Vi Pages - Vi Clones and HomePages

Latest change: Mon Aug 07 17:05:23 CEST 2017

Every good program has clones which try to improve on this way or the other (features, size, port, GUI, or all of these). And Vi has quite a few. Here they are with the info I have.

If you have any additions or corrections or even just found a typo then send me an email!

"Send in the clones!"

Here are some of the popular ones:

BBStevie | bedit | Bvi | calvin | e3 | elvis | elwin | ex/vi | javi | jvi | lemmy | levee | nvi | OakHill vi | PC-Vile | PVIC | stevie | trived | tvi | vigor | vile | VIM | vip | viper | virus | Watcom-VI | WinVi | xvi

And here's the info I gathered from the net:

BBStevie [2003-10-03]
Cost: ???
Author/Copyright: Roy M. Silvernail
SnailMail: ???
Home Page:
FAQ: none
        56364 Aug 18  1992
       160339 Aug 18  1992
Maillist: none
Last release: BBStevie-3.0 [920818]
BBStevie is based on sources of Stevie-3.69a (or Stevie-3.68) by Tony Andrews.
(Roy tried to contact Andrew about the sources but did not succeed.)
BBStevie was designed as a restricted-shell vi clone for use with the Waffle
BBS (and works well!) but can be used with whatever BBS or "locally".
Roy does not intend to develop BBStevie any further.
BBStevie 3.2 (based on the 3.69a sources)
an adaptation of the Stevie editor.
Adapted by Roy M. Silvernail bbstevie(at)

From the Comp.Bbs.Waffle FAQ (cbwfaq@locutus.ofB.ORG):
BBStevie in particular is designed to be configurable so that you
can prevent folks from getting to the shell (if you want) and you
can use the same binary to ALLOW some other folks shell access if
you want to do that, based on their Waffle access level.  BBStevie
will also only let users mess with files in their home directory.

031003: Updated homepage to
001217: Homepage added.
001211: Roy answered and should be active again soon.
990209: Contacted Roy and the maillist for more info - but the mails bounced.

bedit [971222,2003-10-03]
OS: Windows 3.1
Cost: demo
Author/Copyright: NAME MAIL
SnailMail: ???
Home Page:
Last release: bedit 2.3 [1995-07-10] 742K
Source: [1995-07-21]

Bvi [990223,990304,991001,001025,010116]
OS: DOS and Unix. Bvi-1.1 was tested on MSDOS with TurboC-2.0 and Borland-C++-3.1, as well as on these Unixes: Linux, SunOS 4.1.x, Solaris 2.x with gcc compiler, HP-UX 9, OSF/1 V2.1.
Cost: free (I suppose)
Author/Copyright: Gerhard Bürgmann (Vienna, Austria)
Home Page: [010116] [obsolete]
Improved manual:
Mailing List:
Latest version: See BVI info on
Comments: Bvi is actually not a quite a vi clone as it does not deal with "texts" but "binaries". From the announcement: "Bvi is a display-oriented editor for binary files based on the vi texteditor. It uses commands similar to the commands of the vi, with some changes dependent of their different tasks."

calvin [970926,980918,001206]
OS: DOS only.
Cost: free
Author/Copyright: Paul Vojta
Contact: Nan-shan Chen
	Nan-shan Chen, Pohlweg 47-49, 33098, FB14, Uni-Paderborn  [970404]
Home Page:
FAQ: (none yet)
Latest version: calvin-2.3
Local copy: 38801 bytes [971222]
Notes: The author has stopped further development. But a fan mailing list has formed - and maybe the development might be taken on by them.
Comment: Calvin was formerly known as "Free VI".

e3 [010607,020222]
OS: Unix (esp. Linux on x86, FreeBSD, BeOS)
Cost: none
Author/Copyright: Albrecht Kleine
Home Page:
Download: 138Kb
Maillist: ???
Last release: e3 2.1 [020202]
Comments: HomePage lists other programs, too. No download address (ftp), no mailinglist.
Description on webpage: "e3 (80k) is a full featured text editor in two versions: primary e3 for x86 Linux, FreeBSD and BeOS(TM) written in NASM assembler, and for second e3c, an experimental C equivalent for all other platforms. The assembler version is highly optimized for size. For the command syntax you can choice between the families of Wordstar(TM), EMACS, Pico, nedit or vi editors. In Linux the e3 uncompressed executable's size is at 12000 byte, a compressed executable will need around 8800 byte, so you won't waste your disk space ;-) e3 is quite independent of libc and because of it's size it is very useable for Mini-Linux distributions and rescue disks. Some features like piping through /bin/sed (using stream editor as sub a process) are currently designed for Linux only, anyway this opens e3's door to the world of regular expressions."

Elvis [970926,990128,2017-08-07]
OS: DOS, Win95, WinNT, OS/2, and Unix [BSD UNIX, AT&T SysV UNIX, SCO Xenix, Minix] Atari TOS, OS9/68000, and Coherent. Macintosh version coming up!
Cost: Freeware!
Author/Copyright: Steve Kirkendall
[2017-08-07] Home Page:
Download Elvis Releases:
Download Elvis Beta: (mirror)
Lastest release: elvis-2.2d [2001-05-02]
	* The OS/2 port has been merged into 2.1i.  Binaries are available.
	* Error messages can be logged to a file.
	* Problems with regular expression character lists have been fixed.
Comments: [Steve Kirkendall 971002] "elvis-2.0 has a *real* X interface which uses the mouse a lot better. Also, if you force it to run inside an xterm it won't attempt to intercept mouse events. [...] As compared to 2.0, 2.1e-alpha adds support for overloaded tags (useful for C++ programmers), a configurable toolbar under X, and the ability to read via HTTP, and read/write via FTP. Plus bug fixes and a lot of other little changes, of course. [...] elvis is updated about once every 4-6 weeks."
Elvis is the standard vi clone on Linux Slackware distribution.
JaeSub Hong's page on Elvis: [981019]
Screenshots and some helpful info.

exvi [2003-10-03]

elwin [970919,000113,001127,2002-08-09]
OS: Windows (95/98/NT)
Cost: shareware (trial period: 30 days), $50
	Little Wing
	4618 JFK Boulevard, Suite 176
	North Little Rock, AR 72116
	TEL (501) 771-2408
Home Page:
Latest releases:
elwin-2.0.7 [1995-07-08] (16bit)
elwin-2.1.1 [1997-04-03] (32bit)
Missing commands: ":map" - you cannot "map" keys! :-( ":rewind" is not possible, either. ":edit #", ":next", ":set all" Cursor is placed between characters and some commands have been adjusted to that (such as 'fFtT'). Character exchange/transposition with "xp" does not work therefore.
Incompatibilities: Commands "[[" and "]]" are replaced by '[' and ']'. Incomplete pattern matching. Knows no tags.
Elwin can almost be classified as "nagware" - on every startup and every exit (of the main program) an extra window pops up exhorting you to spend $50 on Elwin.
Someone told me on 001127:
Elwin can also be run in a "Windows" (non-Vi) mode, where the mouse can be used to select text like Windows Notepad. A mouse pick in the text window puts it into Windows mode, and the Escape key puts it into Vi mode. The 'About' window for version 2.1.1 lists "Copyright 1995-1997", so one could guess 1997 is the release date for that version. Implemented options: autoindent, directory, ignorecase, inputmode, magic, remap, scroll, sidescroll, tabstop, wrapscan. Not implemented options: list, number, readonly, report, shell, taglength.
001127: Elwin seems to have a homepage now - good. However, it just gives two links to the latest versions, and tells you that Elwin is shareware. That's it. so if any of the comments are not valid any more then please send me a mail!
 Length    Date    Time    Name
 ------    ----    ----    ----
 216064  08-07-95  19:42   ELWIN.EXE
  49129  08-07-95  19:39   ELWIN.HLP
 ------                    -------
 265193                    2 files

 Length    Date    Time    Name
 ------    ----    ----    ----
 365568  03-04-97  17:36   ELWIN.EXE
  51603  05-19-96  18:36   ELWIN.HLP
 ------                    -------
 417171                    2 files

javi [971009,990820]
Author/Copyright: James "Jim" Jensen
james jensen
p.o. box 811452
boca raton, fl 33481
TEL +1 407 362 7997
Home Page: none [defunct?]
Last release: 960814

jVi [010108]
OS: ???
Cost: ???
Author/Copyright: Mozilla Public License
SnailMail: ???
Home Page:
Last release: VERSION [DATE]
Last beta: VERSION [DATE]
Comments: jVi is an IDE running in Java - and it is based on Vim (Vi Improved). -- "Vi is a vi-vim editor clone built on top of the javax.swing.text package. Available embeddings: JBuilder. jVi is designed to quickly and easily integrate into many disparate java based desktop apps, from IDE's to mail-news readers." -- "jVi is patterned after vim. [...] jVi is a small subset of vim. Some source code in jVi is taken from vim and modified to work in the java environment. The user documentation is almost exclusively from vim, only modified to remove things that are not applicable."

Lemmy [970914,970926,000113,001121,2002-08-10]
OS: Windows 32bit (Windows95, Windows98, WindowsNT)
Cost: Shareware - 30 day trial.
   Prices for Lemmy v4.2 are as follows:
     * Single-user:       $20
     * 2 to 9 users:      $15 each
     * 10 to 24 users:    $12 each
     * 25 to 49 users:    $9.50 each
     * 50 to 99 users:    $7 each
     * 100+ users:        $5 each
An unlimited site-license costs $500.
[Benefits of registration include: Free product upgrades. Removal of all nag screens.]
Distributor: SoftwareOnline
Lemmy is now owned by SoftwareOnline:
Home Page/Announcement:
This site has links to the Frequently asked questions, Sample VB Scripts, and Additional Syntax Highlighters.
Lastest release: Lemmy-4.2 [2000-04-27]
 248161  00-04-27  19:20   LEMMY.HLP
 594944  00-04-26  20:28   LEMMY.EXE
Original Author:
James Iuliano
2442 NW Market Street, #501
Seattle, WA 98107
Comments by David Douthitt (
Lemmy's help is nice. Lemmy's help files use the Windows 95/NT interface. Lemmy has support for digraphs. Syntax highlighters use a special interface to Lemmy, and highlight varying pieces of code based on the token found (such as keywords, etc.) Included syntax highlighters (third party) appear to include Tcl/Tk, BAT/CMD, Perl, and Tex/LaTex. Lemmy supports OLE Active Scripting, including special commands for Java Script and VBScript - PerlScript seems to be theoretically possible. Different filetypes can be defined (with extensions/file patterns), each of which has its own syntax highlighting, and supplemental ".exrc" file which runs before the file is edited, as well as a supplemental epilog file which run after the file is edited. Lemmy also has an optional "ksh-style" ex prompt, which basically means that the ex prompt supports the ksh vi-history mode. Lemmy appears to include HTML syntax highlighting as well. This is a very nice feature which makes Lemmy stand out among other vi clones. The specific colors used for each syntax element are also configurable. Lemmy supports movement through the file using the scroll bars at the right window side; however, Lemmy maintains cursor position only as long as it is visible; as soon as the position would go off screen top/bottom, the position was set to the left-most end of the line, at the top or bottom as appropriate, and stayed there until the cursor was moved in the opposite direction, at which time it retained its position. Lemmy supports mouse movement and control, including selecting text and others. Lemmy has a strong set of help manuals for those who want to implement syntax highlighting plug-ins; the entire API is described in full detail, including C function calls and descriptions. Lemmy has an FTP "browser" or similar tool included. [The FTP access requires WININET.DLL, which NT doesn't seem to have, though.] Lemmy supports "drag-and-drop", opening with a file dropped upon its icon or an open window. Lemmy supports tags. [vi compatible?] Lemmy has support for printing, with syntax highlighting (not too impressive, it seems) and headers and footers and line-numbers (all optional), with a user-selected font for the printout. All or part of the file can be printed. Lemmy has a status bar underneath, including position, "mode" (like mark, command, insert, etc.), buffer ("a", "b", etc.) and more.
Lemmy seems to be for generic MS-Windows platforms only.
Lemmy's help is missing specifics on how exactly it differs from standard vi.
Lemmy's search functions seem to be slow.
Lemmy is not free (but shareware).
000113: No update since 1997. Asking $20 for a program which does not seem to be maintained is quite a lot...

levee [990304]
Cost: Free?
Author/Copyright: David L. Parsons (orc)
Latest version: levee 3.4o [2002-07-05]
Comments from the author: "This is my attempt to write a vi clone. This was initially written in the early 1980s in USCD Pascal, then I rewrote it into P2, then my friend John Tainter and I converted it into C for the Atari ST. After I started running Linux, I abandoned it for the already written vi clones, and then for Berkeley's nvi, but it is still good clone of the visual mode part of vi, and at approximately 37k, it's hard to beat Levee's disk size. Levee is the standard vi for the core component of Mastodon."
Limitations: "Levee can only edit files up to 32670 characters long. CTRL-M is used as its internal line separator, so inserting CTRL-M will have interesting consequences."

nvi [990101,990713,001022]
OS: Unix
Cost: "Free" - BSD license
Keith Bostic
Sven Verdoolaege
Steve Greenland (for Debian)
Home Page: [990713]
Last release: nvi-1.79 [961023?,980330]
Latest version: nvi-1.81 [000902]
Development site:
Comments: NVI has been the standard vi editor on BSD systems for many years. However, the homepage does not give info about the version history and release dates.

Oak Hill vi [970926,980113,980120]
OS: DOS, WindowsNT
Cost: Shareware $35
Author/Copyright: (c) 1992 David G. Leeper
David G. Leeper
Oak Hill Software, Inc (member ASP)
8603 E Corrine Dr
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Support Email:
Home Page:
Last release: "Oak Hill Vi 7.0A" [980111]
Last beta: VERSION [DATE]
INFO by: David Douthitt

PVIC [980504,980511,000713,001031,030706]
Cost: PVIC is public domain.
Author/Copyright: Frits Wiarda
	Frits Wiarda
	Boulevard Heuvelink 1-5
	6828 KG  Arnhem
Home Page: [obsolete]
FAQ: none
Maillist: none
Last release: Pvic [980424] (date stamp on binary)
Last beta: Frits Wiarda doesn't have time to maintain PVIC - so no further development is planned for now.
Comments: Frits Wiarda says on the homepage: "PVIC is a Portable VI Clone derived from STEVIE 3.69B ... and did contain many non portable things like BIOS calls. I have removed everything [...] I considered non-portable, and I did rewrite the I/O. I added code to read termcap files. I gave many variables and functions [...] more understandable names. It has been written in Kernighan and Ritchie C, so it compiles on both old and modern C compilers."
[980509] Frits Wiarda : "All information I have about PVIC is in the .ZIP file one can download. Documentation I do not have, but there are plenty of comments in the source code." He also says that he wrote PVIC some five years ago when he was in need for a vi clone for OS-9.

trived [970927,990223]
OS: DOS only.
Cost: Free
Author/Copyright: Russell Schulz Russell_Schulz@locutus.ofB.ORG
SnailMail: N/A
Home Page: none?
FAQ: none
Maillist: none
Last release: trived-0.9 [950425]
Comments: Trived is NOT a vi clone, but has a small vi subset. Trived has on-screen help like pico and has automatic uuencoding of binary files (with command ":r"). The archive includes the Pascal source. Trived thus probably is the only vi-like editor in Pascal. [slightly reworded statement by Russell Schulz]
Comments: The archive comes with an executable and Pascal source. The editor is designed as a vi clone with small memory requirements for use locally or on a BBS. The name of the archive is "TRIVED*.ZIP". [David Douthitt 970926]

tvi [970926]
OS: Windows 3.1 The editor "tvi" emulates vi with a subset of vi commands.
Cost: Shareware - US:$10, Non-US:$20
Michael Edelstein
Michael Edelstein
3276 Ashford Street #D
San Diego, CA 92111
Home Page: URL
Download: URL
Last release: VERSION [DATE]
Last beta: VERSION [DATE]
Comments: The tvi editor does not use the Windows environment to any advantage, and does not appear to implement as much of vi as other clones do. Definitely a minimalist version. Not sure why you would want to use this software when you can register Lemmy or Elwin for just a little bit more or get VIM or xvi for nothing at all. [David Douthitt 970926]

[Vigor Logo]

vigor [000225]
OS: ???
Cost: ???
Author/Copyright: Joel Ray "Piquan" Holveck
Home Page:
Old HomePage: [obsolete]
Latest release: vigor-0.016 [2001-05-02]
Vigor is "application of the week" [000317] on LinuxCare:
Author: Brett Neely
Comments: Vigor is based on nvi and was written in C and Tcl/Tk.

vile [970903,980624,000713,001008]
OS: MS-DOS (DJGPP), UNIX and equivalent (termcap/terminfo, X Window), VAX/VMS, OS/2 (both native and EMX), Windows95, WindowsNT (console and GUI, with Visual C/C++ 4.1).
Cost: "Freely Distributable, copyright statements must be maintained"
Main programmer: Paul G. Fox .
Thomas E. Dickey >
Kevin Buettner
Rick Sladkey (?)
Home Page: [obsolete]
Download: [obsolete]
Maillists: announcements
Last release: vile-9.1y [001005]
PC-Vile was created from the source of micro-emacs(!) - programmed by a lot of people. Paul Fox is NOT the Paul Fox who did the CRiSP editor... [David Douthitt 970926]
There is also a maillist for bug reports which does not require subscription - but Paul Fox asked me to remove this address for now due to spams. :-/
The official homepage does not show the latest version. This *sucks*. Therefore
William Totten's vile page

Alex Wetmore's
Colorizes the Perl hooks within Vile.

The Freshmeat vile appindex record

Linux Gazette story on vile

A page about Vile in Czech

vim (aka "Vi IMproved") [970919,980624]
OS: "All" (well, almost ;-)
AmigaOS, AtariMiNT, BeOS, DOS, MacOS, OS/2, RiscOS, VMS, WinNT+Win95, and these flavors of Unix: A/UX, AIX, DG/UX, DEC Unix, FreeBSD, HP-UX, Irix, Linux, NetBSD, QNX, SCO, Sinix, Solaris, SunOS, SUPER-UX, Ultrix, Unisys.
Cost: "Free". Actually it is "CharityWare", ie the author encourages making a contribution to charity.
Author/Copyright: Bram Moolenaar
Bram Moolenaar
Clematisstraat 30
5925 BE Venlo
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 77 3872340
Home Page:
Latest versions: See the Vim History Page or the Vim HomePage.
Mailing Lists: - four maillists: announcements, general questions, general development, development of MacOS port.
Description: Vim (Vi IMproved) is an almost compatible version of the UNIX editor vi. Almost, because in many ways it chooses to improve it and do away with bugs. If you know vi then you will only want to know the differences which are described in the vim helpfile "vim_diff.txt" and on the page about Why use Vim?.
Note: VIM is now the standard vi clone on the Linux RedHat distribution.

Watcom-VI [990625,990701]
OS: DOS, Win3, Win95, Win98?, WinNT
Cost: Watcom-VI shipped with the Watcom Compiler.
	"Copyright by WATCOM International Corp.  1991-1994"
Last release:
	"vi/nt" v1.0  12:24:27 Aug 16 1994
Comments: "The NT versions run in both the GUI or as a console mode app. The Dos version works great in a DOS box but unfortunately only supports short file names." "The Watcom VI also has scripting support and a text-based GUI which can be modified by the user and compiled into the .EXE file. You can change key commands, menus, scripts, etc" Info by Michael S. Leibow [990625, 990629]
Known Bugs: Some commands operate incorrectly as the calculation on the operated text expanded tabs but forgets that tabs are just a single character.

WinVi [980407,990729,001024,2002-08-10]
OS: Windows 32bit (Windows95/98/00/NT)
Cost: "Freeware"
German:		Raphael Molle [preferred] ©1994-2000
French:		Valerie Gunslay
		Yves Belanger
Spanish:	Jose Maria Romero
Raphael Molle
Wormser Str. 5
10789 Berlin
Home Page:
Latest releases:
WinVi-2.73      1999-11-03      16bit
WinVi-2.82      2000-04-02      32bit
WinVi-2.92      2002-07-01      32bit

 Length    Date    Time    Name
 ------    ----    ----    ----
 338976  06-28-02  09:35   WinVi32.exe
Comments: WinVi-2.92 is 331K in size, has filename completion and a hex mode, and dialog boxes for general settings and colors; however, no documentation, apart from a ChangeLog. -- Quote from the home page: "This editor is especially useful for friends of the Vi editor (strange human beings, supposed to be descended from the world of Unix) who do not want to give up the little conveniences offered by Windows."

viper [970101,990223]
Viper is a standard package with Emacs. Viper was formerly known as VIP-19, which was a descendant of VIP 3.5 by Masahiko Sato and VIP 4.4 by Aamod Sane.
You can rely on Viper being present on GNUEmacs-19 and XEmacs-19. (Because of its reliance on minor mode keymaps, Viper will not work under Emacs 18.)
emacsclient doesn't make emacs multiuser. It just obviates the need to load up emacs for every file to be edited, and eliminates load times. However, on any decent OS the executable code of emacs is shared amongst all invocations (is this true for executables that contain dumped bytecode?). If the users constantly switch in and out of vi, such sharing cannot be utilised. -- Vladimir Alexiev ( [960630]
Here's an online version of a readme about Viper: [010220]
"(Viper)Improvements over Vi": [010326]
Send bug reports to , preferably using the command :submitReport for this.

virus [020226]
OS: ???
Cost: ???
Author/Copyright: ripclaw@rocklinux
Home Page:
FAQ: none
Maillist: ADDRESS
Last release: virus-0.0.1 [020226]
Last beta: VERSION [DATE]
Comments: "About: VIrus (VI resembling utility skeleton) was originally taken from busybox and stripped of most unrelated stuff. The intention is to provide a pure, minimalist VI implementation that allows you to switch off shell-escaping and other security risks by default, and allow the admin to offer an interim user to just have a vi as login-shell on a certain host, while allowing others to work with a resource-sensitive and small vi implementation for your OS bootdisks."

xvi [970516]
Author: B. Sartirana
This program implements a screen oriented hexadecimal/octal editor whose commands are a subset of those of "vi".
This program was submitted to the vi archive on "22 Jan 92".
Home Page:
This page has a listing of the and a link to it. That's it. I briefly took a look at the archive and I found this info:
Latest build: 940602 (2nd June 1994)
323584  06-02-94  13:35   xvi/xvi.exe
The copyright notice is given by "Chris and John Downey" in October 1992. The file "readme" says: "This is a source release of the Xvi editor (derived from "STEVIE"), a clone of the UNIX editor `vi'. The program was originally developed for the Atari ST, but has been ported to UNIX, MS-DOS, OS/2 and QNX as well."
Info by: Avram Dorfman
On 990713 added: "Chris Downey was one of my lecturers at University. John is his brother. .. Don't know the current status of development, but since I haven't heard anything since the 1992 release, I guess it's probably been abandoned. Last I heard, Chris was working for Pfizer, and should be contactable as, or if that doesn't work, try ."
Alternative Download: [000317] [37,893 bytes]
I tried to make it with gcc (to be precice: egcs-2.91.57 19980901, egcs-1.1 release) but it failed. No time to debug it, though.