Install the nano Editor on the VMware vMA 5

The VMware vSphere Management Assistant (vMA) is a handy appliance for interacting with your environment via the Linux command line. I use it a lot, and I’m starting to get more of my team to use it. The problem is that it only ships with the vi text editor, which, described politely, is sort of arcane. Being a UNIX guy I’m used to it, but for others that just want to edit a file it’s overkill.

For those situations I like nano, a simple open source editor. To install it on the vMA issue the command:

sudo zypper install nano

If you’re prompted for a password use the one you set for vi-admin (or whoever you’re logged into the vMA as).

I got a bunch of errors when I did this:

File './suse/x86_64/nano-2.2.6-3.1.x86_64.rpm' not found on 
medium ''

as if has a mirror that’s hosed, but I kept retrying (r) when it prompted and after a few times it succeeded. A little sketchy, but for my purposes it works.

And, of course, type ‘nano’ to fire it up. “nano /path/to/filename” to open a file, Ctrl-X to exit & prompt to save, Ctrl-O to save, Ctrl-W to search, Ctrl-K to cut, Ctrl-U to paste (cut first, then paste again for copy).

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  • Let me head the “vi rules, pico/nano drools” comments off here:

    A) I know.
    B) I use vi, myself, and if you’re planning on being a Linux/UNIX guy long term I’d look up a vi tutorial.
    C) Explaining vi to someone coming from a Windows environment gets old. nano is easier.
    D) I’m results-oriented anyhow, and while the end doesn’t always justify the means in this case they’re just editing a simple text file, not coding or writing a novel.