-grep